Podcast Ep. 115: Dr. Jerry Coyne, Author of Faith vs. Fact

At the recent American Humanist Association conference in Chicago, we spoke with Dr. Jerry Coyne, author, most recently, of Faith Versus Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible.

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Dr. Coyne is a now-retired Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago. He has written over 115 refereed scientific papers; 130 additional articles, book reviews, and columns; and a scholarly book about his field (Speciation, co-authored with H. Allen Orr).

He may be most familiar to listeners for his book Why Evolution is True (which spawned his blog of the same name).

At the recent American Humanist Association conference in Chicago, we spoke with Dr. Coyne about why science and religion are incompatible, the problems with the “Regressive Left” on college campuses, and what he discusses with his atheist/scientist friends.

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Podcast Ep. 114: Katherine Ozment, Author of Grace Without God

Our latest podcast guest is Katherine Ozment, author of Grace Without God: The Search for Meaning, Purpose, and Belonging in a Secular Age.

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Ozment has worked for National Geographic and Boston magazine and been published in the New York Times. She lives in Chicago with her husband and three children.

For years now, she’s been exploring how the ever-growing segment of non-religious parents raise their children. They’re not all atheists, but they have to grapple with the Big Questions about life and death and belonging, all without supernatural faith. She wrote a magazine article about it a few years ago, and she has now written a full-length examination into the topic.

I spoke with her about what secular “grace” looks like, why atheists may want rituals traditionally reserved for the religious, and how the landscape for atheist parents is rapidly changing.

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Podcast Ep. 113: Julia Sweeney, Comedian and Author

At the recent American Humanist Association conference in Chicago, we spoke with comedian and author Julia Sweeney along with her daughter Mulan.

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Julia may be best known for her years on Saturday Night Live, where she famously played the androgynous character Pat. But she has since written multiple one-woman shows and books which speak to her experiences as a cancer survivor (God Said, Ha!), atheist (Letting Go of God), and mother (If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother).

Speaking of which, if you haven’t heard Letting Go of God yet, stop what you’re doing and go listen to it. It’s an incredible, funny story of how Julia shed her Catholicism. (A condensed version of the show was featured on a 2005 episode of This American Life.)

We spoke with Julia and Mulan about how the character Pat would go over today, the movie Mulan finally watched for the very first time, and what Julia thinks about the new all-female Ghostbusters reboot.

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Podcast Ep. 112: Dr. Elizabeth Drescher, Author of Choosing Our Religion

Our latest podcast guest is Dr. Elizabeth Drescher, author of Choosing Our Religion: The Spiritual Lives of America’s Nones.

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Dr. Drescher is a professor of Religious Studies at Santa Clara University and the author of several books.

We spoke with her about what atheist “spirituality” really means, the problem with the language we use to talk about faith, and how religion is no longer being passed down generation after generation.

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Podcast Ep. 111: Margaret Downey, Member of Reason Rally Board of Directors

At the American Humanist Association conference in Chicago recently, we had a chance to speak with a number of incredible people and we’ll be posting those interviews over the next few weeks.

Today, we’re posting our conversation with Margaret Downey, a life-long atheist activist and member of the Reason Rally Coalition Board of Directors.

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Margaret is also founder and President of the Freethought Society and a former President of Atheist Alliance International.

We spoke with her about what to expect at this weekend’s Rally, how she plans to gauge its success, and what she wants people to take away from the event.

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