Episode Archive for February 2008

Matthew C. Nisbet - Communicating about Science and Religion

February 29, 2008

Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D., is a professor in the School of Communication at American University. His research tracks scientific and environmental controversies, examining the interactions between experts, journalists, and various publics. In this area, Nisbet has published numerous peer-reviewed studies, has written for several leading popular outlets including the Washington Post, the Columbia Journalism Review, and The Scientist, and has been frequently called upon as a commentator by major news organizations. He also contributes the semi-regular "Science and the Media" column for Skeptical Inquirer online, and he tracks current events related to strategic communication at his popular blog Framing Science.…

Tom Flynn - The Science vs. Religion Warfare Thesis

February 22, 2008

Tom Flynn is editor of Free Inquiry Magazine and director of the Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum. He also directs traditional video operations at the Center for Inquiry. He is editor of The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief and author of three books: the science-fiction novels Galactic Rapture and Nothing Sacred and the polemic The Trouble With Christmas.

In this discussion with D.J. Grothe, Flynn details the history of the idea that science and religion are at war, including details about the founding exponents of the idea, John William Draper and Andrew Dickson White. He explains the unintended…

Lynne Kelly - The Skeptic’s Guide to the Paranormal

February 15, 2008

Lynne Kelly is a writer and science educator in Australia, and a founding member of Australian Skeptics. An expert on the paranormal who uses aspects of the magician's art to advance skepticism, she holds degrees in education and engineering and is the author over a dozen books, including The Skeptic's Guide to the Paranormal.

In this discussion with D.J. Grothe, Lynne Kelly examines differences in paranormal beliefs between Australia and the United States, and whether such beliefs are growing. She talks about various paranormal topics from her book, including crop circles, psychic detectives, and communicating with the dead, and…

Tory Christman - Anti-Science Scientology?

February 08, 2008

Tory Christman is a former member of the Church of Scientology. She left the organization in 2000, after being a member for about 30 years and is now one of its most visible and high-profile critics, having appeared on CNN, NPR and in the LA Times, and many other media outlets.

In this discussion with D.J. Grothe, Christman recounts her experiences in Scientology, as well as her views about the church's practices with current and former members. She describes her participation in the church's anti-free-speech activities on the internet in the 1990's, and her views on the…

Edward Tabash - Science, Secularism, and the 2008 Presidential Election

February 01, 2008

Edward Tabash is a constitutional and civil rights lawyer in Beverly Hills, California. Graduating magna cum laude from UCLA in 1973, he graduated from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles three years later and was admitted to the California Bar that same year. He has chaired the National Legal Committee of Americans United for Separation of Church and State since 1995, and has argued and won before the California Supreme Court. He also sits as a part-time judge for the Los Angeles County Superior Court system. He has successfully represented the scientific outlook and secular humanism in public debates…