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Suggestions for Guests (Merged)
Posted: 01 October 2010 09:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 181 ]
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I have a BRILLIANT suggestion:


wrongology

I dont think I ever got so much out of a web article, it was fascinating from start to finish.  It’s a very rich area of human interest from the psychological and scientific point of view.  Most highly recommended!

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Posted: 27 October 2010 07:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 182 ]
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How about James Onen - from Freethought Kampala?

http://freethoughtkampala.wordpress.com/

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Posted: 07 January 2011 08:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 183 ]
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Author Seth Mnookin just came out with “The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear”

It deals with the British doctor who was just shown to be a fraud with his claims linking vaccinations to autism.

Manufactured public distrust of vaccinations is a really important topic affecting millions and fits right into POI’s job description.

51fFKulHhqL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

PS: Just heard Seth Mnookin on NPR’s On the Media.
You can find it in their Jan 7, 2011 archive
http://onthemedia.org/transcripts/2011/01/07/04 or here: http://onthemedia.org

Worth a listen, but it sounded like Mnookin has a lot more to tell than he could talk about in this short segment.

[ Edited: 08 January 2011 11:44 AM by moreover ]
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Posted: 16 January 2011 06:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 184 ]
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How ‘bout interviewing Prof. Mark Levi of Pennsylvania State University.  He has a good looking book called _The_Mathematical_Mechanic_.

Maybe Reviel Netz who is researching the Archimedes Palimpsest thanks to the generous owner, and has published ­_The_Works_of_Archimedes_Translation_and_Commentary_Volume_1 through Cambridge University Press.

Maybe interview the people of the Kinsey Institute.

Maybe interview someone from online education projects like: the Cassiopeia Project, or the Khan Academy by Salman Khan, the people of MacTutor History of Mathematics archive created by John J O’Connor and Edmund F Robertson at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and the people behind Ask Dr. Math of Drexel University supported by Goodwin College,

Maybe some mathematical software projects like: Stephen Wolfram’s Mathematica software and other projects, Sage open-Source mathematical software system by William Stein, Gnu Octave for numerical computations by John W. Eaton, MatLAB by Jack Little and Cleve Moler. Maplesoft mathematics software by president Jim Cooper and others.

The Google library is a real paradigm shift for publishing.  The old books that are now public domain used to be old tattered rare books, but are now just a click away.  Very democratizing.  Interview the people at Google.

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Posted: 30 March 2011 03:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 185 ]
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What about Thomas Metzinger?

He is a philosopher and main player in consciousness and neurological research, and has profound ideas about spirituality. He sees religion as opposed to spirituality, and science and spirituality as originating from the same value.

Should interest Chris Mooney… And surely some others on this forum too.

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“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

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Posted: 15 May 2011 11:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 186 ]
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That ties into the idea that religion is a byproduct of something that is actually useful for humans as social animals to have.  There’s ultimately no qualitative difference between religions and cults, just quantitative differences in the degree to which they control and isolate their members from non-members.  Just like appendicitis is a byproduct of the benefit of having a little reservoir of friendly gut bacteria around to repopulate your gut after you’ve consumed something that threw off your gut ecosystem.  How’s that for a slogan?  Religion is appendicitis of spirituality!  wink

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Homeopaths don’t have brains, just skull water with the memory of brains - Robin Ince of The Infinite Monkey Cage podcast
The phrase “False Prophet” is redundant.  Cleanliness is next to… nothing.
I don’t have a God-shaped hole in my soul.  You have a Reason-shaped hole in your head!

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Posted: 19 May 2011 07:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 187 ]
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Bart Ehrman would be a great candidate in my opinion. I’d like to hear what he has to say on his new book Forged.

Also, Robert Price on “The Case Against the Case for Christ” would be awesome.

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Posted: 19 May 2011 09:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 188 ]
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Annie Laurie Gaylor and/or Dan Barker of FFRF.org   They might have something to say on the accommodationist vs “hard” atheist approach.  Annie Laurie may be one of the few female “hard” atheists around.  It might be interesting to hear her take on why that is… considering how religious nonsense tends to have consequences which fall most heavily on women…. (abortion, “obey thy male relatives”, etc.)

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Homeopaths don’t have brains, just skull water with the memory of brains - Robin Ince of The Infinite Monkey Cage podcast
The phrase “False Prophet” is redundant.  Cleanliness is next to… nothing.
I don’t have a God-shaped hole in my soul.  You have a Reason-shaped hole in your head!

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Posted: 30 May 2011 03:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 189 ]
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I recently read the fascinating book “Wicked Company” by Philipp Blom and reckon he might make a really interesting interviewee, not only because of his knowledge of enlightenment history but also because of his thoughts on why a “watered down”, deistic enlightenment was more compatible with the French revolution and industrial 19th century than the “radical” views of Holbach and Diderot, or how enlightenment is under attack today. Perhaps a new angle on the whole issue of accomodationism?
Also, I second Thomas Metzinger.

[ Edited: 30 May 2011 04:26 AM by Infozombie ]
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Posted: 03 June 2011 10:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 190 ]
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Joshua Slocum - 22 June 2010 05:15 PM
DarronS - 21 June 2010 08:38 PM

Chris,

Get Jerry Coyne or Ophelia Benson on your show and debate the ethics of science journalists taking money from evangelical Christians apologetics organizations. Follow it up with an episode debating the ethics of the so-called New Atheists.

Just a couple of ideas to mix it up a bit and get away from the weekly Climate Change shows.

Sincerely,

Darron

Indeed. Also, please touch on the ethics of CFI employees taking Templeton money (let’s be explicit about it), unfairly maligning outspoken atheists by taking cheap shots and characterizing their views falsely at every turn, and the wisdom of suggesting that a large portion of the people likely to make up CFI membership should be quiet and asked not to speak up because they’re extreme and “unhelpful.”

