Think Atheist Radio Show: Past and Future Guest Resource
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Upcoming Guests of the Think Atheist Radio Show (be sure to tune-in):
Mr. Guy P. Harrison- Mr. Harrison is a journalist and writer by trade, having won awards for his writing and photography. Editorial writer, world news editor, sports editor, photographer, page designer, and columnist: he's been around the news industry. He's also a sometime teacher of history with a degree in history and anthropology. He is the author of the highly recommended 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in God. But it's a discussion of his new book, 50 Popular Beliefs That People Think Are True, that we're excited to bring you. This book functions as an encyclopedia and bibliography of nonsense beliefs and should be on every skeptic's bookshelf!
Past Guests of the Think Atheist Radio Show:
Dr. Russell Blackford- Dr. Blackford is an Australian philosopher, writer, and literary critic. A columnist for Free Inquiry magazine, he is a Conjoint Lecturer at the School of Humanities and Social Science at the University of Newcastle and the editor-in-cheif of the Journal of Evolution and Technology. Well known for his excellent book, 50 Voices of Disbelief: Why We Are Atheists, written with co-author Udo Shuklenk, his new book is Freedom of Religion and the Secular State. Where do the rights of the religious to practice end and civil law begin? How should a secular state be structured? Anyone interested in church/state issues must tune in!
Dr. Sebastian Seung- Dr. Seung is a professor of computational neuroscience at MIT. A leading researcher in the emerging field of connectomics– the field of study that is attempting to map the connections in our brains– he has made important advances in artificial intelligence, neuroscience, neuroeconomics, and statistical physics. His recently published book, Connectome, does just what the subtitle says, explains how the brain's wiring makes us who we are. With implications for personality, identity, intelligence, memory, and even disorders such as autism and schizophrenia, this is a wide-ranging and fascinating book on a subject that would be right at home in a sci-fi movie but is in fact real! Don't miss this discussion!
Dr. Jessica Pierce- Dr. Pierce holds a position of Faculty Associate at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Center for Bioethics and Humanities. Working in bioethics, she is the author or co-author of Morality Play: Case Studies in Ethics, Contemporary Bioethics: A Reader With Cases, Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals. It's this last title– Moral Lives– that we asked Dr. Pierce to talk with us about. What does it say about human morality and what does it mean for the study of it that many animals demonstrate behaviors that can only be described with words like "justice", "fairness", and "altruism"? Join us for the discussion!
Dr. Elliott Sober- Dr. Sober is the Hans Reichenbach Professor and William F. Vilas Research Professor at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. One of the world's outstanding Philosophers of Science and author of the recently published Did Darwin Write The Origin Backwards?, in addition to numerous additional titles, his interests center on the Philosophy of Biology, evolution, altruism, and confronting "Intelligent Design". We're so happy Dr. Sober joined us to discuss evolution, The Design Argument, Fine-Tuning, and much more.
Mr. Cullen Murphy- Mr. Murphy, having previously spent 20 years with The Atlantic Monthly, serving as Managing Editor, is Editor-at-Large for Vanity Fair magazine. The author of The Word According to Eve: Women and the Bible in Ancient Times and Our Own and Are We Rome? The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America, in his newest book he put The Inquisition under the microscope. What were the conditions that gave rise to it, was there one inquisition or several, was The Inquisition always about heretics, how many people died at the hands of the inquisitors, and is there something of The Inquisition left today? These are just some of the questions answered in Mr. Murphy's new book, God's Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World.
Dr. Lawrence Krauss (II)- Dr. Krauss is a theoretical physicist at Arizona State University where he is the director of that school's “Origins Project”. His research interests include the interface between elementary particle physics and cosmology, where his studies include the early universe, the nature of dark matter, general relativity and neutrino astrophysics. He is the author of, among others, The Physics of Star Trek and Atom: A Single Oxygen Atom's Journey from the Big Bang, to Life on Earth...and Beyond. Our first official return guest, Dr. Krauss joins us to discuss his newest book, A Universe From Nothing– What is "nothing"? How do we know what it's like? How do we know the universe is the product of an initial state of "nothing"? He has the answers and he's going to give them to us...
