Monthly Archives: October 2011

“The Atheist’s Guide to Reality” Alex Rosenberg on Atheists Talk #139, October 30, 2011

Many religions claim to hold the answers to life’s big questions: What is the meaning of life? Why are we here? From where do we get our morals? Some say it’s all because of God, and that leaves us atheists throwing our hands in the air.

But now Alex Rosenberg has written a book just for us. In The Atheist’s Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life Without Illusions, Dr. Rosenberg walks us through the science that succeeds in providing these answers without having to fall back on supernatural explanations. He celebrates scientism, embraces “nice nihilism” and takes us on a fast-paced, wild journey through the physics, chemistry and biology that explain our past, present and future. He shows how science influences our politics, ethics, and how we think about ourselves and the world around us.

read the rest here and tune in!

You know James Kakalios, right?

Well, now’s your chance to put him on the spot!

Jim, who is famous for his book on the Physics of Superheros and more recently The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics: A Math-Free Exploration of the Science that Made Our World, though I knew him originally because of his work with emergent properties in complex systems, will be Desiree Schell‘s guest on Skeptically Speaking.

Seriously, if you have not heard or seen Jim speak you have missed something very enjoyable. If you have, I know you are simply going to tune in if you hear him once you’ll be a fan. And, if you’ve not ever heard Skeptically Speaking then you are merely living life as an empty shell, so get on that, it’s easy to fix. Here are the details:

Skeptically Speaking #136 Quantum Mechanics

This week, we’re looking at the mindbending physics that happens on the smallest imaginable scales. We’re joined by physics professor James Kakalios, to talk about his book The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics: A Math-Free Exploration of the Science that Made Our World. And on the podcast, we’ll speak to physicist and philosopher Victor Stenger, about the ways that quantum physics buzzwords are misused to support some not so scientific claims.

We record live with James Kakalios on Sunday, October 30 at 6 pm MT. The podcast will be available to download at 9 pm MT on Friday, November 4.

Evolution Surrounded By Creationism? Arm Yourself with Books!

Suppose you are an intelligent, thoughtful person with a thirst for information, a desire to be challenged, and a tendency to not accept received knowledge at face value. You are embedded in a traditional Christian culture where most of your family, your child’s teachers and friends and those friends’ families, the people where you and your spouse work and most people in your social circles assume that Evolution is “only a theory” and should be taught, if at all, along side alternative theories such as that the earth is 6,000 years old and was created in seven days. But you don’t want that. You want your children to be educated using modern ideas, or at least, ideas that date to the mid to late nineteenth century and later, about how life works, where it comes from, and how it has changed over time both in terms of details (what was when and where) and process (how). But despite the fact that you are well educated and well read, you’ve not been exposed to that body of knowledge.

This will be a struggle, a fight even, against academic indolence, against strongly held opinions; An invasion across a sea separating two worlds … two world views. You might have to land on a beach somewhere. You hope, however, that this can be a surgical strike. You need to educate yourself on the basics of evolution. You need to find a way to talk your way out of confrontation should that happen. You need resources for your children. You may not realize it now, but you may also need training in Defense Against the Snark Arts, should you encounter paraprofessional creationists.

You need to arm yourself. With books.
Continue reading Evolution Surrounded By Creationism? Arm Yourself with Books!

Shawn Otto’s Book Launch Talk (with Don Shelby)

You’ll remember that I recently wrote up Shawn Otto’s talk at The Loft. The talk was filmed and is now a major motion picture!

Now that you’ve seen the talk, here’s your list of things to do:

  • Buy the book here.
  • Sign on to Science here
  • Sign the American Science Pledge here
  • Join the Republican Party. Oh, and the NRA too!

God is important. Unless it costs too much.

The very controversial bible classes offered in Georgia Schools are threatened with extinction because a) Georgia has thrown education under the bus and now a public school class requires a higher number of students than ever to be considered affordable and b) they ain’t got the students signing up for them there bible classes.
Continue reading God is important. Unless it costs too much.