Posts Tagged ‘podcast’
Posted by mattusmaximus on November 26, 2012
I have posted before on the emergence of a more secular demographic within the United States and what appears to be a concurrent decline in religious fundamentalism. However, I listened to a recent Point of Inquiry podcast which got me to look at the question in a different manner, and there appears to be much more work advancing a secular worldview to be done. I especially agree with the idea that atheists should be attempting to find common ground with moderate religious believers and building broader political coalitions, as opposed to alienating those believers simply because we have differences on belief(s) in God. I encourage you to give it a listen…
November 12, 2012
Host: Chris Mooney
On this show, we often debate the state of American secularism—covering topics like the rise of the so-called “nones,” or the unending battle to rescue the country from the pernicious influence of Christian right.
Our guest this week, Jacques Berlinerblau, has a provocative thesis about all this. He says that American secularism has clearly and distinctly lost major ground. And to recover from that loss, well… he’s got some suggestions that might not go down well—but it’s important to hear them.
Even if, you know, you’re not quite ready for a political allegiance with religious moderates.
Jacques Berlinerblau is author of the new book How to be Secular: A Call to Arms for Religious Freedom. He’s an associate professor at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown, where he directs the Program for Jewish Civilization.
Posted in politics, religion, skeptical community | Tagged: agnostic, atheism, atheist, belief, conservative, demographics, evangelical, fundamentalism, fundamentalist, God, How to be Secular, Jacques Berlinerblau, moderate, no-religious, non-religious, none, Pew Poll, Pew Research Center, podcast, Point of Inquiry, poll, Protestant, religion, religious, religious right, research, right, right wing, secular, secularism, survey, unaffiliated, white | Leave a Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on November 10, 2012
While at Dragon*Con 2012 this past Labor Day weekend, I did many things (check them out here and here) but one of the things of which I was most proud was an interview I did with Ted Meissner, who runs the Secular Buddhist website and podcast. In the interview with me and Ted was Melissa Kaercher and Melissa “Missy” Lee, and we had a wide-ranging and fruitful discussion of how skeptics can have productive and civil conversations with believers in woo and the paranormal. Whether you call yourself a skeptic, a believer, or something else entirely, I think this podcast is well worth a listen…
How often do we have conversations where all participants agree, completely, on all points? Just shy of never. Every day, we are going to run into an expected variety of thoughts, opinions, and beliefs. Some of these will be held quite strongly, others not so much. It gets difficult when the passion about ideas is fierce, and the divergence between ideas is wide.
When we do find ourselves in situations where the discussion is going to happen, how can we engage in ways that not only leave doors open, but actively create bridges? Today’s episode is based on a situation that occured at DragonCon, during the science track in a panel discussion about evolution and creationism. It was recorded in a crowded bar, so I thank you for your patience with the background sounds and ask for your understanding that we don’t always have the benefits of quiet, Skype based conversations.
Matt Lowry is a high school physics teacher with a strong interest in promoting science education & critical thinking among his students and the population in general. He is a self-described skeptic, someone who believes in Carl Sagan’s adage that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” His blog The Skeptical Teacher is to allow Matt to expound upon various topics related to skepticism, science, and education.
Melissa Kaercher is a professional colorist, letterer, and web designer from Minneapolis. She is an active part of the skeptic community, participating in Mad Art Lab events, and is a frequent panelist in conventions across the country. Melissa is also co-host of The Geek Life podcast.
Melissa (“Missy”) Lee is the head of Minnesota Skeptics, and is what you might call a “convert” skeptic: once a true believer in all kinds of assorted woo. She values critical thinking skills, and hosts the MN Skeptics Newbie Nights and monthly Drinking Skeptically get togethers in Minneapolis.
Posted in creationism, skeptical community | Tagged: 2012, believers, climate science, creationism, DC, debate, denial, different views, discussion, Dragon*Con, Eugenie Scott, evolution, global warming, interview, Josh Rosneau, Melissa Kaercher, Melissa Lee, National Center for Science Education, NCSE, Nicole Gugliucci, Noisy Astronomer, perspectives, podcast, religion, science, Secular Buddhist, skeptics, Ted Meissner, viewpoints, worldview | 2 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on September 16, 2012
A couple of weeks ago I attended Dragon*Con 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia where I was heavily involved in the Science Track. I helped to run three panels and gave a lecture while there, and I wanted to share those with you here. The first panel I helped to run (I moderated it) was on the question of how real and/or dangerous are various doomsday scenarios. The panelists included me, Bad Astronomer Phil Plait, Bob Novella of the Skeptics Guide to the Universe, psychologist Barbara Drescher, and disaster researcher (and science consultant to the Stargate franchise) Mika McKinnon, and we had a wide-ranging and alternately funny yet serious discussion. I recorded the audio and share it with you below. Enjoy!
