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Tonight we're playing our interview with the man himself, arch-skeptic 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... He joins us to talk about his work, how best to engage with believers in pseudoscience, and the skeptical movement generally.
If you haven't already make sure you check out last week's interview with philosopher Dr. Christopher Dicarlo! There was some fantastic information there. It was one of those chats, of which we've had so many of, that you can walk away from and immediately have some new insight with which to engage theists and believers in pseudoscience!
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It's usually women we hear about being victims of Christianity's unhealthy views about sexuality but let's not forget the men that have been deeply affected.
This video is notable both for the fact that "medium" Leigh Catherine agrees to take James Randi's $1Million challenge but it's also a great example (from the skeptic on the panel) of how cold reading works and can be so convincing.
Religion stops authoritarians from telling white lies even to the detriment of their associates.
The last few months have seen a good deal of discussion in the atheosphere about how genetics disproves the Adam and Even narrative and what this means for Christianity. Jerry Coyne has been out in front of this since day one. This week saw two responses to Coyne, one from Ross Douthat and another from Andrew Sullivan. Coyne then replied to both of them. Jason Rosenhouse too. Then Sullivan replied. Rosenhouse commented on the reply, pointing out its weaknesses. Coyne too. Eric McDonald wouldn't be left out.
Sean Carroll posted to point to a Philosophy TV discussion between philosophers Owen Flanagan and Alex Rosenberg on the topic "Can Naturalists Believe in Meaning?" It's great stuff, well worth a watch. And- pay attention!- we've already recorded an interview with Alex Rosenberg on the occasion of his newly released (October 3rd) book The Atheist's Guide to Reality. We can't wait to bring it to you guys!
Sean Faircloth posted to point to the government's flagrant policy of ignoring overt violations of the law against electioneering from the pulpit.
Is Uranus knocked over on its side because of two Earth-sized impacts in the past?
Earlier this week the Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to three scientists for discovering that the universe's expansion is speeding up. But what does accelerated expansion physically mean? Ethan Siegel takes us to school...
Why is the universe the way it is? Is it down to God? Well, why is Singapore named Singapore? (Trust me, it's good stuff!)
There's been some more thoughts on the whole superluminal neutrinos story. Is it all down to the variability of Earth's gravity? Even if they were capable of superluminal speeds, would they quickly conk out anyway? There's also been some stupid comments too.
Is there a moral gene? Interesting!
As you're no doubt aware, Steve Jobs died this week. The sad thing is that if he hadn't been "treating" his cancer with alternative "therapy" he may very likely still be alive.
A common enough apologetics trope is that Jesus must have been who he said he was because his death and messiahship was so counter to anything in the Jewish culture of belief and expectation at the time that it was unlikely to have been made up. Trouble is... it's just not true.
100 million years of snowfall (100 meters thick in places!) on Enceladus lends strength to the theory that a massive subsurface water ocean exists there making it a prime candidate for life elsewhere in the solar system.
Conservatives want America to be a Christian Nation– Here's what that would actually look like.
Sean Carroll put together this fantastic FAQ on Dark Energy. A fantastic resource, fascinating.
Supernatural explanations just don't occur to kids. They have to be taught them.
The inner solar system is occupied by the rocky planets, the outer by the gas giants. What about the region out beyond Neptune? Talking Kuiper Belt objects...
Detecting the roots of the notion that humans invented god (as opposed to the other way around).
UCSC scientists use a supercomputer to simulate the evolution of large scale structures in the universe, confirm the Big Bang and dark matter and dark energy.