Episode Archive for December 2006

R. Joseph Hoffmann - The Scientific Study of Religion

December 29, 2006

Joe Hoffmann, formally at Oxford, is director of Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion (CSER). He has appeared widely in the media and at venues across the United States speaking on Christian origins, the historical Jesus, the proper role of religion in society, and similar topics. He is the author or editor of a number of books, including Just War and Jihad: Violence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
In this discussion with D.J. Grothe, Dr. Hoffmann explores the implications of science for religion, and how to study religion in a scientific way, including from scientific…

Tom Flynn - The Real War on Christmas

December 22, 2006

Tom Flynn is the Editor of Free Inquiry magazine. A journalist, novelist, entertainer, and folklorist, Flynn is the author of numerous articles for Free Inquiry, many addressing church-state issues, as well as the best-selling The Trouble With Christmas, about which he has made hundreds of radio and TV appearances in his role as the curmudgeonly “anti-Claus.” He is also the author of the critically acclaimed anti-religious black comedy science fiction novel, Galactic Rapture. His latest work, The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief, is a comprehensive reference work on the history, beliefs, and thinking of America’s fastest growing minority: those who…

Susan Blackmore - In Search of the Light

December 15, 2006

Sue Blackmore is a psychologist and writer whose research on consciousness, memes, and the paranormal has been published in over sixty academic papers, as well as book chapters, reviews and popular articles. She regularly writes in The Guardian, and often appears on radio and television in the United States and the United Kingdom. She spent two decades early in her career investigating psychic phenomena, following an out-of-body experience she had as a student at Oxford. She is the author of a number of books, including Dying to Live (on near-death experiences), In Search of the Light, and Test Your…

Paul Kurtz - What is the Point of Inquiry

December 07, 2006

In this special episode of Point of Inquiry, Paul Kurtz joins D.J. Grothe for an overview of CFI’s mission and challenges. Kurtz is founder and chair of the Center for Inquiry and many other organizations and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is also Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo, chairman of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (previously CSICOP), the Council for Secular Humanism, and Prometheus Books. He is editor-in-chief of Free Inquiry magazine and author of over forty five books, including Science and Religion:…

Barry Kosmin - The Scientific Study of Secularism

December 01, 2006

Barry Kosmin is a sociologist, and is research professor in public policy and law at Trinity College. He is co-author of One Nation Under God and author of Religion in a Free Market. Kosmin was also the Principal investigator of the 2001 American Religious Identification Survey, the groundbreaking study on religion in America that showed the number of seculars in America has almost doubled in the ten years preceding the survey.
In this discussion with D.J. Grothe, he details the scientific study of religion and secularism, the “secularization hypothesis,” religious diversity in contemporary America, and the…