Episode Archive for April 2008

John Shook - Naturalism and the Scientific Outlook

April 25, 2008

John Shook is Vice President for Research and Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Inquiry Transnational in Amherst, N.Y. He received his PhD in philosophy at the University at Buffalo and was a professor of philosophy at Oklahoma State University for six years. Among his current responsibilities are the Center for Inquiry’s Naturalism Research Project and the expansion of the Center’s Jo Ann Boydston Library of American Philosophical Naturalism.

In this discussion with D.J. Grothe, Shook describes the relationship of naturalism to the worldview based upon the sciences. He explores whether the sciences necessarily lead to…

Michael Shermer - The Mind of The Market

April 18, 2008

Michael Shermer is the author of ten books, including the bestselling Why People Believe Weird Things and The Science of Good and Evil. An adjunct professor of economics at Claremont Graduate University, he is a columnist for Scientific American, the publisher of Skeptic magazine, and the founder and director of the international Skeptics Society. His latest book is The Mind of The Market: Compassionate Apes, Competitive Humans, and Other Tales From Evolutionary Economics.

In this discussion with D.J. Grothe, Michael Shermer discusses The Mind of the Market, and the new field of neuroeconomics. He explores the implications…

Tom Flynn - Ingersoll: The Most Famous Person You’ve Never Heard Of

April 11, 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 conversation with D.J. Grothe, Tom Flynn talks about the life of Robert Green Ingersoll, the 19th Century orator and freethinker. He explains Ingersoll's views on religion, and his secular progressive outlook that he advanced as an alternative. He details Ingersoll's role…

Marc Hauser - Moral Minds

April 04, 2008

Marc Hauser is an evolutionary psychologist and biologist. He is Harvard College Professor and Professor of Psychology, and Director of the Primate Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at Harvard University. He is the author of a number of books, including The Evolution of Communication, Wild Minds: What Animals Think, and Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong.

In this interview with D.J. Grothe, Marc Hauser expounds his theory that morality has biological origins while challenging the common view that morality comes from God. He compares the human capacity for morality with Noam Chomsky's notion…