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This week on Think Atheist Radio we're featuring our conversation with Dr. Stuart Firestein. Dr. Firestein is the Chair of Columbia University's Department of Biological Sciences. There, he and his colleagues do research looking into the vertebrate olfactory system. He presents a highly popular course at Columbia on ignorance, inviting scientists from varied disciplines to come talk to students about what we don't know. Committed to increasing the public's appreciation of the sciences, he is an advisor to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation's program for the Public Understanding of Science. This, in addition to his being a recipient in 2011 of the Lenfest Distinguished Faculty Award, given to recognize excellence in scholarship and teaching. And certainly not least of all, he was recognized by his peers by being named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. We asked Dr. Firestein to join us on the recent publication of his book Ignorance: How it Drives Science. It's a fascinating discussion touching on the history of science, how scientists do their work today, offering thoughtful tips on how we can convey the power of the scientific endeavor and ourselves increase appreciation for it. Do listen in!
The National Geographic Channel has shamefully made the decision to put rank stupidity on their air in the form of their new show "Chasing UFOs"
Faye Flam examines the similarities and differences between creationists and climate science deniers.
A 'Biblical Christian' denies reception hall rental to a lesbian couple.
What do animals think about? New studies are revealing the cognitive abilities of animals.
The Salvation Army's Media Relations Director says that non-celibate gays are deserving of death. As if the SA's stated bigoted position on homosexuality wasn't already enough reason never to donate money or clothing to this disgusting organization... And this regardless of the apology that the SA has offered for the comments.
A group of Mormons quit the church in a mass resignation yesterday owing to disagreements over polygamy and LGBT rights.
Recent reporting on the results of the 2012 Australian census touted the impressive gains nonbelievers have made in that country. But could those gains have been under-reported? A look at the raw data suggests the possibility.
The Supreme Court declined to hear the establishment clause case appeal regarding the Mt. Soledad cross letting the lower court's ruling of the cross as unconstitutional stand.
Premarital counseling in the military should not be based on Christian beliefs.
Boys circumcised for religious reasons are victims of assault says a German court.
A lesbian teen couple was found shot in the head in a public park in Texas. Obviously a hate crime is assumed given the nature of the crime.
Republican lawmakers are wrong to say that the US Air Force is hostile to religion.
Adam Lee updates us on only the most recent reasons Catholics have for leaving the church. So why is anyone still a Catholic?
Are liberals or conservatives more intelligent? You can tell as early as middle school age.
Con artists cash in on credulity, taking to tv in Ireland claiming to provide psychic readings from real psychics but using stock images for the pictures of their psychics.
The Texas GOP platform for 2012 is just batshit insane. PZ Myers has a run down of some of the stupidity. The most shocking is that they oppose, right there in black and white, teaching critical thinking in schools because it might constitute a challenge to "fixed beliefs".
Astronomers have developed a new method to probe the atmosphere of exoplanets, should make searching for life on those planets easier.
The strong force is one of the four fundamental forces in the universe. Here's a great primer on what it is and what it does.
Which is it? Do nonbelievers become scientists or do people who become scientists become nonbelievers as they're educated in the sciences?
Humanity may have originated in the woods, eating a diet similar to that of chimpanzees.
In a beautiful example of convergent evolution geckos are found to have evolved their sticky feet 11 separate times, and then lost them 9 times.
Yet another "What's the harm in believing in nonsense?"... When stupidity goes unchecked only your dog can get a Lyme Disease vaccination; tough shit for all the people who get an utterly preventable disease each year that don't have to.
Meanwhile, in Canada, bishops there have made it so that girls in Catholic schools can't receive the HPV vaccine, the result being totally avoidable disease and death.
Higgs rumors continue to fly, but might this coming announcement be about something more exotic?
On the "integrated medicine" strawman alleging that only with the addition of unevidenced nonsense can patients can be cared for.