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What do you do when someone lies publicly and repeatedly about the history of your country? If you're Jon Stewart and that "someone" is evangelical pseudohistorian David Barton, you give him free publicity and a platform while looking vaguely uncomfortable. Luckily, not everyone is Jon Stewart.
Earlier this year, David Barton's book, The Jefferson Lies, was recalled by its publisher after being voted "the least credible history book in print". Much of the research that went into proving Barton was distorting history came from one independent scholar, Chris Rodda, who is also the Senior Research Director for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. Her book, Liars for Jesus, was released before Barton's. In Liars for Jesus and in a series of videos and blog posts released after Barton's book was published, she immersed herself in the history of the founders. Time and again, she demonstrated that Barton's claim were not just misreadings of the historical documents, but gross misrepresentations of them and sometimes, outright lies.
Rodda recently released the first of her chapter-by-chapter refutations of The Jefferson Lies. This Sunday, she joins us by phone to discuss the audacity of David Barton and the process of defending our country's history.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org during the live show.Add a comment Add a comment
Charles Darwin laid the groundwork for our modern understanding of evolution. In his 1859 book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, Darwin presented novel evidence-based concepts about the diversity of life and common descent, which also cleared the way for the heretical idea that no supernatural creator was needed for the evolution of new life on this planet.
But as Rebecca Stott shows in her book Darwin's Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution, these ideas were thousands of years in the making. Charles Darwin may have been the one to publish the book that revolutionized biology, but scientists and philosophers from Aristotle to Alfred Russel Wallace had been speculating about the origins of life for years and centuries prior.
Tune in to Atheists Talk this Sunday as we speak with Rebecca Stott about Al-Jahiz, Leonardo da Vinci, Denis Diderot and others who helped shape the way we learned about how life propogates on this planet, and how finally, through Darwin's writings, we vocalized our understanding of evolution by natural selection.
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.Add a comment Add a comment
When journalist and teacher Guy P. Harrison writes about irrational certainties, he tries to do so in a way that respects the believer but challenges the belief. When he takes away a comforting or fascinating idea, he tries to leave some of the wonder of science in its place. He brought both these approaches to bear in his most recent book, 50 Popular Beliefs That People Think Are True.
From the publisher's description:
Maybe you know someone who swears by the reliability of psychics or who is in regular contact with angels. Or perhaps you're trying to find a nice way of dissuading someone from wasting money on a homeopathy cure. Or you met someone at a party who insisted the Holocaust never happened or that no one ever walked on the moon.
How do you find a gently persuasive way of steering people away from unfounded beliefs, bogus cures, conspiracy theories, and the like? Longtime skeptic Guy P. Harrison shows you how in this down-to-earth, entertaining exploration of commonly held extraordinary claims.
A veteran journalist, Harrison has not only surveyed a vast body of literature, but has also interviewed leading scientists, explored "the most haunted house in America," frolicked in the inviting waters of the Bermuda Triangle, and even talked to a "contrite Roswell alien."
Harrison is not out simply to debunk unfounded beliefs. Wherever possible, he presents alternative scientific explanations, which in most cases are even more fascinating than the wildest speculation. For example, stories about UFOs and alien abductions lack good evidence, but science gives us plenty of reasons to keep exploring outer space for evidence that life exists elsewhere in the vast universe. The proof for Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster may be nonexistent, but scientists are regularly discovering new species, some of which are truly stranger than fiction.
Stressing the excitement of scientific discovery and the legitimate mysteries and wonder inherent in reality, Harrison invites readers to share the joys of rational thinking and the skeptical approach to evaluating our extraordinary world.
Guy joins us this Sunday by phone to discuss his book.
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