Dr. Robert McCauley- Dr. McCauley is the William Rand Kenan Jr. Professor and the Director of the Center for Mind, Brain, and Culture at Emory University. Considered to be one of the founders of the Cognitive Science of Religion, his research interests in this area have centered on the cognitive foundations of religion and religious ritual. His work (often in collaboration with another founder of the field, E. Thomas Lawson) has provided many insights into the evolved cognitive mechanisms that underpin religious thought. Dr. McCauley joins us to discuss his lively and fascinating new book, Why Religion is Natural and Science is Not.
Dr. Phil Zuckerman- Dr. Zuckerman is a Professor of Sociology at California's Pitzer College. His research interests include atheism, secularism, and apostasy. His essays for numerous news outlets are well worth a read– see here and here for instance!)– and he is the author of the great Society Without God about how the healthiest societies in the world are also those that are the least religious, but we're eager to have him talk to us about his new book Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion. Dr. Zuckerman joins us to tells about the results of extensive interviews he performed looking into the reasons why people apostasize. The results are compellingly personal and fascinating!
Dr. Philip Kitcher- Dr. Kitcher is a Philosopher of Science with interests in the evolution of altruism and morality, the science/religion divide, and more. He is the John Dewey Professor of Philosophy at New York's Columbia University and the winner in 2006 of the American Philosophical Association's Prometheus Prize for achievements in the Philosophy of Science. He is the author of the recently released The Ethical Project about the evolution and development of morality and ethics. He joins us to discuss the topic of his new book.
Dr. Terrence Deacon- Dr. Deacon is the Anthropology Department Chair at the University of California, Berkley. His interests center on brain-development and evolution, the origins of language, and emergence. His research combines evolution and neuroscience to shed light on the evolution of human cognition. He is the author of the new Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter about the evolution and emergence of consciousness. It is this subject that Dr. Deacon joins us to discuss.
Dr. Lisa Randall- Dr. Randall is a leading expert in physics and cosmology and one of the most cited physicists alive today. A professor at the Harvard University Department of Physics, she is the author of Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions and her new book Knocking on Heaven's Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World. She joins us to talk about her book, recent experimental results from physics dealing with faster than light neutrinos and the Higgs boson, and about the scientific worldview generally.
Mr. Sean Faircloth- Mr. Faircloth, having previously served 5 terms in the Maine Legislature, is the former Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America and now the Director of Strategy and Policy for the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, touring with Richard Dawkins throughout the US as the opening speaker for Professor Dawkins. He is the author of the newly released Attack of the Theocrats!How the Religious Right Harms Us All - and What We Can Do About It. Mr. Faircloth joins us to discuss moves on the part of the Religious Right to create a theocracy in the US and, as the book's title suggests, what we can do about it.
Dr. Graham Oppy- Dr. Oppy is a Professor of Philosophy and Associate Dean of Research at Monash University with a focus on the Philosophy of Religion. He is the author of Arguing About Gods, a book remarkable for its scope and insightfulness, and Ontological Arguments and Belief in God, a book indispensable to anyone interested in a serious look at ontological arguments for god. We're thrilled to have Dr. Oppy join us to talk about the state of the discussion in the Philosophy of Religion and the rise of the "New Atheism".
Dr. Alex Rosenberg- Dr. Rosenberg is the R. Taylor Cole Professor and chair of the Philosophy Department at Duke University and co-director of the Duke Center for Philosophy of Biology. He is the author of his newly released book, The Atheist's Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life Without Illusions. We at the show love this book! You will too. Dr. Rosenberg joins us to talk about naturalism, meaning, free will, morality, and more!
