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This two-part conversation with Sam Datta and Massimo Pigliucci will dig into how evolution takes place, including by taking on popular misconceptions about evolution, and explore why understanding the science of evolution matters. We will touch on the escalating attacks on evolution and science in general, and explore more fully why these are happening now, and visit the intersection where science and morality meet.

Since its publication last fall, The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism; Knowing What’s Real and Why it Matter, by Ardea Skybreak, has received increasing recognition from renowned scientists like Richard Leakey, Kevin Padian, Taner Edis and David Seaborg as well as educators… and from many people who are ordinarily denied access to science, including a large number of prisoners.

The book is unique in the way it popularizes the science of evolution and the scientific method and in the very non-defensive way it takes on religious superstition. It combines uncompromising scientific rigor with an accessible style which gives it the ability to connect with a broad and diverse audience.

Recently, Skybreak’s book was named as one of three finalists for the 2007 Benjamin Franklin award in the category of Science/Environment.

After reading this book a prisoner described the debate going on over evolution inside his prison, and remarked that, “A lot of these bible bangers who have been misled think this debate is about ‘winning or losing.’ I tell them this debate is about struggling for the truth.”

Skybreak was unavailable for this interview, but has connected us with one of her publicists, Sam Datta, whom we will be speaking with about her book.

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Or, Can You Call Yourself a Naturalist and Still Believe in Free Will?

At its core, the most defining element of a naturalistic world-view is the idea that there exists an unbroken chain of cause and effect which determines the way that all entities in our classical universe behave.

In a naturalistic world-view, there are no forces or entities that exist outside the chain of cause and effect that can influence events in our universe. Everything that exists, has ever existed, or ever will exist, is inextricably linked in this chain; and this, of course, includes humans.

Using this idea to address the most crucial questions of our time with regard to our place in the universe, our relationship to each other, and our understanding of our selves, is to bring the full power of the naturalistic world-view to its most practical social and personal applications.

This week and next, Equal Time for Freethought will be joined by the Director of The Center for Naturalism, and author of the new primer on naturalism Encountering Naturalism, Thomas Clark.

“ParEcon, ParPolity & the Future of the Left” with Robin Hahnel and Steven Shalom”

What is ParEcon?

Participatory economics is a proposed economic system that uses participatory decision making as an economic mechanism to guide the production, consumption and allocation of resources in a given society. Proposed as an alternative to contemporary capitalist market economies and also an alternative to centrally planned socialism or coordinatorism, it is described as “an anarchistic economic vision.” It emerged from the work of activist and political theorist Michael Albert and that of radical economist Robin Hahnel, beginning in the 1980s and 1990s.

Albert and Hahnel stress that parecon is only meant to address an alternative economic theory and that it must be accompanied by equally important alternative visions in the fields of politics, culture and kinship.

What is ParPolity?

Stephen R. Shalom has begun work on a participatory political vision he calls “parpolity”. Elements of anarchism in the field of politics, polyculturalism in the field of culture, and feminism in the field of family and gender relations are also discussed by the authors as being possible foundations for future alternative visions in these other spheres of society.

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