November 6, 2015 – Faith versus Fact

My guest today is Jerry Coyne, professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago, where he specializes in evolutionary genetics. New York Times bestselling author, his most recent book is Faith vs. Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible, In which he asserts that religion and science are not complementary, but rather compete with each other to understand the realities of our universe, but that only one area—science—has the means to actually discover the truth.

June 5, 2015 – Are Human Beings Free?

My guest on this program is John Gray, author of many critically acclaimed books. He is a former professor of politics at Oxford, a visiting professor at Harvard and Yale, and a professor of European thought at the London School of Economics. We’re going to be talking about his most recent book, The Soul of the Marionette: A Short Inquiry into Human Freedom, in which he draws together the religious, philosophic, and fantastical traditions Continue reading

February 27, 2015 – The Devil Wins

My guest on this program is Dallas Denery, Associate Professor at Bowdoin College, and author most recently of The Devil Wins: A History of Lying from the Garden of Eden to the Enlightenment. The question “Is it ever acceptable to lie?” plays an important role in the story of Europe’s transition from medieval to modern society, and we are all the inheritors Continue reading

February 13, 2015 – Trying Not to Try: The Art & Science of Spontaneity

My guest today is Edward Slingerland, professor of Asian Studies and the Canada Research Chair in Chinese Thought and Embodied Cognition at the University of British Columbia. He is an internationally renowned expert in Chinese thought, comparative religion, and cognitive science. He has written more than 20 academic articles, and Continue reading

December 19, 2014 – Spirituality Without Religion

This program features a conversation with Sam Harris, author of numerous best-selling books, cofounder and CEO of Project Reason, and author most recently of Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion. Dr. Harris received a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA. He is often associated with the Continue reading

May 9, 2014 – Jesus of Nazareth

My guest on this program is Reza Aslan, the author of the bestselling books No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam and most recently Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. He is an associate professor of creative writing at the University of California and a research associate at the University of Southern California’s Center on Public Diplomacy. He holds a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School and a Ph.D. in the history of religion from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

January 31, 2014 – A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It

Jennifer Michael Hecht is the author of the bestseller Doubt: A History, a history of religious and philosophical doubt all over the world, throughout history. Her new book is Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It. Hecht’s The End of the Soul: Scientific Modernity, Atheism, and Anthropology won Phi Beta Kappa’s 2004 Ralph Waldo Emerson Award “For scholarly studies that contribute significantly to interpretations of the intellectual and cultural condition of humanity.”  Her The Happiness Myth brings a historical eye to modern wisdom about how to lead a good life.

January 3, 2014 – Science & Pseudoscience & Philosophy

Massimo Pigliucci has a Doctorate in Genetics from the University of Ferrara (Italy), a Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Connecticut, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Tennessee. He has done post-doctoral research in evolutionary ecology at Brown University and is currently Chair of the Philosophy Department at Lehman College and Professor of Philosophy at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His research interests include the philosophy of biology, in particular the Continue reading

November 8, 2013 – Buddhism with Robert Thurman

Robert Thurman is a Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University, President of the Tibet House U.S., a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Tibetan civilization, and President of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies, a non-profit affiliated with the Center for Buddhist Studies at Columbia University. He is the author of many books on Tibet, Buddhism, art, politics and culture, including The Central Philosophy of Continue reading

September 27, 2013 – “Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future On Earth?”

My guest on this program is Alan Weisman. He is the author of the critically acclaimed 2007 book The World Without Us, which envisions what the earth would be like absent a human presence, and how it might heal in our absence. His most recent book is Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?, published just this week, which is Continue reading