Judith Hand on Shifting our Thinking about War…

A few months ago we had on anthropologist Douglas Fry and psychologist Darcia Narvaez to discuss, among other things, violence, aggression, and war and how it relates to human nature. Some of the questions on that topic we asked included, Is war making inevitable? Why do we make war? Have we always made war? And, can we ever get to a time when there will be no more war?  Evolutionary Biologist Judith Hand has been working on these questions for a long time, and we discussed war and other aspects of human nature with her on Equal Time in the past. We have invited her back today to discuss her new book, SHIFT: The Beginning of War and The Ending of War.

Dale DeBakcsi on Quantum Quackery in the New Age: “Stop Heisenberg Abuse!” and “The Dark Side of Buddhism!”

Quantum Mechanics is one of the most counter-intuitive branches of physics, and consequently, one of the hardest to understand – especially at a popular level.  What can we make of the ability of quantum particles, for example, to exist in a superposition of different states – and hence different locations, with different speeds – at the very same time?  Does this signal the end of science as we know it, proving age-old claims about the supernatural?

Physics teacher, cartoonist, and skeptical writer Dale Debakcsy doesn’t think so.  His new article in Skeptical Inquirer magazine, “Stop Heisenberg Abuse! Three Outrageous Misappropriations of Quantum Physics”, examines some of the worst misunderstandings of the science, and why the resulting mystical conclusions are not justified.

One such unjustified conclusion is that Buddhist concepts, like Karma and Reincarnation, are vindicated by Quantum Mechanics.  Even the Dalai Lama has associated Quantum concepts with those of Buddhism.  Frequent listeners of ‘Equal Time for Freethought’ know that we’re no strangers to criticizing religion – and yet, while we’ve had shows on most of the other major religions, Buddhism has somehow escaped our ire.  Until now.

Besides discussing the Quantum aspects of Buddhism, Dale Debakcsy will tackle Buddhism itself.  Debakcsy spent nine years working in an American Buddhist school, seeing its effects firsthand and, in another recent essay of his, “The Dark Side of Buddhism”, he argues that Buddhist belief isn’t quite as rosy as the culture makes it out to be.

Join us as we discuss these fascinating topics with Debakcsy, on his third appearance on the show!

Extended Version!

Special Fund Drive Shows w/ Arnell Dowret and Matthew LaClair

Everyone knows that reality is not what is seems to be; but than what is it?  And what is our most effective approach to knowing?  With the major network premier of an updated version of the most lauded science series of all times, Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos.”  And with new exoplanets being continually discovered, along with ground breaking information pouring in about the nature of our universe, this is a great time to celebrate the explanatory power of scientific naturalism.

Also worthy of celebration – Equal Time for Freethought – a key part of WBAI’s delivery system of an evidence-based way of knowing ourselves and our world- airing our 500th installment!

And you can help us celebrate too as well and help ensure that we’ll be around for another 500 shows by donating to WBAI during this two-hour fund raiser special.  As thanks for a donation at the $100 level we are pleased to offer pairs of tickets to a fantastic state of the art show at the Hayden Planetarium, Dark Universe narrated by Neil DeGrass Tyson.

Featuring exquisite renderings of cosmic phenomena, seminal scientific instruments, and spectacular scenes in deep space, the new Hayden Planetarium Space Show Dark Universe celebrates the pivotal discoveries that have led us to greater knowledge of the structure and history of the universe and our place in it—and to new frontiers for exploration. Dark Universe whisks audiences out of the Milky Way galaxy, drops them alongside a parachute descending through Jupiter’s atmosphere, and brings them all the way to the afterglow of the Big Bang while revealing the breakthroughs that have led astronomers to confront two great cosmic mysteries: dark matter and dark energy.

As thanks for a donation of $50 we are offering a CD of two exclusive ETFF interviews with Dr. Tyson.  A donation of $125 will be thanked with both premiums.

Joining us live on the air will be curator of the Dark Universe show Dr. Mordechai-Mark Mac Low. Dr. Mac Low is an astronomer and chair of the division of physical sciences at the American Museum of Natural History.

Audio coming soon!

Theoretical cosmologist, Sean Carroll

On today’s ETFF, Sean Carroll will discuss with us the nature of time and space, and some of the newest ideas in modern theoretical cosmology and physics. He will also discuss time travel, the god hypothesis, and the origins of the universe.

Carroll works at Caltech in Pasadena, California. He does research on theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, gravitation, and quantum mechanics as well as work on dark matter and dark energy, modified gravity, topological defects, extra dimensions, and violations of fundamental symmetries. Carroll has written a couple of popular-level books: ‘From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time’, and ‘The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World.’

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!