Killer asteroids, LHC-generated black holes, nuclear meltdowns, alien invasion, zombie apocalypse, global ecological collapse, financial recession/depression, the Mayan 2012 prophecy… AAAGGHH! Run for your lives! We’re all doomed, DOOMED!!! Or are we? What are some real or imagined doomsday scenarios, how dangerous are they really, and how likely is it that each could occur? If you’re looking for a good scientific look at these questions, with a few chuckles along the way, then this is the panel for you. Join us for a discussion of all things apocalyptic, because talking about the end-of-the-world is fun!
Posted in doomsday | Tagged: 2012, apocalypse, armaggedon, Barbara Drescher, Bob Novella, con, DC, discussion, doomsday, Dragon Con, Dragon*Con, end of the world, humor, judgement day, judgment day, Matt Lowry, Maya, Mika McKinnon, panel, Phil Plait, podcast, prophecy, science, science track, skeptic, skepticism, zombies | 4 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on January 24, 2012
This past September I attended Dragon*Con in Atlanta, and I participated in many events and interviews, etc. However, in my role as both a skeptic and a teacher, one of the most fruitful things I did was to participate in the Skeptrack discussion of how to approach the question of debunking in the context of education. The panel was an important discussion moderated by JREF President, D.J. Grothe on the topic of Education vs. Debunking, how they are different and when and how each should be used to the greatest effect. The discussion dealt with the issue in the context of the classroom as well as beyond in the broader culture. Below is the video footage of the discussion; I hope you find it useful…
Image and video footage courtesy of the fine folks at Skeptrack.org
Posted in education, skeptical community | Tagged: Barbara Drescher, beliefs, Brian Hart, bunk, critical thinking, D.J. Grothe, DC, debunking, discussion, DJ, Dragon Con, Dragon*Con, education, educator, footage, Grothe, inquiry, James Randi, James Randi Educational Foundation, JREF, Kylie Sturgess, Matt Lowry, method, panel, podcast, school, skeptic, Skeptic Magazine, Skeptic's Society, Skepticality, skepticism, Skeptrack, student, teacher, teaching, video | Leave a Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on January 16, 2012
I recently listened to an episode of the Point of Inquiry podcast titled “The Debunking Handbook” which dealt with the question of how to most effectively go about “debunking” various myths, pseudosciences, and misconceptions. The general thrust of the episode, which I highly recommend, is that most of us who call ourselves skeptics don’t really do that good of a job of communicating our debunking in a successful manner. In fact, many skeptics actually make the problem worse by inadvertently reinforcing the bunk they are trying to debunk!
Needless to say, this kind of thing is right up my alley, and I think it is well worth your while to take heed of the advice given in “The Debunking Handbook”…
Posted on 27 November 2011 by John Cook, Stephan Lewandowsky
The Debunking Handbook, a guide to debunking misinformation, is now freely available to download. Although there is a great deal of psychological research on misinformation, there’s no summary of the literature that offers practical guidelines on the most effective ways of reducing the influence of myths. The Debunking Handbook boils the research down into a short, simple summary, intended as a guide for communicators in all areas (not just climate) who encounter misinformation.
The Handbook explores the surprising fact that debunking myths can sometimes reinforce the myth in peoples’ minds. Communicators need to be aware of the various backfire effects and how to avoid them, such as:
Posted in psychology, skeptical community | Tagged: AGW, anthropogenic, anthropogenic global warming, backfire effect, bunk, climate change, debunk, debunker, debunking, Debunking Handbook, denial, deniers, global warming, GW, John Cook, misconception, misinformation, myths, podcast, Point of Inquiry, pseudoscience, psychology, science, skeptic, skeptical, Skeptical Science | Leave a Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on December 27, 2011
Based upon my recent blog post concerning using mythology as a critical thinking tool for children, I was interviewed a few days ago by my skeptical colleague Kylie Sturgess of the Token Skeptic podcast. In the interview we discussed a variety of topics related to this issue, with a touch of fun thrown in for good measure. Check it out!
