The Rise of the Podcasts

I’ve been invited to three podcasts lately, and wanted your help. What topics would you like to hear about in these upcoming conversations?

Purpose Nation

Brad Cooper (@purposenation, https://www.purposenation.org/) runs a Christian focused podcast, that includes a lot of Catholics too. You can see their past guests here: https://www.purposenation.org/podcast/.

He just interviewed Dr. Fazale Rana (RTB), and our work on the Genealogical Adam came up: Purpose Nation: Fazale Rana (RTB) on Genealogical Adam. So, I’m sure a Genealogical Adam will be on the topic list, but I am sure this will not be everything.

Here is the format he gave me:

  • Introduction
  • Brief summary of my current work, including Peaceful Science
  • My faith and science background
  • Deeper dive into 1-3 current science or technology topics
  • The goals of Peaceful Science
  • Encouragement for for listeners to engage with science and technology.
  • Upcoming projects

So here is my question, what science and technology topics do you want me to address on @purposenation’s podcast?

Downard’s Evolution Hour

James “RJ” Downard (@rjdownard) is a very devoted defender of evolutionary science, who runs a very extensive blog of anti-anti-evolution arguments (https://tortucan.wordpress.com/ and has a YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRdnABwU9uUJw1k40LGYcQA) He found out of about @NLENTS and myself through the exchange with DI, and invited me to participate. He explains the goals of Evolution Hour:

The goal is to discuss evolution in all its ramifications, and particularly how antievolutionists interact with it. I am not religious, so that aspect does come up.

A couple distinctives I noted about his cast:

  1. It seems to me that he is non-religious but not anti-religious, much like many of those on this forum.
  2. This is done as a LiveCast, so questions can be submitted in real time in the chat alongside the youtube video as it is happening.
  3. They do not shy away from technical details, so we do not have reduce things down here. I’m expecting a helpful exchange on the technical aspects.

These three things should make for a very entertaining conversation. I will, of course, be announcing the podcast here when a date is set, so everyone can join the fun.

What topics do you think I should cover in this conversation?

Virtue in the Waisteland

Jeff Mallinson is a lutheran philosophy professor at Concordia University, and invited me to his excellent podcast Virtue in the Waisteland. I met Jeff this summer, and he is a colleague of @Philosurfer (Daniel Deen and Joel Oesch: The Lutheran Voice and Crosswise Institute). I’m looking forward to the conversation with him, but I don’t have enough information to ask a focused question about it yet.

Remember Some Other Podcasts…

All this talk of Podcast reminded me of some others I’ve done on. This one might be interesting too some. It was by Ken Fong, on the Asian American Podcast: http://asianamericapodcast.com/?podcasts=dr-joshua-swamidass. I’ll see if I can dig up a couple others I’ve done over the years.

4 Likes

I very much would appreciate advice from the non-religious people here (e.g. @T_aquaticus, @Patrick, @nwrickert, @AlanFox, etc) on what would be most helpful to people in your community.

1 Like

I know James (RJ) Downard and some of his “cast” a little bit, they’re a friendly bunch and I’m sure it could be an interesting conversation. RJ is very enthusiastic and talks… a lot. Don’t be afraid to interrupt him if needed!

2 Likes

I think all that is an accurate description of my position and stance. In fact, I’ll go further, I think our propensity for religious beliefs is absolutely natural & that our ability to tell stories (including religious ones) is perhaps a big reason for our success. That might be a topic.

On the God of Abraham side of things, a topic on your podcasts might be how critical is it for the belief that there must actually have been a physical Adam and Eve (let alone when they lived). Is that ultimately so core a theological requirement that it becomes a deal breaker, a necessary position that must find corroboration somewhere? A corollary might be the whole notion of “soulish” (which Hugh Ross homes in on), trying to parse through hominids on this point in a way that to my perspective sounds arbitrary and tendentious. This would relate directly to the extent to which our present cognitive architecture (and the societies that result from them) came about by natural means or not.

btw my position is that our unique character consists of our special mix of properties not unique to us, but unique in our combination of them: we are the tool-making species that tells stories, and via language and culture have expanded that in an extended and spectacular feedback loop.

4 Likes

Welcome @rjdownard, it is great to have you here. I’m looking forward to the conversation.

So am I. I think Nathan and I had a fine chat last Wednesday, and ours should be fun too, even more so since you’re coming from a faith perspective I don’t share, so we can pick each others brains to the benefit of those observing.

3 Likes

Non-religious doesn’t really make a community.

Keeping it science related, I see ID as a big issue. And a problem with ID, is that they are not at all clear on what they mean by “intelligence” and on what they mean by “design”. However, most of the time they seem to be hinting at “something like human conscious intelligence” and “something like human planning and design.”

Atheists, agnostics, and even some liberal Christians tend to suggest that man created God in his own image. And what ID folk seem to mean by “intelligence” and by “design” fits this criticism. Why cannot the ID people open their eyes to a broader conception of intelligence and a broader conception of design?

I look around, and I see intelligence throughout the biosphere. But somehow the ID people fail to see that evolution could already be a system of intelligent design.

4 Likes

Perhaps an additional topic, if you want to get into religion.

What has long been a puzzle to me, is the tendency of Christians to be conservative. My own reading of the gospels, is that a Christian should be personally conservative (set high standards for himself), but be socially liberal (forgiving of others). Yet too often I see Christians who are socially conservative but personally liberal.

8 Likes

Thank you!

I think you cannot stress enough the importance of people of faith defending good science, or at least admitting to it. :slight_smile: .

3 Likes

It means most when it comes from non-religious people like many of you here. Perhaps @rjdownard makes that a key point to stress.

2 Likes

Applause!!!

4 Likes

In some entirely weird twist of logic, too many of the “Christian” radio stations over the last five decades have married conservative theology with conservative politics, as though the two were somehow joined at the hip. They have almost nothing to do with each other. Perhaps that’s why I have very limited tastes when it comes to listening to them. In any case, having conservative personal values should not delimit your relations with those who don’t; the call to “love thy neighbor” is not always convenient or easy, but it is based upon God’s love for all people.

1 Like

I would be interested in what your experience has been in a field that I am assuming has a higher percentage of atheists than found in other professions. Are you often harassed because of your beliefs? Do you feel that your career has been affected by openly speaking about your beliefs? How would you describe the relationships you have with collaborators?

1 Like

@rjdownard did you see this? These are great questions.

Why you are opposed to authors such as Alister McGrath and Michael Ruse using the term Darwinism.

Darwinism and the Divine: Evolutionary Thought and Natural Theology

Darwinism and its Discontents

Darwinism in philosophy means a certain brand of atheist. If that is how they use it, no one should dispute it. The issue is with people claiming that modern evolutionary science is Darwinism. This is false.

1 Like

That’s so odd, as Lamoureux and others (@TedDavis I think) have stated that Darwin was a theist most of the time when he wasn’t an agnostic–but he objected to being called an atheist, as I recall.

In reading about his struggles, I get profound empathy. It’s a pity how many of us from Christian background demonize him. He was a very honest, self-doubting man who, apparently, tried to do what he could with what he knew.

3 Likes

He became an agnostic after having problems with religious pluralism, and I’m fairly sure he stayed an agnostic for the rest of his life.

2 Likes

Yes, it’s just interesting that so many attribute “Darwinism” as “atheism,” when he wasn’t one.