I don’t think Chris Mooney would be the right host for that week’s show.

I agree, this would be a good topic for a future POI, but see no reason why Mooney shouldn’t be the host for it.  He might clarify his side of this ongoing fight.  I’ve listened to a lot of podcasts now that he’s hosted and he’s very good in that role.  I’m agnostic re his ethics—in that I don’t know the details (and am not that interested in them) of how this fight got started.    There’s nothing unethical in taking Templeton’s money per se, IMHO, unless he’s adjusting his professed beliefs to line up better with Templeton’s to get the gig.  The Templeton sponsored prayer study pretty much demonstrates that Templeton isn’t being unethical by (for example) distorting the results of the studies they fund.

As far as maligning outspoken atheists… they are outspoken, so let them speak out to refute any unfair charges… or refute the charges yourself.  AFAIK, I’ve not read anything in the “New Atheist” literature to which one could object on the grounds of being “unhelpful”, but Mooney is (as are we all) entitled to his opinion on that point and any others.  Let’s have a definitive clearing of the air on this issue ... if that’s possible.

Nothing wrong with the climate change shows, IMHO.  The continuing habitability of the planet does seem to merit some serious consideration.  There should be more of them.  I’m listening to 4/9/2010 POI now and re the geo-engineering idea, I’m wondering if maybe the Icelandic volcano eruptions are a portent of planetary feedback mechanisms which might solve the problem for us by extra volcanic activity as the ice caps weight is reduced.  The extra volcanism could amount to several Pinatubos (and maybe even a few Krakatoas) with enough particles ejected into the stratosphere to ground world air traffic and induce dramatic global volcanic winter effects to (at least temporarily) reset the state of global warming and give us time to come up more permanent solutions.

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Homeopaths don’t have brains, just skull water with the memory of brains - Robin Ince of The Infinite Monkey Cage podcast
The phrase “False Prophet” is redundant.  Cleanliness is next to… nothing.
I don’t have a God-shaped hole in my soul.  You have a Reason-shaped hole in your head!

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Posted: 03 June 2011 12:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 191 ]
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CMooney - 23 June 2010 05:52 AM

Thanks for this thread. If I might make a comment or two…
...
Also, for my views on the Templeton Cambridge fellowship, please see this long post

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/intersection/2010/06/10/science-and-religion-on-the-cam-part-ii/

thanks

chris

Hi, Chris.

You’re doing a great job as a host of POI.

I’m a bit befuddled about all the vitriol in the debate about your ethics.  The Templeton thing seems to be a question of some “New Atheists” being a bit puritanical regarding associating with an organization whose aim is clearly to promote religion.  Since the Templeton Foundation allowed the true results of the Effectiveness of Prayer study to come out without attempting to influence the outcome, I don’t see a problem taking their money as long as you use it to pursue the truth.  I have no fear that the truth will come out on the side of the religionists.  All the discoveries since the beginning of the Enlightnment have come out against religious dogma.  I don’t see how that trend could end.  As far as you telling the “New Atheists” to sit down and shut up… I’ve not seen anything anywhere near that direct. 

I don’t agree that the “New Atheists” ... even Hitchens ... are being unhelpful, but obviously, you’re entitled to take a different view on that (or any other) point.

I think you should have a POI podcast session (or several of them if necessary) with some of the more vociferous of your detractors to go over all these issues.

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Homeopaths don’t have brains, just skull water with the memory of brains - Robin Ince of The Infinite Monkey Cage podcast
The phrase “False Prophet” is redundant.  Cleanliness is next to… nothing.
I don’t have a God-shaped hole in my soul.  You have a Reason-shaped hole in your head!

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Posted: 04 June 2011 10:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 192 ]
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Infozombie - 30 May 2011 03:51 AM

I recently read the fascinating book “Wicked Company” by Philipp Blom and reckon he might make a really interesting interviewee, not only because of his knowledge of enlightenment history but also because of his thoughts on why a “watered down”, deistic enlightenment was more compatible with the French revolution and industrial 19th century than the “radical” views of Holbach and Diderot, or how enlightenment is under attack today. Perhaps a new angle on the whole issue of accomodationism?
Also, I second Thomas Metzinger.

I second Blom’s nomination. Holbach and Diderot anticipated the New Atheists in many ways. You can read the introduction to A Wicked Company here:

http://www.philipp-blom.eu/Downloads/INTRODUCTION - A Wicked Company.pdf

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Mark Plus, Advanced Atheist
"There was a time before reason and science when my ancestors believed in all manner of nonsense." Narim on Stargate SG-1.

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Posted: 08 June 2011 05:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 193 ]
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Hey, I would like to hear an interview w/ Walden Bello, author of Dilemmas Of Domination and The Future In The Balance. Our economics, our capitalism is destroying the planet, it is already true—and I would like to hear what he has to say about this. As I’ve said before, America is the windiest place on the planet and yet we rely upon crude oil and subsidize the industry which is the most profitable on planet Earth at the same time.

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We have one choice, either we are going to die on a living planet or we are going to try to live on a dead one.

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Posted: 12 June 2011 07:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 194 ]
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Here’s a short speech by Philipp Blom on the topic of fanaticism, which he uses to touch upon some of the matters discussed in his book A Wicked Company.

[ Edited: 27 June 2011 11:44 AM by Infozombie ]
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Posted: 12 June 2011 11:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 195 ]
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...listened to Philipp Blom; good suggestion.

[ Edited: 12 June 2011 11:18 AM by neolib=plndr ]
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We have one choice, either we are going to die on a living planet or we are going to try to live on a dead one.

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