This episode’s topics include: Richard Dawkins has been deplatformed from speaking at UC Berkeley because of speech hurtful to Muslims; Dan Arel’s journey to demented delusion takes him beyond CJ Werleman in nuthattery in a new article claiming the so-called “new atheists” are “white nationalists”; death threats are the norm du jour for a new liberal mosque in Berlin; in Britain, the NHS makes plans to scrap coverage of useless homeopathic prescriptions; Women’s March wishes terrorist Assata Shakur a happy birthday; In Catholic Watch, a new report claims that 547 children were physically abused at the Catholic Regensburger Domspatzen choir school in Bavaria and a pair of officials at a children’s hospital in will be in a Vatican court as defendants on charges of embezzling donated funds to finance the renovation of a senior cardinal’s apartment; the new Doctor Who has changed genders, and not all fans are pleased.
In this instalment, recorded August 3, 2014, we take a look at the new Atheist TV (http://www NULL.atheists NULL.org/AtheistTV) presented by American Atheists; an Alberta Liberal MLA is making positive waves about ending government support of sectarian and elitist schools (http://www NULL.calgaryherald NULL.com/news/Hehr+Private+schools+divide+pupils+wealth+religion/10063441/story NULL.html) in the province; more conundrums in medical ethics, this time a Calgary fertility clinic that has issues with women wanting “rainbow children” (http://www NULL.calgaryherald NULL.com/health/rainbow+families+Ethnic+donor+stipulation+fertility+centre+floors+local+woman/10063343/story NULL.html); the Texas medical board is yet again trying to get rid of Stanislaw Burzynski (http://www NULL.usatoday NULL.com/story/news/nation/2014/07/24/new-charges-for-burzynski/13111483/) and his unsubstantiated treatments; Richard Dawkins steps in it yet again (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/newsblogs/yourcommunity/2014/07/richard-dawkinss-rape-pedophelia-logic-tweets-ignite-twitter-storm NULL.html), this time on Twitter; and finally, Canada’s ambassador to the Vatican compares abortion to the horrific events that occurred on 9/11 (http://www NULL.theglobeandmail NULL.com/news/politics/harper-appoints-dennis-savoie-as-next-ambassador-to-holy-see/article19889661/). But first, congratulations are in order for one of our very own cohosts…
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 email@example.com. We need to enlighten poor Michael.
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.
Welcome to Episode 70 of the Legion of Reason, recorded August 4, 2013! In this installment, Christine, Twylla, Haysn and I talk about people who think they can fool the universe by surgically altering the lines in their palms (http://www NULL.thedailybeast NULL.com/articles/2013/07/12/your-future-is-in-the-palm-of-your-surgeon-s-hand NULL.html), signs that Muslims in the Middle East are beginning to come out as atheists (http://www NULL.times-standard NULL.com/faith_spirituality/ci_23835182/arab-muslims-turned-atheists-out-shadows-and-onto), and my willingness to put my body on the line once again for science by testing the effectiveness of a new dietary supplement on sleep quality (http://www NULL.ctvnews NULL.ca/health/sleep-aid-from-the-pumpkin-patch-ontario-doctor-creates-all-natural-solution-1 NULL.1387065). But first, we let Christine have her say on the discussion in our last episode of Rex Murphy’s whining over secular chaplains (http://fullcomment NULL.nationalpost NULL.com/2013/07/27/rex-murphy-the-angry-athiest/) and an even more whiny complaint by Tim Stanley over vicious tweets by Richard Dawkins (http://blogs NULL.telegraph NULL.co NULL.uk/news/timstanley/100228442/if-were-cracking-down-on-twitter-abuse-can-we-include-richard-dawkins-and-the-atheist-trolls/).
Sad news this week. I’m old enough to remember watching a human being walk on the surface of a planetoid beyond our own for the first time. Neil Armstrong died this weekend. One more hero gone from this world. Later, I demonstrate my ignorance of modern Canadian geography (you can email your corrections to randy@screwed-up-but-doesn’t-care.com) as we discuss the latest attempts by HPV Calgary to get the human papillomavirus vaccine in Calgary Catholic schools (http://metronews NULL.ca/news/calgary/339686/legal-action-looms-in-calgary-catholic-school-hpv-vaccine-standoff/) and show that not all Catholics agree with Bishop Henry’s depraved indifference to women’s health just because they commit the heinous crime of engaging in sexual intercourse (http://metronews NULL.ca/news/calgary/345572/former-calgary-catholic-school-district-head-throws-support-behind-hpv-vaccine-in-schools/). We urge everyone to sign the petition (http://www NULL.thepetitionsite NULL.com/169/149/477/tell-catholic-school-district-dont-deny-the-hpv-vaccine-to-female-students/) at the petition site. There’s some good news out of the town of Morinville Alberta where enrollment in the new secular public education ‘alternative’ has hit 252 registered students (https://www NULL.facebook NULL.com/pages/Public-non-faith-based-school-in-Morinville-AB/186801464664262) for the coming school year. We also comment on the FDA’s banning of a homeopathic product because of quality assurance issues (http://news NULL.discovery NULL.com/human/homeopathy-takes-hits-in-europe-us-120821 NULL.html) – the potential for part of it to be broken glass, Richard Dawkins interview in Playboy (http://www NULL.playboy NULL.com/playground/view/playboy-interview-richard-dawkins), and take a stab at the latest meme to hit the atheist community known as “atheism+ (http://freethoughtblogs NULL.com/blaghag/2012/08/how-i-unwittingly-infiltrated-the-boys-club-why-its-time-for-a-new-wave-of-atheism/)“. But first, we discuss weird sports superstitions (http://www NULL.menshealth NULL.com/mhlists/strangest-athlete-superstitions/printer NULL.php) that began with Winnipeg Blue Bomber quarterback Joey Elliott and a PowerBalance bracelet.