Posted by Podblack on Sunday, December 25, 2011 · Leave a Comment
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 27:59 — 25.6MB) | Embed
Recently Matt Lowry wrote a blog-post on Using Mythology as a Critical Thinking Tool: The Lesson of Santa for Kids – just as Tim Minchin wrote a piece for the New Statesman about his own efforts to balance a pro-naturalistic worldview and living a life unencumbered by superstition, while raising kids and encouraging a love of fiction.
Matt Lowry is best known as the Skeptical Teacher - a high school physics teacher, plus a part-time physics and astronomy college professor, contributor to the James Randi Educational Foundation Education Advisory Group and awesome presenter for kids’ shows at Dragon*Con.
For this interview we talk about all of these things (and whether Santa might actually be a Time Lord with a sleigh made out of quantum-something-or-other).
During the discussion, we also talk about Barbara Drescher’s blog-post at the JREF Swift: An Argument for Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and (gasp!) Even Jesus. Here’s another great link to the Physics of Santa!
Posted in education, skeptical community | Tagged: analysis, children, Christmas, critical thinking, education, evidence, Holidays, interview, kids, Kylie Sturgess, mall, myth, mythology, observation, physics, podcast, reality, Santa, santa claus, skepticism, Token Skeptic | 3 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on October 8, 2011
While I was at Dragon*Con in Atlanta last month, I did a lot of things. Among them was to be interviewed by my friend and skeptical colleague Ted Meissner, a.k.a. The Secular Buddhist. For a long time, Ted and I have wanted to do a discussion on physics and the martial arts, because we are both skeptics and have a history of martial arts training. And, believe me, if you have been engaged in martial arts training for a considerable amount of time, chances are that you’ve heard some really goofy claims out there. From “no-touch knockouts” to “shielding with chi”, there’s a lot of nonsense being spread around in the martial arts world, and Ted, me, and Brian Gregory (of Virtual Drinking Skeptically) take it all on. Enjoy!
Matt Lowry the Skeptical Teacher, and Brian Gregory of Virtual Drinking Skeptically join us to talk about the myths and facts of the physics of martial arts.
I remember a television show called “That’s Incredible”, and indeed it was. One particular episode had a self-proclaimed martial arts master, James Hydrick who could — supposedly — move pencils and turn phone book pages with his extra-normal powers. This was debunked with a few flakes of packing material on another show, showing how this charlatan was simply using his breath to cause objects to move.
But there are people who mistakenly believe their own press, who think they really do have supernatural powers, or that they are enhancing their strength with invisible fields of cosmic energy. As you can see in one of the embedded videos on the web page for this episode, one fellow comes drastically close to severing his own arm because of this unfounded delusion. It is important for us to question with confidence, to ask for evidence, or else all claims are equally true, and equally, potentially, harmful.
Matt Lowry is a high school physics teacher (plus a part-time physics & astronomy college professor) with a strong interest in promoting science education & critical thinking among his students and the population in general. He is a self-described skeptic, someone who believes in Carl Sagan’s adage that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” His blog The Skeptical Teacher is to allow Matt to expound upon various topics related to skepticism, science, and education.
Brian Gregory is a software engineer that has recently discovered that most of his assumptions about life are wrong; including beliefs, expectations, roles, etc. This transformation, fueled by the Internet, Social Media, Podcasts, and traditional media, has sparked his passion for science, reason, and the naturalistic worldview. Drinking Skeptically is “an informal social event designed to promote fellowship and networking among skeptics, critical-thinkers, and like-minded individuals”. These “real life” groups meet around the country to provide an opportunity for skeptics and skeptic-friendly people to talk, share ideas (and yes, drink) in a casual, relaxed atmosphere.
In case you didn’t notice the Explicit tag in iTunes on this episode, let me just give you an extra warning here: this is an explicit episode. We’re not talking porn, but there may be a light seasoning of expletives. Also be sure to check out the episode page for this episode on The Secular Buddhist website, as I’ve embedded a lot of the videos we talk about on that page. So, sit back, relax, and have a nice… skeptical drink of you choice!
