Yep! Here we are!
Remember to follow the Think Atheist Radio Show on Twitter and Facebook for show news and features plus Sunday School links throughout the week! I've started a feature called Bookmarks on the Think Atheist Radio Show Blog, posting some thoughts on all the books we read in order to prepare for the show. I've posted another edition of Bookmarks, our series on books we're reading to prepare for the show. This one is on tonight's guest Dr. Bart Ehrman's new book, Did Jesus Exist? The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth. There's some problems with the book, but it's still a must read because Ehrman is the only New Testament and historical Jesus scholar that's doing any kind of engaging with the mythicists' arguments. Read this edition of Bookmarks to learn more.
Hey guys, if you have any suggestions for who you think we should interview– whether they have a book coming out, released a book recently, or have never written a book!– let us know by using the contact form on the TA Radio site and we'll see what we can do about bringing them on to talk to us! We'd love your input!
And of course as mentioned already, this week we're featuring our interview Dr. Bart Ehrman. Dr. Ehrman is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A scholar of the New Testament, he has both a Masters of Divinity and Ph.D from Princeton Theological Seminary where he received magna cum laude honors. He has written numerous scholarly and popular level books on the New Testament, early Christianity and the question of the historical Jesus (HJ). His popular level books are eminently readable introductions to the field of New Testament studies and HJ scholarship. His books Misquoting Jesus, Lost Christianities, and Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium are particularly well recommended. The interview will be available at ThinkAtheistRadio.com at 5pm Pacific/8pm Eastern tonight and then at any time after that. I'll update this page here with the link to the show page right at show time! We discussed the methodology HJ scholars use to peel back the layers of the Gospels and reconstruct their view of who Jesus was and what he is likely to have done and said.
Alright, alright, get to the links; I hear you! :)
Let's get this out of the way immediately. Reason Rally! Did you go? Say so in the comments and tell everyone what you thought about it. Were the speakers/entertainers good? Did it rain a lot? Did you get to meet some peeps?
Before the event, earlier in the week, PZ Myers posted to his blog with his thoughts on the inclusion of Senator Tom Harkin and Bill Maher in the event owing to both their decidedly unreasonable positions on certain things. Others disagreed. For them, it was a rally for secularism, and that could include people who we might think hold views counter to reason on other issues. Hemant Mehta asked if we would deny President Obama the opportunity to speak simply because he identifies as a Christian and has supported faith based initiatives and prayer breakfasts. American Atheists President David Silverman wrote to offer why we need a reason rally.
Classy as always, the Catholic Church puts legal pressure on a clergy abuse survivors network in an apparent attempt to shut them down or at least reduce their effectiveness.
This is your brain on fiction. Turns out stories stimulate the brain in unique ways and may even be able to change how we act in life.
Rowan Williams flees the sinking ship. Of the nine times that the Archbishop of Canterbury has resigned, all but two have been in the 20th century. The sixth time in a row that the man in that position has resigned, prior to the 20th century only two had ever resigned, and neither of them was within 500 years of the present. A sinking ship indeed!
So I think we all readily acknowledge the evil of Hell as a doctrine, but have you considered that Heaven is just as evil?
What are the mysteries left to discover within our own solar neighborhood?
Jerry Coyne wrote a piece on free will for a special feature in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Russell Blackford wrote at Talking Philosophy to offer some thoughts on Coyne's piece. (follow the Coyne link where you'll find links to the other submissions in the special feature; fascinating reading)
Last week alone over 2,600 weather records were broken, including over 1,000 new high temperature marks nationwide. This will go down as the 4th warmest winter on record.
A new supernova was spotted popping off in a nearby spiral galaxy and is being closely monitored (note: "nearby" in the context of space is 35-40 million light years away [a light year being about 6 trillion miles! start counting right now, one per second for 24 hours, and it would take you more than 31,000 years to get to 1 trillion seconds. "nearby" LOL])
Saturn's icy moon Dione 'may be active' according to new images from Cassini.
News out this week is that the Dutch Roman Catholic Church 'castrated at least 10 boys' back in the 50's to rid them of homosexuality.
Does 'militant secularism' exist? One things for sure "If you turn on the news tonight and hear of a bomber slaughtering civilians anywhere from Nigeria to the London Underground ... the bombers will not be readers of Richard Dawkins."
The connections in the brain may be the key to understanding that organ. (The piece features a good deal of talk about the work of neuroscientist Dr. Sebastian Seung whom we interviewed at the release of his recently published book on the topic of the brain's connections and what they might mean for understanding of ourselves. Check that out to hear him discuss these questions and this new branch of science.)
A revision to some temperature measurements doesn't change global warming.
A new survey released by the Pew Forum indicates that more people feel that politicians talk too much about religion.
Issues of language, lexicography, culture, taxonomy, and biology played a role in a discussion that took place this week on the question of whether humans are in fact apes or that that's not precisely accurate. Coyne kicked things off to say yes. Hawks said no. Then Wilkins sided with Coyne. Brian Switek pointed out that in a certain relevant sense, we're all fish too.
It's no secret that Jesus is supposed to have ministered to the poor and downtrodden. But why are the overtly religious Christian conservatives putting out a budget that prominent religious leaders are denouncing as immoral and irresponsible?
Astronomers in Chile train their telescope on an area of the sky about eight times the size of the full moon (but only .004% of the entire sky) and park it there for 55 hours. The result? Mind freaking blown! This is a must see! Seriously, as a visitor to this blog, if you're the kind of person I think you are, you WANT to see this. And check out Ethan Siegel's post where he's embedded a couple of great videos, one that explains just where the portion of sky is located and another that zooms in and pans around the monster 17,100x11,000 pixel image!
A post on the Black Skeptics blog calls out racism on the RichardDawkins.net forums.
In this age of ignorance, idiocy seems to be our new national goal.
Our guest on the Think Atheist Radio Show, Dr. Bart Ehrman posted at the Huffington Post to publicize his new book Did Jesus Exist? with a piece on the subject of the question of an historical Jesus. Historian and philosopher Richard Carrier took issue with much of Ehrman's piece, calling him out for the commission of several fallacies and errors of fact. We'll have him return to the show soon (he's joined us before). We'll have Dr. Carrier talk to us about where he believes historical Jesus scholars like Dr. Ehrman go wrong in the context of discussing Dr. Carrier's new book Proving History. Remember, you can schedule email reminders so that you don't miss any of our upcoming shows!
Jason Rosenhouse's Evolution Blog has been featured on Sunday School many times before. Now he's talking about his experiences going to creationist conferences over the last ten years. Much of what he's found is curious and surprising.
An excellent long read examining whether theism provides the kind of things that theists claim atheism lacks when it comes to morality.