Dr. David Deamer- Dr. Deamer is a biochemist at the University of California Santa Cruz and the NASA Astrobiology Institute working on the role of membranes in the origin of cellular life on Earth. His research over the last 30 years has contributed greatly to solving the riddle of abiogenesis. He is the author of the newly published First Life: Discovering the Connections between Stars, Cells, and How Life Began. Dr. Deamer joins us to talk about the latest research into the origin of life on Earth.
Dr. Maarten Boudry- Dr. Boudry is a philosopher and Doctoral Researcher at Ghent University in Belgium. I first became aware of Dr. Boudry late last year during the extended back and forth between Jerry Coyne, PZ Myers, Sean Carroll and others on the question of whether there could ever be convincing evidence for the existence of God. Dr. Boudry's work was cited and discussed and made quite an impression. His doctoral dissertation, Here Be Dragons (pdf), recently came across my radar, the reading of which gave me no less of a reason to be impressed. He joined us to talk about whether science can say anything about the supernatural, "irreducible complexity", and the demarcation between science vs. pseudoscience.
Mr. Thomas Riskas- Mr. Riskas, author of Deconstructing Mormonism, was a member of the Mormon faith for more than 20 years while serving in various leadership roles including, even, as a High Priest before formally leaving the Church in 2002. His new book, for which world-renowned philosopher and scholar Kai Nielsen wrote the foreword, finds Mormonism's "theological truth-claims are ultimately false or incoherent, and therefore unjustifiable and unwarranted as truth-claims." But don't for a second mistake this as a book solely applicable to Mormonism. Almost from beginning to end its points are just as forceful against theism in general!
Mr. James Randi- Mr. Randi hardly needs us to write him an introduction! A former magician and escapologist, once he retired he took to debunking paranormal claims, busting hucksters and charlatans. The author of Flim-Flam!, he is the namesake for the James Randi Educational Foundation and offers $1 million as a challenge to anyone that can demonstrate their paranormal ability under controlled conditions. To date no one has taken a dime from the foundation...
Dr. Christopher DiCarlo- Dr. DiCarlo is a Philosopher of Science and Ethics with research interests centering on cognitive evolution: why humans think and act the way we do. He is a former Visiting Research Scholar at Harvard University in the Department of Anthropology in addition to the 2008 Canadian Humanist of the year. Dr. DiCarlo is the author of the recently released How to Become a Really Good Pain in the Ass: A Critical Thinker's Guide to Asking the Right Questions. Dr. DiCarlo joined us to talk about critical thinking and the best ways to hold others accountable for what they believe and how they act.
Ms. Janet Heimlich- Ms. Heimlich, formerly a freelance reporter for National Public Radio, is an independent journalist. She has published investigative journalistic articles, human-interest stories, and book reviews in numerous publications. She is the author of the newly released, Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment. In an expose that is always powerful, often heartbreaking, and sometimes infuriating, the book exposes the nature and extent of religious child abuse in America. She joined us to talk about the subject of her book: physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, plus the withholding of medical care of children, all with religion as its justification.
Dr. Cameron M. Smith- Dr. Smith is a professor of archaeology and human evolution at Portland State University. In addition to publishing in peer-reviewed research journals he has published in numerous print publications. He is the author of numerous books, but, for our purposes, we'll focus on two of them, The Top Ten Myths About Evolution (with Charles Sullivan) and, his newest, The Fact of Evolution. Dr. Smith joined us to talk about evolution and evolutionary concepts.
Ms. Janet Reitman- Ms. Reitman is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, for which she covered the war in Iraq and a wide range of other topics. She is the author of Inside Scientology, which was based on her National Magazine Award-nominated story of the same name published in Rolling Stone in March, 2006. She is the first American journalist to publish a major book on Scientology, and the only writer to have charted its full history. Ms. Reitman joined us about the history, beliefs, and practices of Scientology and about the controversies surrounding it.
Dr. Jaco Gericke- Dr. Gericke, of North-West University in South Africa, holds the Doctor of Letters degree in Semitic Languages and a Ph.D. in Old Testament with a focus in Philosophy of Religion. He is the author of many papers, one of those appearing in the new John Loftus anthology, The End of Christianity. Dr. Gericke joined us to talk about the conception of Yahweh in the Old Testament, how this conception is so different from the conception of God today, and what this means for those that profess to believe in the god of the 3 Abrahamic faiths.