Posted in humor, physics denial/woo | Tagged: Brian Gregory, Buddha, Buddhism, Buddhist, chi, death touch, drinking, enlightenment, fighting, gung fu, interview, ki, kung fu, martial arts, materialism, mechanics, meditation, misconceptions, MMA, mystical, mysticism, myths, natural, naturalism, New Age, no touch knockout, physics, podcast, qi, qigong, secular, Ted Meissner, transcendent, VDS, Virtual Drinking Skeptically, woo, zen | Leave a Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on September 17, 2011
While I was at Dragon*Con a couple of weeks ago, one of the things I did was to participate in a very useful panel discussion on the Skeptrack. The title of the panel was “Education vs. Debunking”, and the panel was an important discussion moderated by JREF President, D.J. Grothe on the topic of Education vs. Debunking, how they are different and when and how each should be used to the greatest effect. The discussion dealt with the issue in the context of the classroom as well as beyond in the broader culture. The entire discussion was recorded and is being broadcast on the Skepticality podcast, so if you’re interested check it out…
Posted in education, skeptical community | Tagged: Barbara Drescher, beliefs, Brian Hart, bunk, critical thinking, D.J. Grothe, DC, debunking, discussion, DJ, Dragon Con, Dragon*Con, education, educator, Grothe, inquiry, James Randi, James Randi Educational Foundation, JREF, Kylie Sturgess, Matt Lowry, method, panel, podcast, school, skeptic, Skeptic Magazine, Skeptic's Society, Skepticality, skepticism, Skeptrack, student, teacher, teaching | Leave a Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on August 14, 2011
I have written before on this blog about the scam called Power-Balance, and how that company has raked in huge gobs of cash by essentially lying to its customers. In fact, in Australia the company has basically been banned for false advertising, and fortunately more and more people are cluing in to this nonsense here in the United States. But to help along everyone’s critical thinking skills as well as expose the Power-Balance for the scam that it is, I want to pass along to you a wonderful opportunity to engage in some easy and fun skeptical activism. Dear reader, I give you the Placebo Band!
The Placebo Band: image courtesy of SkepticBros
There are two outlets for the Placebo Band, the original one at SkepticBros out of Australia and a new North American affiliate at the Placebo Band Store. In addition, you can find testimonials on the power of the Placebo Band, as well as instructions on how to educate your friends on how the whole thing works (hint: think placebo effect, hence the name )
For example, here’s a real* testimonial on the power of the Placebo Band. Order yours today!!!
*And by “real”, I mean totally fake
Posted in humor, medical woo, physics denial/woo, skeptical community | Tagged: applied kinesiology, australia, balance, bio, bracelet, class action, debunking, energy, field, flexibility, fraud, frequencies, fun, health, hologram, humor, lawsuit, Mylar, natural, natural frequencies, New Age, placebo, Placebo Band, Placebo Band Store, podcast, Power Balance, Richard Saunders, sCAM, scheme, Skeptic Zone, SkepticBros, sports, strength, vibration, well being | Leave a Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on August 13, 2011
During my time at The Amaz!ng Meeting 9, one of the things I got to do was engage in a fun interview with my friend Ted Meissner, who runs the Secular Buddhist podcast, and his colleague Dana Nourie. The info on our interview is below, and I hope you find it (pardon the pun) enlightening
Episode 77 :: Matt Lowry and Dana Nourie :: Fun With Physics and Walking Through Walls
Dana Nourie and Matt Lowry join us to speak about physics, the natural world, and quantum misperceptions.
Lately, there seems to be an unfortunate mixing of Siddhattha Gotama’s teaching and practice around the existential experience of dissatisfaction, and science. Certainly we do see wonderful scientific studies about what’s going on in the brain during meditation, for example, but that’s a far cry from levitation and walking through walls. Buddhism is not about physics, despite our seeing false patterns of synchronicity between the two.
Of course, I’m not a physicist. Fortunately my good friend Matt Lowry is, and was also in attendance at The Amazing Meeting, and joined Dana Nourie and I to discuss a few questions about physics, and how they might apply — or not apply — to assertions not in evidence. …
Posted in physics denial/woo | Tagged: afterlife, Buddha, Buddhism, Buddhist, death, enlightenment, entanglement, interview, levitation, life, materialism, mechanics, meditation, natural, naturalism, New Age, physics, podcast, quantum, secular, transcendent, tunneling, woo, zen | Leave a Comment »