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.

Special Call-In Show: The Rzetelny Brothers on “Free Will”

Do we have free will? You may have heard that question before, but what does it really mean? If we had it, how would we know? What would it look like if we did, or if we didn’t? And, more importantly, what does this mean for society? While on some level it may seem like just an abstract concept, our views of free will can affect how we treat other people, and how we build our society. Which makes it an important, and certainly interesting, topic to discuss.

Luckily, science gives us clues as to the nature of human decision-making — the essence of free will. But what should we make of it? How should we build policies out of these clues? Hosts Xaq Rzetelny and his brother, special guest host Dr. Adam Rzetelny, will be discussing these issues and more, and taking callers.

Dr. Adam Rzetelny is a licensed clinical psychologist with clinical and research experience in addiction, psychiatry, pain, neurology, and behaviorism.  Dr. Rzetelny co-authored several scientific papers and presentations, including pharmacogenetics of response to nicotine replacement therapy in smokers, drug testing in patients with addictions, and physical therapy in patients with MS.  In his clinical practice, he treated severe mental illness and addiction in both in-patient and outpatient settings.  Dr. Rzetelny currently works as a researcher and educator for a company that provides drug testing and pharmacogenetics services.

Physics Nobel Prize recipient, Dr. John Mather

This Saturday our guest is Dr. John Mather, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics for his precision measurement of the cosmic microwave background radiation, which further solidified the Big Bang theory.  He is now a senior astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and senior project scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope. Dr. Mather discusses his work, life, and the development of new technology that is certain to once again inform and enlighten scientists and the public on our fascinating and mysterious universe.