Podcast #20 – Barbara Forrest

Barbara Forrest – We talk to Dr. Barbara Forrest about SB 733 [link], the so-called Louisiana Science Education Act, a piece of legislation sitting on the desk of Governor Bobby Jindal that, if signed, would enable teachers and administrators in state schools to sneak Creationism/Intelligent Design in under the radar.  Dr. Forrest is a professor of philosophy at Southeastern Louisiana University, the co-author of Creationism’s Trojan Horse [link], and was one of the star witnesses in the celebrated Kitzmiller v. Dover court case.  She’s also a co-founder of the Louisiana Coalition for Science [lasciencecoalition.org] and active in defending science against religio-political encroachment at the national level.

Happy 150th Birthday, Evolution! – In 2009, the thinking world will celebrate Darwin’s 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his Origin of Species [link].  But we’re popping the cork early - a landmark in the history of science occurred on July 1, 1858.  That’s the day that the theory of evolution by natural selection had its first public reading (at London’s famous Linnean Society).  We’ll talk about how Charles Darwin and his associates gave naturalist Alfred Wallace the subtle shaft, ensuring that religious nutjobs in the 21st century would be railing about “Darwinism” instead of “Wallacism”.  (For an excellent analysis of this episode, read Robert Wright’s fantastic book The Moral Animal [link].)

Independence Day– Now, here’s a holiday even the grumpiest atheist can get behind.  Everybody knows that on July 4th, 1776, the American Colonists told the Brits where they could shove it.  Sort of.  We’ll look at some of the myths surrounding the birth of America, and revisit that pesky semi-religious language that has the fundies crowing about how this is a Christian Nation.

Goodbye, George Carlin– The skeptical world lost one of its funniest and most adamant stars.  Carlin fought for free speech (and even pissed off politically correct left-wingers in the process) during the course of his five-decade career.  He will be missed.


Penn Jillette chimes in on the ongoing Atheist/Agnostic debate [link].

We’ll be at Dragon*Con [dragoncon.org] August 29-September 1 in Atlanta, Georgia, participating in both the Skeptics track and the Podcasting track.  No schedules are finalized yet, but we’ll let you know as soon as they are.

Check out episode #10 of the SciFiDimensions Podcast [SciFiDimensions.com/podcast], featuring an interview with Sci-Fi&Fantasy satirist (and freethinker) James Morrow.  His latest book, The Philosopher’s Apprentice [link], is a send-up of everything from human cloning to abortion to global capitalism.  What can I say?  The man swings a wide scythe.

And if you like science fiction, you can pre-order the upcoming anthology Aberrant Dreams I: The Awakening (which includes a short story written by American Freethought co-host John C. Snider) from publisher HD-Image [link].  Visit hd-image.com/store.

David’s Secular Nation Podcast [AtheistAlliance.org/podcast] will have new episodes soon.

Join us for discussion at the American Freethought Yahoo Group [link].

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Recorded 06/28/2008.  Hosted by John C. Snider and David Driscoll.

To listen to this episode click here.

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