June 14, 2008 - Guests: Michael Shermer and Mike Smith
Mike Smith sponsored a billboard in downtown Denver. Hats off to Mike. Now we need a sponsor for I-35 in Austin. Any takers?
Confession. I had nearly given up on reviewing Freethought Radio, until I heard this episode. Michael Shermer's book "Why Darwin Matters" was a CATO event which I reference whenever I get into an argument with ID supporters (there's also the Mind of the Market event) but really, I was just impressed that Dan and Laurie reached outside of their comfortable progressive group and found someone new to talk to.
"Science progresses funeral by funeral" (anonymous observation)The subject of Expelled was a prominent discussion point in the interview. My thoughts on that worthless film are here. Micheal Shermer's review is here.
Another good interview.
2007 Archive episode.
June 16, 2007 - "Lone Star Atheism"
The episode opened with discussion of the ARIS poll and Harris Polls that show a marked decline in religious belief and attendance. I personally like the interactive features at The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. No matter how you slice it, though, there's no arguing that the US is becoming less concerned with religion.
Which probably explains why the Southern Baptists featured in Theocracy Alert sound so concerned.
As usual, the Daily Show clip:
I actually listened to this episode a year ago because Catherine Fahringer is from Texas and I wanted to hear the views of a fellow Texan. I was surprised to hear that there was a chapter of FFrF in Texas. They certainly don't have a web presence.
The story of the German freethinkers slaughtered by Confederate forces was news to this Texan; or that there was a memorial to them in Comfort, Texas. (separate from the Nueces Massacre "Treue der Union" Monument) Time for a freethought pilgrimage?
Dan's Lucifer's Lament closes out the episode.
2006 Archive episode.
June 17, 2006 - Secular Nation: Susan Jacoby
Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism
Paraphrasing Susan Jacoby; It really doesn't matter what the beliefs of the founding fathers were, what matters was what they put in the founding documents. There is no god in the Constitution; and the 'creator' referenced in the Declaration is nothing more than a nod to nature as the creator.
Those of us who have been wandering around in Libertarian circles for the lat 15 years are reasonably familiar with these facts.
Now, the story of Robert Green Ingersoll (the second half of the interview) is something you wouldn't know about unless you have been looking into the history of disbelief. You certainly wouldn't have stumbled across his name in school in modern day America, the devout have exorcised him from the history books.
The Da Vinci Code LA Times article
The final segment gets into the part of the interview that I find most interesting. Why are you a non-believer? The varying stories of how and why a person comes to "lose faith in faith" just seem to hold my attention.
The episode finishes up with a rendition of Die Gedanken sind frei.