Atheists Talk

Radio with a frankly atheist perspective.

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"Evolution's Witness: How Eyes Evolved" Ivan R. Schwab on Atheists Talk, Sunday, November 25th, 2012

This show had to be rescheduled.

Eyes are a marvel of evolution that first appeared in trilobites during the Cambrian explosion approximately 543 million years ago. There's no doubt that eyes are complex; they have many parts that work together to give us the visual experience we humans and many of our animal cousins share today.

Because of its complexity, many creationists see the eye as a weak point in evolutionary theory. They make an argument of irreducible complexity: that if any single part of the eye was missing it wouldn't function. Therefore, eyes must have been created in their current form - by a creator!

But as Dr. Ivan R. Schwab explains in his new book Evolution's Witness: How Eyes Evolved, this argument doesn't hold vitreous fluid. Much simpler eye designs not only existed in our evolutionary past, but in some animals alive today! We know how eyes evolved, and (spoilers!) no creator is needed. From the Amazon description of Evolution's Witness:

From initial photoreception 3.75 billion years ago to early spatial recognition in the first cupped eyespot in Euglena to fully formed camera style eyes the size of beach balls in ichthyosaurs, animals have processed light to compete and survive in their respective niches. It is evolution's greatest gift and its greatest triumph.

Tune in to Atheists Talk this Sunday November 25th for our inteview with ophthalmologist Ivan R. Schwab as he shares with us the story of the evolution of the eye. 

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Atheists Talk is produced with funding from the Minnesota Atheists and the Humanists of Minnesota. We also wish to thank Q. Cumbers restaurant for purchasing on-air advertising and for providing a great place to eat and gather. This radio program is put together by dedicated volunteers and the generous donations of listeners. If you are able to help with a donation please consider doing so at our Radio Fund page. 

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Listen to AM 950 KTNF on Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio: 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to radio@mnatheists.org during the live show.

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"Regenesis" George Church on Atheists Talk #194, November 18, 2012

They are the stuff of horror and science fiction stories. They are the fodder for much political debate and public fear. Yet they may be our future and our salvation.

What are they? They are artificially created biological organisms. Authors George Church and Ed Regis, in their new book, Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Recreate Nature and Ourselves, tell us they are coming, and they tell us not to be afraid. Wary, perhaps, but not afraid.

Church is a molecular geneticist, who created many of the tools we use for genetic sequencing. He is also the founder of the Personal Genome Project, which looks to sequence the genomes of 100,000 volunteers and place the data in the public domain to facilitate research into the interplay of genetics and environment in determining how we become who we are. This Sunday, he will talk to us about what we may expect from this future in which we have this kind of information and this kind of power.

Related Links:

Atheists Talk is produced with funding from the Minnesota Atheists and the Humanists of Minnesota. We also wish to thank Q. Cumbers restaurant for purchasing on-air advertising and for providing a great place to eat and gather. This radio program is put together by dedicated volunteers and the generous donations of listeners. If you are able to help with a donation please consider doing so at our Radio Fund page. 


SUBSCRIBE TO THE iTunes PODCAST
SUBSCRIBE TO THE STANDARD RSS FEED
Write a review of Atheists Talk

Listen to AM 950 KTNF on Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio: 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to radio@mnatheists.org during the live show.

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"Atheist Universe" David Mills on Atheists Talk #193, November 11, 2012

In 2006, when David Mills published Atheist Universe, there weren't many books like it available. Atheist books were science books and philosophy books. GoodReads explains how Mills' book is different.

Clear, concise, and persuasive, Atheist Universe details exactly why God is unnecessary to explain the universe and life's diversity, organization, and beauty. The author thoroughly rebuts every argument that claims to "prove" God's existence - arguments based on logic, common sense, philosophy, ethics, history, and science.

Atheist Universe avoids the esoteric language used by philosophers and presents its scientific evidence in simple lay terms, making it a richly entertaining and easy-to-read introduction to atheism. A comprehensive primer, it addresses all the historical and scientific questions, including: Is there proof that God does not exist? What evidence is there of Jesus' resurrection? Can creation science reconcile scripture with the latest scientific discoveries?

Atheist Universe also answers ethical issues such as: What is the meaning of life without God? It's a spellbinding inquiry that ultimately arrives at a controversial and well-documented conclusion.

This Sunday, Mills will join us to talk about his book and the impact it has had.

Related Links:

Atheists Talk is produced with funding from the Minnesota Atheists and the Humanists of Minnesota. We also wish to thank Q. Cumbers restaurant for purchasing on-air advertising and for providing a great place to eat and gather. This radio program is put together by dedicated volunteers and the generous donations of listeners. If you are able to help with a donation please consider doing so at our Radio Fund page. 

SUBSCRIBE TO THE iTunes PODCAST
SUBSCRIBE TO THE STANDARD RSS FEED
Write a review of Atheists Talk


Listen to AM 950 KTNF on Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio: 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to radio@mnatheists.org during the live show.

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"Top American Science Questions" Shawn Lawrence Otto on Atheists Talk #192, Sunday, November 4, 2012

We've heard the major-party candidates for president debate on the economy, on their philosophies of government, on foreign policy. What you won't hear in televised debates is much attention given to scientific issues. However, these issues make a difference to our lives and to our country's future.

This is why 14 science and technology questions were presented to both campaigns. Each was given a chance to answer such questions as:

  • What policies will best ensure that America remains a world leader in innovation?
  • What is your position on cap-and-trade, carbon taxes, and other policies proposed to address global climate change—and what steps can we take to improve our ability to tackle challenges like climate change that cross national boundaries?
  • Given that the next Congress will face spending constraints, what priority would you give to investment in research in your upcoming budgets?
  • In an era of constant and rapid international travel, what steps should the United States take to protect our population from emerging diseases, global pandemics and/or deliberate biological attacks?

And many more. Their answers were published in early September.

This Sunday, Shawn Lawrence Otto, one of the founders of the organization than ensures that science questions are asked and answered, joins us to compare the candidates' answers to these important questions. Even if you already know where your vote will be going, listen to find out what your candidate's science priorities are.

Related Links:

Atheists Talk is produced with funding from the Minnesota Atheists and the Humanists of Minnesota. We also wish to thank Q. Cumbers restaurant for purchasing on-air advertising and for providing a great place to eat and gather. This radio program is put together by dedicated volunteers and the generous donations of listeners. If you are able to help with a donation please consider doing so at our Radio Fund page. 

SUBSCRIBE TO THE iTunes PODCAST
SUBSCRIBE TO THE STANDARD RSS FEED
Write a review of Atheists Talk


Listen to AM 950 KTNF on Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio: 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to radio@mnatheists.org during the live show.

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