Episode Archive for February 2012

Gerald Woerlee and Susan Blackmore - Near-Death Experiences and Consciousness

February 27, 2012

One of the costs of being conscious is that, once in a while, we are forced to contemplate the fact that we are mortal. Ironically, a close brush with the grim reaper leaves many people more convinced than ever that our minds are not tethered to our bodies, and therefore can survive physical death. What can these near-death experiences tell us about how well we understand our own consciousness?

To explore this topic, we first talked to anesthesiologist Gerald Woerlee, author of Mortal Minds: The Biology of NDEs to get a sense of what makes NDEs so…

Michael Mann - The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars

February 20, 2012

Our guest this week is Michael Mann, the prominent climatologist and, above all, leading defender of his field—and himself—against political attacks.

Mann is out with a new book this month, which details his ten year battle against political attacks and misrepresentations. It’s called The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches From the Front Lines.

And already, people are attacking it on Amazon.com without having even read it.

Michael Mann is an American climatologist and director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University. He’s a co-founder and contributor to…

Dan Kahan - The Great Ideological Asymmetry Debate

February 13, 2012

So who’s right, factually, about politics and science? Who speaks truth, and who’s just spinning?

It’s kind of the million dollar question. If we could actually answer it, we’d have turned political debate itself into a… well, a science.

And is such an answer possible? What does the scientific evidence suggest?

In this episode of Point of Inquiry, Chris Mooney brought back a popular guest from last year, Yale’s Dan Kahan, to discuss this very question-one that they’ve been emailing about pretty much continually ever since Kahan appeared on the show.

Lawrence Krauss - A Universe from Nothing

February 06, 2012

We had Lawrence Krauss on Point of Inquiry less than a year ago, to discuss his recent book on the scientific works of Richard Feynman.

But in order to keep up with him, we had to have him on again. Already.

You see, Krauss has a new book out that’s causing quite a stir right now—A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather than Nothing.

Here’s a hint as to why: Krauss’s answer to this age-old question isn’t God. In fact, as discussed on the program, Krauss has arguably written the book…