Episode 96 – Guests Amy Davis Roth and Rebecca Watson, Is Alvin Plantinga Rational? and Universities that Perform Paranormal Investigations

Welcome once again to the Legion of Reason, podcasting a critical eye on a sometimes less-than-critical world! Later on in the podcast, Kris, Twylla, Haysn and I discuss a recent New York Times interview of philosopher and theologian Alvin Plantinga titled “Is Atheism Rational?”, but we prefer the title “Is Plantinga rational? (http://opinionator NULL.blogs NULL.nytimes NULL.com/2014/02/09/is-atheism-irrational/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0)“. And finally we voice our opinions on The Atlantic’s article about one of a number of universities around the world that has a department dedicated to investigating the paranormal (http://www NULL.theatlantic NULL.com/health/archive/2014/02/there-is-a-paranormal-activity-lab-at-the-university-of-virginia/283584/). But first, we invited Amy Davis Roth (http://skepchick NULL.org/author/amy/) and Rebecca Watson (http://skepchick NULL.org/author/rebecca/) onto the podcast to have an energetic discussion of skeptical activism.

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Episode 95a – Sliced Ham on Nye

Kris, Twylla, Haysn and I have a lively discussion on the recent Ken Ham/Bill Nye debate on creationism and what its effects might be.

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Episode 94 – Physicist, Philosopher and Author Victor Stenger

We are very pleased to have with us today particle physicist Victor Stenger, who received his PhD in that arena from UCLA and whose research was focused on gluons, quarks and neutrinos. Even though he was a member of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Hawaii till his retirement in 2000 (where he is still Emeritus Professor), he lives in Colorado where he is Adjunct Professor of Philosophy. He has authored a dozen books for lay audiences on physics, quantum mechanics, cosmology, religion and atheism, and pseudoscience, and their intersection and have greatly influenced my own thinking. “God The Failed Hypothesis” had the most impact on me, getting me to realize that the absence of evidence of the existence of god IS evidence of absence if one has looked for the evidence and removing a blind spot that I think is prevalent. “The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason” showed me that atheism is no longer limited to the realm of philosophy. And his most recent book “God and the Atom: From Democritus to the Higgs Boson” demonstrated something I had not realized, that atomism is an inherently atheistic concept, and was the subject of his talk at last year’s Imagine No Religion conference in Kamloops.

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Episode 93 – Are YOU Bob the Builder?

Welcome to episode 93 of the Legion of Reason, podcasting a critical eye on a sometimes less-than-critical world. Later in this instalment Kris, Twylla, Haysn and yours truly Randy discuss the premiere of an infomercial- I mean, documentary, of local street minister Artur Pawlowski that three of your co-hosts were involved in to supply an opposing viewpoint, Calgary city councillor Sean Chu’s climate change denial tweets (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/news/canada/calgary/calgary-councillor-stands-by-global-warming-alarmist-tweet-1 NULL.2484828), a modern ghost story in Gary (http://ux NULL.indystar NULL.com/story/news/2014/01/25/the-disposession-of-latoya-ammons/4892553/), Indiana, exorcism using 21st century technology (http://www NULL.vocativ NULL.com/01-2014/skype-exorcisms-worthless-say-full-time-exorcists/), and our favorite kicking bag Bishop Fred Henry and the manifestation of his twisted sense of morality in the destruction of a historical landmark in Calgary (http://www NULL.calgaryherald NULL.com/news/calgary/City+urged+heritage+home+save+from+wrecking+ball/9437116/story NULL.html). But first, I attended the media ‘scrum’ at the unveiling of the latest Centre for Inquiry’s billboard promoting atheism (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/news/canada/calgary/atheist-billboard-ad-hopes-to-get-calgarians-thinking-1 NULL.2519561) in a positive light and challenging widely-held beliefs about the efficacy of prayer.

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Episode 92 – Public Traditional Chinese Medicine Schools, Edmonton Church Tries To Pull A Fast One On The City, Tragedy In Texas Ends

It’s Sunday, January 26th, 2014, and in this, episode 92, we talk about an Edmonton church’s plan to have city hall buy their building and renting it back for $1/year (http://www NULL.edmontonjournal NULL.com/Church+wants+city+take+over+multimillion+dollar+repair+costs/9409823/story NULL.html), sticking a potential $12M in repairs onto the citizens of that city regardless of their religion. A Texas judge has ordered a brain-dead woman forced by the state to serve as an incubator for what doctors agree is an nonviable fetus off life support (http://ktla NULL.com/2014/01/26/brain-dead-pregnant-texas-woman-taken-off-ventilator/#axzz2rYzd8Yfy). This is what happens when anti-choice lawmakers are allowed to pass legislation are based on ridiculous and unethical presuppositions that violate bodily autonomy rights. Speaking at a Republican dinner Mike Huckabee (http://www NULL.washingtonpost NULL.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/01/24/mike-huckabee-and-why-republicans-have-trouble-talking-to-and-about-women/) proves yet again that the party he represents is the enemy of women. According to him, the Democrats insult women by offering them reproductive choice in their health insurance all the while implying that women who opt to use birth control medication can’t control their libidos. And finally, a Salvadorean nun in Italy gives birth (https://trove NULL.com/me/content/1C42x?chid=69578&_p=trending&utm_source=wp&utm_medium=Widgets&utm_campaign=wpsrTrendingExternal-1-opt) claiming it was not possible because of her profession. It may have worked once before, but I don’t think the ‘immaculate conception’ excuse is ever going to fly again. But first, some great news for one of your co-hosts and Richmond BC will have the dubious distinction of being the site of Canada’s first publicly-funded school of traditional Chinese medicine (http://news NULL.xinhuanet NULL.com/english/culture/2014-01/25/c_133072863 NULL.htm).

