astrophysicist Mario Livio did a good interview on the radio show “Speaking of Faith”. The hostess occasionally has some scientific/skeptic types on the show, and those episodes seem good. The interviews are normally light-hearted and fun. The hostess gets spiritual at times, but Livio gentle and kindly grounded her back down to Earth, so it was good. Full of good physics, math, and Hubble telescope talk also. Skeptics, do check it out.
The links on the web site are impossible to read, but if you want the links to the audio they are in the black box at the bottom of the big Hubble image. Highlight that text to change the color.
Norm Allen of the CFI did a great interview about Humanism/Atheism for “Tell Me More” on NPR, on Friday May 28, 2010, between approximately 2:00-2:30 p.m. NPR, that is a big broadcast! Norm and the woman he teamed with did great!
I found Allen and the woman to be very refreshing. The really sounded pleasant, intelligent, and clever. I hope that putting a black face on a message like that does help all of our population in the USA, including the blacks, to move more towards humanism.
I think that the move will be toward their benefit. Imagine what a group of humanists could do with the money that is directed away from the churches and toward good social projects. The black churches get credited with doing good works for the black population, but why couldn’t humanists do the same sort of works outside the churches?
Livio did well. The hostess, Tippet, she mentioned videos and lectures that they are doing together [26:10]. I guess that they’ve teamed up for a little while. Although I don’t see the “SOF Live” page that she mentioned, I do see some videos listed on their vimeo page (one of those little icons at the top of the Speaking of Faith page).
I thought it was interesting how Livio mentioned Penrose’s characterizing the universe as having three worlds, one being the physical world, one being the world inside our brains, and the third being mathematics. Then he described how these conflict and are interdependent: the physical world creating images in our brains, our brains inventing/discovering the mathematical; and that world defining and describing the physical. I thought that was clever.
A person who “... needs a god that is there for him or her every day, every minute every second. Science has nothing to say about a god like this. This is in a completely parallel plain…” without overlap [21:44, though that thought begins at about 19:50], agreeing with Stephen J. Gould’s two separate majesteria.
And most important, Livio and I think that Tippet agrees, that science should be communicated like art is, as culture. For example, Livio explained that the Hubble has brought the great passion for discovery into people’s homes, this is important to Livio. I wonder how science/discovery can be comunicated better, maybe dramatized?
I’ve outlined the highlights in the audio, if you’d like:
is math discovered, or invented: 7:07
Roger Penrose’s three worlds: 10:18
beauty and mathematicians; symmetry : 13:13
science/art/religion influencing each other: 19:50
God is a mathematician : 25:20
SOF live page: 26:00
Alfred North Whitehead: 30:20
more mystery: 31:17
baby-steps; Jack Szostak: 36:27
Hubble telescope; communicating science like art is communicated, as culture: 37:15
new mysteries, 1998, dark energy: 43:40
humans at the center?: 42:16
Lord Kelvin; everything has been solved but just two small problems: 46:45
“Who ordered this?”: 47:25
Did anyone see “What Darwin Never Knew” on PBS? An excellent documentary summizing
Darwin, and highlighting some recent genetic discoveries that reveal evolution, and
some modern examples of evolution being documented from a desert mouse and elsewhere!
Good interviews of some scientists too.
Professor Al-Khalili is doing well with the show “Unlocking the Universe” on the Science Channel He’s a nuclear physicist, he’s been explaining the history of chemistry, highlighting some of the big leaps forward, the people, and showing some of the tools.
Richard Dawkins interviewed in the show just before that one, he did well too. He has a new book out, “The Magic of Reality”. His interview focused on the conflict between him and the religious extremists, and the differences between the good “magic” of discovering the real world, and the “nonsense” of the supernatural world.