This week on the Legion of Reason delve into the world of climate change denial with Dr. Donald R. Prothero (http://www NULL.donaldprothero NULL.com/) and how science denial works in general. Donald has recently published his book Reality Check (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.ca/Reality-Check-Science-Threaten-ebook/dp/B00BIP240A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1380571373&sr=8-1&keywords=reality+check+donald+prothero) which discusses the motivations behind a number cases of science denial including creationism and intelligent design versus evolution, denying the link between cancer and smoking, the anti-vaccination movement, AIDS denialism, and a host of other examples. Donald spoke to us from his home in California. And later, since Haysn couldn’t be with us last week for our discussion on recent comments made by Richard Dawkins, he presents his own take on the hubub. But before we get to that interview, I want to mention something that we can’t cover in detail this week but that I want to make people aware of, and so I direct you to a recent essay by CBC’s Michael Enright (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/thesundayedition/essays/2013/09/29/atheists-stop-whining/). I want to send in as many emails to Michael explaining exactly why we atheists won’t shut up. So I am putting out a call to all of our listeners to send in emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. We need to enlighten poor Michael.
Okay! This is a public announcement and not a full episode, but I’ll add something that happened today on Facebook at the end of this so it isn’t quite so boring. I am very pleased to announce that Skype voicemail is working for the podcast! Anyone wanting to comment on an episode, tell us their deconversion story or whatever, you can use Skype to contact us. Just do a search for “legionofreason”, all one word, then call us and leave us a message!
Do remember that unless you SPECIFICALLY state the message is to remain private, we reserve the right to use it on the podcast. But we will always err on the side of anonymity. We’d love to hear from our listeners!
Don’t forget… October 1 is “Skeptics in the Pub” at the Hose and Hound!
It’s September 22, the first episode of the fall of 2013! Twylla and Kris join me for a busy episode. Later, we wonder yet again where the Muslim community of Canada is in the face of horrific sectarian acts of violence (http://www NULL.ctvnews NULL.ca/world/kenyan-soldiers-battle-militants-after-deadly-mall-shooting-1 NULL.1466182). Aren’t these missed opportunities to demonstrate to the public that there is indeed a segment of Islam which deplores violence? I don’t get it. Child abuse in the form of pediatric chiropractic is on the rise in Saskatchewan (http://www NULL.thestarphoenix NULL.com/bridges/Sask+sees+upswing+chiropractics+infants/8923903/story NULL.html), according to an article in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix’s Bridge publication. We look at the most common reason mothers take their babies to a chiropractor and why the claim that this form of alternative-to-medicine therapy can help with colic is bunk (http://welladjustedbabies NULL.com/effective-ways-to-relieve-colic/) despite the publication in bottom feeder journals that it is highly effective. In that discussion, we discover a metric we can use to measure the feistiness off Twylla, as you can hear the rate of popped P’s increase during episodes of feistiness. We discuss Richard Dawkins’ recent faux-pas (http://www NULL.richarddawkins NULL.net/news_articles/2013/9/7/the-world-according-to-richard-dawkins-the-times#) claiming that decades-old crimes of pedophilia shouldn’t be judged using a modern value set. Really, Richard? What the hell? The kinder-and-gentler Vatican presents itself with Pope Frank making gestures to the atheist/agnostic community (http://www NULL.rawstory NULL.com/rs/2013/09/11/pope-francis-to-atheists-agnostics-god-forgives-those-who-obey-their-conscience/) and toning down the “same-sex marriage, abortion and contraception are evil” rhetoric (http://www NULL.nytimes NULL.com/2013/09/20/world/europe/pope-bluntly-faults-churchs-focus-on-gays-and-abortion NULL.html?smid=fb-share&_r=3&) while still believing that same-sex marriage, abortion and contraception are evil. So what’s changed, and why are people falling all over this new pope, some atheists included? This is like spraying the bathroom with Febreeze the morning after attending a chili cook-off. All you can smell are faeces-covered flowers. And last, but not least, I go off on a rant about something the guys at Cognitive Dissonance said that I can’t agree with and goes against every fibre of my being. But first, I make a clarification in response to a blogger’s post on a previous rant (http://scawalrus NULL.wordpress NULL.com/2013/09/21/sketicism-vs-atheism-discussion-comments/) of mine on skepticism, atheism and the JREF. I figure if one person heard us say one thing we would never posit, others might have heard it too and so want to make it clear that we don’t believe The Secret is anything other than a work of fiction.
