We are a culture besieged by violence. Everyday we hear stories of mass shootings or stabbings, of a rising violent crime rate, of vigilantism, and we have been marred in one war or another since the birth of this nation… resulting in the maiming or killing of millions (usually far less Americans than those we target).

When peace activists, humanists, or even average citizens – tired of all the violence and war – try to speak out against the insanity, we are told human beings are violent by nature.  We are shown right-leaning works of social science which prove our bloody history to be the norm, not an anomaly, and told it goes back 50,000 years or more. We are told that war is either in our genes, or even something which is needed for homo sapien sapien to have balance in our societies. Even those who admit “war is hell” are pretty sure it is also inevitable; consequently they, and many in our society, feel those of us looking toward a peaceful, egalitarian, humanistic society without warfare are utopians living in a reality of our own inception… peaceniks left over from the radical 60s who have not grown up and who would be better served trying to help others within our current, often dysfunctional society, rather than demand another kind of world…

But what are humans REALLY like? What does the science ACTUALLY say? We will be speaking with evolutionary anthropologist Douglas Fry and psychologist Darcia Narvaez about these questions and more on the next edition of Equal Time for Freethought!

Theoretical Physicist, Brian Greene

Our guest this week is Brian Greene, a string theorist and theoretical physicist with a lengthy resume. Known as a science popularizer, he is the author of four books including ‘The Fabric of the Cosmos’ and ‘The Elegant Universe’, both of which became PBS specials that he hosted. He is co-founder and current Board Chairman of the World Science Festival, co-founder of the new and free online series of science courses at World Science U.com and a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University. We will be discussing his work and how best to communicate science to the general public.

Naturalistic Support Workshop w/Arnell Dowret

Science, Science Fiction, and the Future of Humanity w/ Christopher L. Bennett

Advances in technology have already allowed us to achieve remarkable things, from the internet to space travel to medical technology, all of which would likely have been considered “miracles” only a few centuries ago.

In many works of Science Fiction, and in Star Trek in particular, the future is depicted as one in which this trend continues; working together, we cooperatively solve our social problems and expand into deep space, achieving things that would seem incredible even today. In the biblical story of the Tower of Babel, even God was seemingly afraid of what humans can achieve together. Seeing them building a tower to heaven itself, He foiled the humans by complicating communications by making them all speak different languages. Besides being a rather silly explanation for the origins of language, this was a similar tactic as when God demanded the first humans not to eat from the tree of knowledge and remain ignorant subservient to Him.

Philosophically speaking, should we continue to build that tower and conquer the heavens? Or should we be doomed to ‘speak different languages’ and proceed no farther into the universe?

Science fiction author Christopher L. Bennett addresses some of these issues in his novels, Star Trek: Enterprise: Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel, which directly references the Tower of Babel story, and more recently, Only Superhuman, which deals with future technology granting us real superhuman powers. Bennett is an accomplished sci-fi novelist, having also written a number novels based on Marvel’s superhero universe as well as Star Trek. He will discuss with ETFF science fiction, technology, the future of humanity!

Natural Support Workshop Fund-Drive Special! w/ Arnell Dowret

Audio coming soon….

NSW Special!

Fund Drive Hour; Dr. Joe Graves, Jr.

February 12th is Darwin Day, and February is both Darwin Month (for celebrators), and Black History Month. For this special fund-drive edition of Equal Time for Freethought, we will be joined by Dr. Joe Graves, Jr.  Dr. Graves will discuss his life as a scientist where African Americans are still low in number, his specific endeavors as an evolutionary biologist (including his work on the social construct of Race), and what he has been working on in the last few years since we last had him on the program.  He will also talk to the importance of understanding evolutionary theory in the light of the fact that we still – in 2014 – have to  have debates between scientists and Creationists.

NSW Special! w/Dale DeBakcsy

Naturalistic Support Workshop

Dale DeBakcsy on “Free Will & Atonement” & Madelyn Hoffman on her trip to Israel/Palestine

Last week, Xaquri and his brother Adam, explored what is meant by ‘free will’; whether or not we have such powers, or are caused by our biology, environment, and social experiences. Today we will chat with Dale DeBakcsy on the free will question and how a deterministic worldview might affect how we treat each under the law. We will also discuss how a determinist might conceive of forgiveness, praise, and retribution.

We will also talk with the director of NJPA, Madelyn Hoffman, on her recent trip to the Middle East. Madelyn attended a No Nukes conference in Israel and Palestine, and also had the opportunity to visit the Occupied Territories.