Episode Archive for September 2007

Joe Nickell - The New Idolatry

September 28, 2007

The world’s leading paranormal investigator, Joe Nickell is a regular contributor to Skeptical Inquirer science magazine. He is the author or editor of more than twenty books, including Looking for a Miracle, Inquest on the Shroud of Turin, and most recently The Relics of the Christ.
In this conversation with D.J. Grothe, Joe Nickell explores what he calls the “new idolatry,” the term he uses to refer to weeping religious icons and statues that stream tears of blood, become animated, and weep human tears, among other supernatural claims. He recounts his investigation of a number of…

Massimo Pigliucci - Making Sense of Evolution

September 21, 2007

Massimo Pigliucci is professor of Ecology and Evolution at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and is well known as an outspoken critic of creationism and advocate of the public understanding and appreciation of science. A recipient of the Dobzhansky Prize from the Society for the Study of Evolution, he has been awarded three times the Oak Ridge National Laboratories Science Alliance Faculty Research Award. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. His research in science focuses on genotype-environment interactions, on natural selection,…

Paul Kurtz - The New Atheism and Secular Humanism

September 14, 2007

Paul Kurtz, considered by many the father of the secular humanist movement, is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo. As chair of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), the Council for Secular Humanism, and Prometheus Books, and as editor-in-chief of Free Inquiry Magazine, he has advanced a critical, humanistic inquiry into many of the most cherished beliefs of society for the last forty years. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has been featured very widely in the media,…

Madeleine Van Hecke - Why Smart People Do Dumb Things

September 07, 2007

Madeleine Van Kecke is a licensed clinical psychologist and an adjunct faculty member at North College in Naperville, Illinois. She is a writer, and a lecturer and workshop leader for Open Arms Seminar. Her recent book is Blind Spots: Why Smart People Do Dumb Things.
In this discussion with D.J. Grothe, Van Hecke explores common missteps that even intelligent and educated people make when approaching certain topics, and how human intelligence can sometimes actually backfire. She explores how science may be brought to bear on nonscientific topics such as the quest for human meaning. She also…