Episode Archive for January 2011

Art Caplan - Bioethics Comes of Age

January 28, 2011

Our guest this week is Arthur Caplan, sometimes called the country’s “most quoted bioethicist” and director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. In this wide ranging episode, Caplan discusses not only the latest issues and problems in his field, but also how those issues have changed over time.

Fresh from the ideological fights of the Bush administration-over culture war issues like stem cells, cloning, and Terri Schiavo-bioethicists like Caplan are now more focused on practical matters like access to healthcare. And so is the country as a whole.

However, the religious right remains active-encouraging pharmacists to claim a…

Joe Nickell - The Other Side

January 21, 2011

Joe Nickell is one of the world’s most prominent skeptical investigators of the paranormal. He has researched numerous historical, paranormal, and forensic mysteries, myths and hoaxes, including hauntings, crop circles, UFOs, psychic claims, the Shroud of Turin, and the purported diary of Jack the Ripper.

Joe is a Senior Research Fellow for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and writes the Investigative Files column for Skeptical Inquirer magazine. He is the author of many books, such as Real-Life X-Files: Investigating the Paranormal, Secrets of the Sideshows and Real or Fake: Studies in Authentication.

In this interview with Karen Stollznow, Joe discusses his areas…

The Irrationality Vaccine - Seth Mnookin

January 14, 2011

Recently the British Medical Journal dealt yet another blow to 1998 scientific study that first terrified the public about the possibility that vaccines might cause autism. The paper, the Journal alleged, was nothing less than “fraudulent.”

Amazingly, however, no one expects anti-vaccine advocates to retract, change their minds, or cease their activities. Which raises the question: How did they grow so strongly and doggedly convinced to begin with? 

That’s where Seth Mnookin’s new book The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear comes in. It tells the page turning story behind the thoroughly refuted-but still devoutly believed—claim of…

Hector Avalos - The End of Biblical Studies

January 07, 2011

Robert Price interviews fellow Bible Geek and secular Bible scholar Hector Avalos on a wide range of topics, from the increasingly devotional character of the Society of Biblical Literature to law enforcement in the Bible and whether Ezekiel was seeing a flying saucer.

Did Abraham exist? How about Moses? David? Solomon? Jesus? Is there a future for Biblical Studied as we relegate it to the same level as the Iliad and the Odyssey?

Hector Avalos serves as professor of religious studies at Iowa State University. Once upon a time, he was a Pentecostal preacher and a child evangelist. Since then he…