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Episode 91 – Organic Produce and Toxins in the News, Peter Boghossian in Calgary, the Vatican Throws the UN a Bone and Why Nye vs. Ham is a Bad Idea

Welcome to episode 91 of the Legion of Reason! Peter Boghossian, author of A Manual for Creating Atheists (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.ca/Manual-Creating-Atheists-Peter-Boghossian/dp/1939578094/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390328594&sr=8-1&keywords=peter+boghossian) and previous guest on LoR, was in Calgary this weekend to talk about his book and how to convince people who come to knowledge through faith that they do not know what they think they know. Twylla, Kris, Haysn and I discuss his talk, as well as the Vatican finally handing over information on the defrocking of priests (http://news NULL.msn NULL.com/world/pope-defrocks-400-priests-in-2-years-for-sex-abuse) by Pope Benedict aka Pope Palpatine to a United Nations panel and why it’s a bad idea that Bill Nye the Science Guy will be debating creationist Ken Ham on February 4th (http://www NULL.patheos NULL.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2014/01/02/hey-bill-nye-why-the-hell-would-you-agree-to-debate-a-creationist/). But first, Alberta@Noon, a local CBC radio program, recently invited Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/albertaatnoon/episode/2014/01/14/tuesday-january-14-2014/), co-authors of Toxin Toxout, to present an unbalanced and frankly completely biased and ill-informed view of the benefits of organic produce.

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Episode 90 – Marathon Recording Session – Part Un

Another week, another episode… Welcome to the Legion of Reason. Last night’s recording session was a marathon that spanned over three hours, so once again it will be a split episode. In the second half, we discuss the first case of H5N1 bird flu in North America (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/news/health/alberta-woman-who-died-of-h5n1-was-in-her-20s-1 NULL.2490018), giving Red Deer a dubious distinction, the recent depletion of influenza vaccine in Alberta (http://www NULL.edmontonjournal NULL.com/health/Province+expects+vaccines+Friday/9365227/story NULL.html) along with a terrible report from CTV News Calgary on what you can do to limit your chances of contracting influenza (http://calgary NULL.ctvnews NULL.ca/more/medical-watch) if you missed out, and an article in Slate that entreats us atheists to be more assertive (http://www NULL.salon NULL.com/2014/01/11/15_ways_atheists_can_stand_up_for_rationality/). In the first half, Twylla gives us her feisty take on a recent CBC item on pesticides found on organic foods (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/news/canada/manitoba/pesticide-residue-found-on-nearly-half-of-organic-produce-1 NULL.2487712). But first, a controversial decision by York University to commit gender segregation all in the name of religious accommodation (http://news NULL.nationalpost NULL.com/2014/01/08/york-university-professor-who-refused-students-request-to-be-separated-from-female-classmates-broke-obligation-to-accommodate-officials/).

Don’t forget! Peter Boghossian will be in Calgary Sunday, January 19 at 3 pm (https://www NULL.eventbrite NULL.ca/e/lecture-by-peter-boghossian-author-of-a-manual-for-creating-atheists-tickets-9913754306)!

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Episode 90 – Marathon Recording Session – Part Deux

Welcome to the Legion of Reason and part 2 of our marathon episode where Twylla, Kris, Haysn and I discuss an article in Slate that entreats us atheists to be more assertive. But before that, we talk about the recent depletion of influenza vaccine in Alberta (http://www NULL.edmontonjournal NULL.com/health/Province+expects+vaccines+Friday/9365227/story NULL.html), the first case of H5N1 bird flu in North America (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/news/health/alberta-woman-who-died-of-h5n1-was-in-her-20s-1 NULL.2490018), which gives Red Deer a dubious distinction, and a CTV News Calgary report on how to protect yourself from contracting the flu if you missed out on the vaccine (http://calgary NULL.ctvnews NULL.ca/more/medical-watch). It ain’t pretty.

Don’t forget! Peter Boghossian will be in Calgary Sunday, January 19 at 3 pm (https://www NULL.eventbrite NULL.ca/e/lecture-by-peter-boghossian-author-of-a-manual-for-creating-atheists-tickets-9913754306)!

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Episode 89 – New Year’s Extravaganza!

In this is the first release of the year we look back to the world of 2013 as it might have been if psychics could accurately predict anything (http://www NULL.relativelyinteresting NULL.com/2013-failed-forgotten-psychic-predictions/) and look forward to 2014 (http://www NULL.torontosun NULL.com/2013/12/25/psychics-predict-mayor-rob-fords-2014) and the things that we can be pretty sure won’t happen. And since we can make stuff up too, we give our own predictions for the coming year. But first, some news about the three of us on the big screen in February and Pope Frank entreats us all to join him in desiring world peace. We give our own take on the matter.

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Episode 88 – Faisal Al-Mutar

Welcome to episode 88 of the Legion of Reason podcast, and Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, whatever your preference. The podcast will have a one-week hiatus as I will be away after Christmas, but I will be providing an interview Haysn did with Stephanie Zvan and Pharyngula’s PZ Myers at the American Atheists conference earlier this year. Later on we talk with Faisal Al-Mutar, Iraqi-born founder of the Global Secular Humanist Movement (https://www NULL.facebook NULL.com/GSHMP). Faisal is a life-long nonbelieving émigré to the United States, and Haysn, Twylla, Kris and I discuss Middle Eastern sectarian strife and the secular movement on a global scale. But first, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has a less-than-secular Christmas message (https://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=BawVAAJJhzY&fb_source=message) for the citizens of the province. Way to preach from political office, jerk!

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