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Every once in a while, someone will point to the fact that a large number of states in the U.S. still have laws on the books to prevent atheists from holding political office. Then someone else will inevitably point out that these laws have been found to be unconstitutional, so we don't need to worry about them.
This Sunday's guest today may have a different opinion. When Cecil Bothwell was elected to the Asheville, NC city council, he faced a challenge based in North Carolina's religious test. Today he joins us to talk about that, about how North Carolina's current political situation is influenced by theists, and about his new novel, She Walks on Water.
Infections scare us as a species. We are fascinated by the ability of microscopic entities to wreak such havoc upon us. We are glued to the news when reports come in of rapidly spreading infections. AIDS, ebola, hantavirus and virulent new strains of flu are just a few of the diseases that have recently captured our attention.
This Sunday our guest on Atheists Talk is author, essayist and science writer, David Quammen. In his recently published book, Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic, Quammen takes us along on his world travels as he explores where these emerging diseases come from, how and why they cross over to humans from their animals hosts, and what the next big human outbreak will be.Add a comment
Oh, poor humanity. Poor, poor us, stuck in a world for which we are so ill-suited, better fitted by our genes for using crude stone tools than our modern technologies, haunted by ancient instincts, slowly being killed by our strange habitat and behavior. Or maybe not.
In her new book, Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us About Sex, Diet, and How We Live, evolutionary biologist and behavioral ecologist Marlene Zuk takes the stories we are told about how our deep ancestry determines the way we are and puts them under the microscope. They frequently come up lacking, but along the way, Zuk provides an entertaining education about our paleolithic and more recent pasts.
Join us this Sunday, when Dr. Zuk shatters our myths about our past and gives us something more interesting to replace them with--the truth.
Dr. Michael Shermer is the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, the Executive Director of the Skeptics Society, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, the host of the Skeptics Distinguished Science Lecture Series at Caltech, and Adjunct Professor at Claremont Graduate University and Chapman University.
Dr. Shermer is a lecturer, he debates proponents of psuedoscience and religious apologists, and he has numerous new, television, film and radio appearances to his credit. He is the author of 17 books, including Why People Believe Weird Things, Denying History, The Science of Good and Evil, Why Darwin Matters, The Mind of the Market, and his most recent book, The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies—How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths.
This Sunday Dr. Shermer joins Atheists Talk to discuss his course Skepticism 101: How to Think Like a Scientist. This course is part of The Great Courses series, an online educational resource with the mission "to ignite the passion for lifelong learning by offering great courses taught by great professors." With Skepticism 101, Dr. Shermer seeks to help learners use rational thought and scientific perspective to critically evaluate claims and to better understand this universe in which we find ourselves.
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