Recently, if you haven’t already heard, the Parti Quebecois minority government in Quebec is making an effort to make public service more secular by attempting to pass what is called the Charter of Values (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/news/canada/montreal/charter-of-quebec-values-would-ban-religious-symbols-for-public-workers-1 NULL.1699315), amending the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. This legislation sets boundaries on what its representatives can wear in terms of overt religious symbols. What’s out for the best dressed public servants this year? Big crucifix bling around the neck, Muslim head scarves, Sikh turbans, hijabs and yarmulkes. What’s in are rings, small crucifixes and earrings with religious symbols. And all of this will be passed in the Quebec National Assembly under a humungous cross that the PQ is loathe to be rid of.
Joining Haysn and I on this episode is Brian Seaman, a research associate from the Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre (http://www NULL.aclrc NULL.com/) at the University of Calgary. We discuss the proposed legislation, why the PQ has tabled it and it’s good and bad points. Finally, we enter into a wider discussion on the value of secularism in government and how to do it right.
Welcome to episode 75, recorded September 8, 2013! Kris is back from Boston where she attended a conference reporting on the progress of our plan for atheist world domination. Later on we discuss well-founded opposition to a new Scientology-based drug and alcohol rehab center in Ontario (http://www NULL.simcoe NULL.com/news-story/4070822-narconon-open-to-finding-a-new-site/). Naraconon, as it’s called, has blood on its hands worldwide (http://en NULL.wikipedia NULL.org/wiki/Narconon). The Vatican demonstrates that it has learned nothing from the ongoing priestly paedophilia debacle in how to handle incidents of child molestation by church authorities. Rather than do the right thing, they recall a papal nuncio from the Dominican Republic (http://www NULL.huffingtonpost NULL.com/2013/09/05/josef-wesolowski-child-abuse-dominican-republic_n_3875222 NULL.html?utm_hp_ref=religion) to investigate (we think – the Vatican is saying nothing on this matter, which further shows how little they’ve learned) allegations of you-know-what. But we start off with HuffPo blogger Linda Robertson to whom we give kudos for her humanist stance on standing up and making her voice heard when other Christians spout vitriol (http://www NULL.huffingtonpost NULL.com/linda-robertson/we-cannot-be-silent_b_3861798 NULL.html?utm_hp_ref=religion&ir=Religion#comments) against members of the LGBT community.
In this, Episode 74 recorded September 1, 2013, amongst the meandering discourse, Twylla, Haysn and I present two items this week. Later in the episode we discuss Calgary Herald op-ed writer Licia Corbella’s claim that atheism, like Christianity, has much to answer for with regard to atrocities committed in history (http://www NULL.calgaryherald NULL.com/opinion/op-ed/Corbella+Will+atheism+held+account+like+other+creeds/8854835/story NULL.html). Oh, wait. No it doesn’t. And Hitler wasn’t an atheist, either! In the immortal words of Bugs Bunny, “What a maroon.” But first we start with a little small talk and get into Brampton, Ontario Muslim cleric Faisal Hamid Abdur-Razak’s wonderful take on stoning (http://www NULL.torontosun NULL.com/2013/08/28/brampton-muslim-cleric-preaches-adulterers-gays-can-benefit-from-being-stoned-to-death). Did you know that both the person being stoned, and the one doing the stoning benefit? Wow!