Episode Archive for October 2006

The CFI 10th Annual Houdini Seance - Halloween 2006

October 31, 2006

Harry Houdini, the world-famous magician and escape artist, earnestly explored the religion of spiritualism and communication with the dead after his beloved mother’s death in 1913. He eventually crusaded vigorously against those whom he believed were fraudulent mediums, debunking and exposing those whom he argued preyed on the mourning of the grieving. He was renowned for his ability to seem to escape from almost any bonds. As such, he made a pact with his wife Bess, that if anyone could escape the bonds of death, he would.
 
In this bonus episode of Point of Inquiry for…

Salman Rushdie - Secular Values, Human Rights and Islamism

October 27, 2006

Salman Rushdie is a British-Indian essayist and novelist widely acclaimed for his narrative style that blends myth and fantasy with real life. He has won many awards for his fiction, including the Booker Prize. He is best known for The Satanic Verses which provoked violent reaction from the Muslim community and a fatwa by the Ayatollah Khomeini, and was banned in India and througout the Islamic world. In recent years, Rushdie has been more visible publicly, and speaks out against Islamic extremism, and for secularism and the West.
 
In this presentation, recorded on October 11, 2006,…

Jill Tarter - Are We Alone?

October 20, 2006

Jill Tarter holds the Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, CA where she also serves as director of the Center for SETI Research. She served as Project Scientist for NASA’s SETI program, and has conducted a number of observational programs at radio observatories worldwide. Since funding for NASA’s SETI program was cut in 1993, she has served in a leadership role to secure private funding to continue the the exploratory science.
 
Her work has brought her wide recognition in the scientific community, including the Lifetime…

Richard Dawkins - The God Delusion

October 16, 2006

Richard Dawkins, considered one of the world’s most influential scientists, is the first holder of the Charles Simonyi professorship of the public understanding of science at Oxford University and the recipient of a number of awards for his writings and for his science, including the International Cosmos Prize, the Kistler Prize, and the Shakespeare Prize. He is also a fellow of the Royal Society. In a recent poll in the United Kingdom, he was named Britain’s leading public intellectual. He is the author of a number of critically acclaimed books, such as The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, Unweaving…

Sam Harris - Letter to a Christian Nation

October 06, 2006

Sam Harris is the author of the New York Times best-seller The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason. He is a graduate in philosophy from Stanford University and has studied both Eastern and Western religious traditions, along with a variety of contemplative disciplines, for twenty years. He’s now completing a doctorate in neuroscience. His work has been featured widely in the media, in such newspapers as the New York Times, LA Times, The Economist, The Guardian, The Toronto Star, and many others. He contributes regularly to Free Inquiry, the magazine of the Council for Secular…