Episode Archive for May 2012

Christof Koch - Consciousness and Free Will

May 28, 2012

Recently, there has been a flurry of neuroscientists declaring that free will is an illusion in the popular press. But before we can assess the extent to which we are zombies, we need to first tackle the question of what, exactly, is consciousness. To get up to speed on the state of the art, we talked to Christof Koch, a colorful pioneer in the application of scientific tools to delineate the neural correlates of consciousness, whose famous 18-year collaboration with Francis Crick helped legitimize the field. Koch has never shied away from controversy, commenting on sentience in machines and…

Johan Braeckman - The Rise of Islamic Creationism

May 21, 2012

Over the weekend, I was fortunate enough to attend the 2012 World Skeptics Conference in Berlin.

It’s important to keep tabs on our skeptical and freethinking colleagues around the world, and the challenges they’re facing. And in this case, perhaps the most disturbing story out of the conference involved the spread of a new form of creationism—namely, Islamic creationism—in Europe.

It’s a topic I’ve wanted to explore on the show for some time. So in Berlin, I stopped to speak with Johan Braeckman, who has been tracking the subject closely.

Johan Braeckman is…

Greta Christina - Why Are You Atheists So Angry?

May 14, 2012

Our guest this week is Greta Christina, a leading atheist blogger, speaker, and commentator, and a regular contributor to AlterNet.org.

Christina is author of the new ebook Why Are You Atheists So Angry?: 99 Things that Piss Off the Godless, which grows out of a 2007 blog post on the same topic. The book will also be out in print in June.

Greta Christina blogs at FreeThoughtBlogs.com, and her writing has appeared, among other places, in Ms., Penthouse, Chicago Sun-Times, On Our Backs, and Skeptical Inquirer. She is editor of the “Best Erotic Comics” anthology series,…