This week on the God Discussion Show, we'll be talking about science, reason and superstition, as well as separation of church and state activism.
From Richard Dawkins' book, The Greatest Show on Earth – The Evidence for Evolution, we learn that "in 2008, a Gallup poll showed that 44% of Americans believed God had created man in his present form within the last 10,000 years. In a Pew Forum poll in the same year, 42% believed that all life on earth has existed in its present form since the beginning of time."
Joining us to discuss these and other topics is R. Elisabeth Cornwell, PhD, the Executive Director of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. The mission of the Foundation is "to support scientific education, critical thinking and evidence-based understanding of the natural world in the quest to overcome religious fundamentalism, superstition, intolerance and human suffering." The live show airs Thursday, September 2 at 7:00 p.m. Pacific time (access and archive details below).
Dr. Liz Cornwell, PhD, is the first Executive Director of the US branch of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (RDFRS). According to the Foundation's site,
… she made many contributions to RDFRS behind the scenes, including inventing the OUT Campaign, proposing the idea of filmed ‘vignettes’, building up our excellent network of relationships with student secular organizations around the United States, devising and organizing the Science Symposium at AAI in Burbank, and setting up our system of accountancy, auditing and legal advice. She was equipped to do this during her years as a businesswoman, working in marketing and sales in the semiconductor industry in California. She decided, in her forties, to go back to university to do a PhD, in psychology, at the University of St Andrews, in Scotland. An evolutionary psychologist, her research has examined the underlying mechanisms of human mate selection, looking at such factors as hormones, pheromones, ageing, asymmetry, and facial features. More recently she has been doing research at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, exploring the relationship of various psychological traits to religious belief, across the spectrum from strong theism to strong non-theism. Dr Cornwell’s dual experience as a businesswoman and as a scientist studying the psychology of religion means that she brings an unusual combination of strengths to the tasks that face RDFRS in America.
When it comes to education and critical thinking, the Secular Student Alliance is a fantastic organization that promotes reason over superstitious thinking. Based out of Columbus, Ohio, the Alliance's mission is "to educate high school and college students around the country about the value of scientific reason and the intellectual basis of secularism in its atheistic and humanistic manifestations." Joining us from the Alliance will be Jesse Galef, Communications Director for the Secular Student Alliance. From the Alliance,
Before being hired in 2010, he worked for the Secular Coalition for America and the American Humanist Association. Galef graduated with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Political Science. He was president of the nonreligious student group on campus as well as an active member of various religious organizations, including the Orthodox Christian Fellowship and Christian Apologetics of Carolina. In his spare time, he likes to read, breakdance, and play board games.
A recent new staff member to the Secular Student Alliance is Ashley Paramore, Development Director. Many in the freethought community are familiar with her YouTube channel, Healthy Addict. In 2007, Ash brought together atheists/freethinkers/humanists to give them a sense of community, along with an opportunity to take part in activism involving separation of church and state issues in Columbus, Ohio, by starting a chapter of the Rational Response Squad and then later via another organization called Omnipresent Atheists. She chaired Students for Freethought at Ohio State from 2007 to 2009, and from 2008-2010, Ashley served on the board of directors of the Secular Student Alliance. Ashley is currently studying Psychology at Ohio State University. We've followed Ashley's YouTube videos for quite some time at God Discussion and are particularly impressed with her participation in the Jubilee Convention, a Christian Conference. Here is one of the videos:
Ashley has to get up very early the day after the show, but will be part of the conversation as long as she's able.
Another guest is Adam, known on YouTube as Anubis2814, whose work we have featured at God Discussion in the past. He created an outstanding video in February that explains why so many people in America shun science and reason titled American Illiteracy of the Scientific Process . If you missed it, here it is … the statistics that he cites are shocking:
Adam is a microbiologist and an ex-nuclear electrician, who occasionally works as a community college teacher. He describes himself as an "Ex-mega brainwashed Fundie protestant, formerly home schooled. I now consider myself an atheist Taoist tantric Buddhist."
Our news co-host, Adam, the Man of Earth, will also be joining us to give his perspective on science and reason vs. superstitious thinking. When it comes to superstitious thinking, no one understands the "Christian dominionist" movement like author Leah Burton, who will let us know why it's important to vote and to understand the dominionism movement as it affects church and state issues. Leah is a member of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation's board of directors and her upcoming book, Palin's America: God, Guns and Greed, will be available soon.
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT CHAT ROOM ACCESS DURING THE SHOW…
During the show (access details below), we run a web-based chat room that's quite entertaining, with spirited conversations and some interesting comments from listeners who can't call in. In the event that the phone lines are full and you are unable to dial in, you might want to post your questions or comments in the chat room and Deborah, the host, will read as many on the air as possible so the guest can respond. To participate in the chat room, you need to register a username first. You might want to do this now, so you're ready to join the conversation. Registration is free, but BlogTalkRadio requires email confirmation. How to register:
We hope you can join us for the God Discussion show on Thursday, September 2, 2010, at 7:00 PM Pacific time (time conversions below). We've reserved 2 hours for the show. As always, calls are welcome and the web-based chat room will be open, which we will monitor as best as we can in order to forward your questions and comments to our guests.
Time: Thursday, September 2, 2010 @ 7:00 p.m. PACIFIC (see time conversions below)
God Discussion on Blog Talk Radio:
Show Page (and Chat Room):
Call-In Number: (914) 338-0452
Specific Show Notes: When the show goes live, you'll see a "ON AIR" button … click it and you can hear the live stream through your computer speakers. If you have SKYPE, click the "click to talk" button and you will be taken to the switchboard. The chatroom can be viewed and accessed at the show page.
Missed the Show? You can hear the archives, accessible on the show pages above or via the Blog Talk Radio widget on the bottom of this page. We will be converting this to YouTube with videos that run that chat history and, of course, will include the audio.
Time Zones: The clock below is set for Pacific time. Compare it with your current time.
Pacific: 7:00 p.m. | Mountain: 8:00 p.m. | Central: 9:00 p.m. | Eastern: 10:00 p.m. (see time zone map)
Current PACIFIC Time