Dr. John Teehan- Dr. Teehan is a professor at Hofstra University teaching courses in the philosophy of religion, with a special focus on the problem of evil, religious skepticism and the history of ideas. He has published on moral theory, ethical naturalism, and the impact of evolutionary theory on moral theory. He is the author of In The Name of God: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Ethics and Violence. Dr. Teehan joined us to talk about the subject of his book; how prosocial behavior and in-group/out-group thinking leads to religious violence.
Dr. Dean Buonomano- Dr. Buonomano is a Professor of Neurobiology and Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research explores how computations emerge from neural networks, the neural basis of learning and memory, and how the brain processes and tells time. His new book Brain Bugs does what the subtitle says, shows how the brain’s flaws shape our lives. Dr. Buonomano joined us to talk about the subject of his book, illuminating, as the book’s product description says, “the causes and consequences of these 'bugs' in terms of the brain's innermost workings and their evolutionary purposes.”
Dr. Hector Avalos (special event with John Loftus)- Our special event for this episode is a short segment with John Loftus talking about his new anthology The End of Christianity. Dr. Avalos is a professor of Religious Studies at Iowa State University with PhD's in the Hebrew Bible and Near Eastern Studies from Harvard. In addition to being a vocal critic of "Intelligent Design"/Creationism, his interests run from health care in the Ancient Near East to the foundation of religious violence and the conflict between religion and science. His books include Healthcare and the Rise of Chrsitianity, Fighting Words: The Origins of Religious Violence, and The End of Biblical Studies. He has also contributed to both the John Loftus edited anthologies, The Christian Delusion and The End of Chrsitianity. Dr. Avalos joined us to talk about biblical studies (and his belief that the current paradigm is in need of replacing) and religious violence.
Dr. Daniel Everett- Dr. Everett is a linguist and the Dean of Arts and Sciences at Bentley University. His work with the Pirahã people of the Amazon Basin presents a challenge to the Chomskyan theory of Universal Grammar and has been the subject of much debate among those interested in the evolution of language. He is the author of Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes: Life and Language in the Amazonian Jungle. Dr. Everett joined us to talk about the evolution of language and about his experiences with the Pirahã people of the Amazon. (Of particular interest was how the Pirahã led to his abandoning his faith when in fact he was among them in the first place to convert them to Christianity!)
Dr. J. Anderson Thomson- Dr. Thomson is a psychiatrist in private practice and a staff psychiatrist for Counseling and Psychological Services at the University of Virginia Student Health Services. Dr. Thomson’s current research interest is in the area of evolutionary psychology and the use of its principles to understand depression, suicide terrorism, and religious belief. He is the author of Why We Believe in God(s). Dr. Thomson joined us to talk about the subject of his new book: how evolution has given us cognitive mechanisms that, when they misfire, give us religious thought.
Dr. Steven Novella- Dr. Novella is a major figure in the skeptical movement and a vocal proponent of science based medicine. He is an academic clinical neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine. He is the host and producer of the popular weekly science podcast, The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe. He is also a senior fellow and Director of Science-Based Medicine at the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF). Somehow, he still finds time to blog at the always informative NeuroLogica Blog. Dr. Novella joined us to talk about skepticism, both generally and also with regard to medicine, and about the skeptical movement.
Dr. Stephen Law- Dr. Law is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Heythrop College, University of London and the editor of THINK: Philosophy for Everyone, a journal of the Royal Institute of Philosophy. Dr. Law's books include The Philosophy Gym: 25 Short Adventures in Thinking and The Philosophy Files (for children 12 and up), plus his latest book Believing Bullshit. Dr. Law joined us to talk about the subject of his book- the existence of a few cognitive tools that, when used, will help keep us from believing in bullshit.
