Episode Archive for July 2009

Ron Lindsay - International Blasphemy Day

July 31, 2009

Ronald A. Lindsay is a bioethicist, lawyer, and chief executive officer of the Center for Inquiry. For many years he practiced law in Washington, DC, and was an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and American University, where he taught jurisprudence and philosophy courses. His new book is Future Bioethics: Overcoming Taboos, Myths, and Dogmas.

In this discussion with D.J. Grothe, Ron Lindsay describes CFI's Campaign for Free Expression, and its goals to defend free speech and oppose even self-censorship. He details the pleaseblock.us website, which is a component of the campaign, along with announcing a cartoon contest in honor of…

Mark Blumberg - Freaks of Nature

July 24, 2009

Mark S. Blumberg is Professor and Starch Faculty Fellow at the University of Iowa. His books include The Oxford Handbook of Developmental Behavioral Neuroscience, Body Heat: Temperature and Life on Earth, and Basic Instinct: The Genesis of Behavior. He is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Behavioral Neuroscience, and President of the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology. His newest book is Freaks of Nature: What Anomalies Tell Us About Development and Evolution.

In this conversation with D.J. Grothe, Mark Blumberg describes how he became interested in "freaks of nature" as a way to question prevailing concepts within biology regarding genes, instincts, and…

Zachary Shore - Blunder

July 17, 2009

Zachary Shore is Associate Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School, and a Senior Fellow at the Institute of European Studies, University of California, Berkeley. He previously served on the Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. Department of State. He is the author of What Hitler Knew: The Battle for Information in Nazi Foreign Policy, and Breeding Bin Ladens: America, Islam, and the Future of Europe. His most recent book is Blunder: Why Smart People Make Bad Decisions.

In this interview with D.J. Grothe, Zachary Shore talks about decision making, both at the personal and international level,…

James Randi - The Faith Healers

July 10, 2009

James “The Amazing” Randi is a world-renowned magician, skeptic and investigator of paranormal claims and is a central figure in the founding of the world-wide skeptical movement. Perhaps best known for the One Million Dollar Challenge, in which his educational foundation awards $1,000,000 to anyone who is able to show evidence of any paranormal, supernatural or occult power or event, under test conditions agreed to by both parties. Randi has appeared widely in the media, including on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show at least 22 times and he is also a regular on Penn and Teller’s Showtime series, Bullshit! He has…

Ayaan Hirsi Ali - The Caged Virgin

July 03, 2009

Ayaan Hirsi Ali was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, was raised Muslim, and spent her childhood and young adulthood in Africa and Saudi Arabia. In 1992, Hirsi Ali came to the Netherlands as a refugee. She earned her M.A. in political science and worked for the Dutch Labor party. She has served as a Dutch parliamentarian, fighting for the rights of Muslim women in Europe, the enlightenment of Islam, and security in the West. She was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and by Reader's Digest as "European of the Year." She…