Mr. Thomas W. Clark- Mr. Clark is founder and director of the non-profit Center for Naturalism and creator of Naturalism.org. He lectures and writes on science, naturalism, ethics, free will, criminal justice, consciousness, addiction, drug policy, and related philosophical and social concerns. He is the author of the wonderful little book, Encountering Naturalism. Mr. Clark joined us to talk about naturalism and its implications and applications. (Transcript available!)
Dr. Paul Thagard- Dr. Thagard is a professor of philosophy with a cross appointment to psychology and computer science, in addition to being the Director of the Cognitive Science Program and the University Research Chair at his institution. His interests center on emotions and consciousness, moral psychology, explanatory reasoning and decision-making. He is the author of The Brain and the Meaning of Life. Dr. Thagard joined us to talk about what the cognitive sciences can tell us about the questions that have occupied philosophers for hundreds of years and about the value to the skeptic of “inference to the best explanation”.
Dr. Lawrence Krauss- Dr. Krauss is a theoretical physicist at Arizona State University where he is the director of that school's “Origins Project”. His research interests include the interface between elementary particle physics and cosmology, where his studies include the early universe, the nature of dark matter, general relativity and neutrino astrophysics. He is the author of, among others, The Physics of Star Trek, Atom: A Single Oxygen Atom's Journey from the Big Bang, to Life on Earth...and Beyond, and Quantum Man. His newest book, A Universe From Nothing, is set for release in January of 2012. Dr. Krauss joined us to talk about physics, cosmology, cosmological arguments, and why the question “Why is there something rather than nothing?” doesn’t demand an answer the way theists think it does.
Dr. Gregory Dawes- Dr. Dawes is a professor, teaching religious studies and philosophy. His philosophical interests center on the methodological naturalism of modern science. It is this subject that his 2009 book, Theism and Explanation, examines. Dr. Dawes joined us to talk about the subject of his book- just why theistic explanations fail to provide us with the qualities we expect from a good explanation.
Dr. Matt McCormick- Dr. McCormick is a professor teaching philosophy of religion and critical thinking. He blogs at Atheism: Proving the Negative. He is a contributor to the John Loftus anthology The End of Christianity. His recently finished book has been accepted for publication by Prometheus Books and is set for a release in the 1st quarter of 2012. Dr. McCormick joined us to talk about the concept of “proving a negative”, about his “Witchcraft Argument” against the resurrection of Jesus, and about skepticism generally.
Dr. Sean Carroll- Dr. Carroll is a theoretical physicist at Caltech concentrating on the theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. He blogs physics and cosmology at Cosmic Variance. His book From Eternity to Here has been hailed for the lucid accessible way in which the subject of the nature of time is treated. Dr. Carroll joined us to talk about time, physics, cosmology, and skepticism.
Dr. Phil Plait- Dr. Plait is the man behind the Bad Astronomy blog, a multiple award winning blog on astronomy and skepticism that in 2009 was named as one of Time magazine's best blogs. He recently put on a three-part documentary for the Discovery Channel called Phil Plait's Bad Universe. Dr. Plait is the author of two books, Bad Astronomy and Death from the Skies! Dr. Plait joined us to talk about skepticism and the question of how to engage the credulous.
Dr. Valerie Tarico- Dr. Tarico is a psychologist and former fundamentalist Christian who now speaks to secular groups and progressive churches on moral development, the psychology of belief, and wisdom convergence. She is the author of Trusting Doubt, and a contributor to both the John Loftus edited anthologies, The Christian Delusion and The End of Christianity. Dr. Tarico joined us to talk about Evangelical culture and the tactics they use when proselytizing.
Remember, If you enjoy the show and want to see it continue, consider donating, shop the Think Atheist Radio Show Book Store for great books from our guests and some suggestions from us here at the show, or just use this link to shop Amazon.com and Amazon shares a tiny slice of their profits with us that goes to support the show! This is the way to ensure that we're able to continue to bring you these great guests week after week. Help us out!