Episode 123: Heretics

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn talks heresy with Laura, Gem, and Lauren. Heretics discussed include Hypatia of Alexandria, Roger Bacon, Baruch Spinoza, Charles Darwin, and Giordano Bruno. Also on this episode, Gem drones on about ancient writing materials and the sizes of various libraries for some reason.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that delves into issues of science, critical thinking, and secular humanism.

Note: In preparation for the discussion of the Library of Alexandria, Gem reached out to Winnipeg’s Millennium Library to ask about the size of their collection. After we recorded the episode, he received a response informing us that the collection contains roughly 338,000 items, which is on the same order of magnitude as the Great Library of Alexandria—but at least some of the items in circulation are going to be non-canon Star Wars novels, so they don’t really count.

SkeptiCamp: If you’d like to present at SkeptiCamp, send an email to skepticamp@winnipegskeptics.com or skepticamp2017@gmail.com. Visit winnipegskeptics.com/skepticamp for more information!

Links: Heresy (Wikipedia) | Library of Alexandria (Wikipedia) | Hypatia (Wikipedia) | General Fact Sheet (New York Public Library) | The Encyclopaedia Britannica hits rock bottom (Quodlibeta) | Neoplatonism (Wikipedia) | Roger Bacon (Wikipedia) | Roger Bacon (Encyclopaedia Britannica) | Roger Bacon (Catholic Encyclopedia) | Bacon biography (History of Mathematics Archive) | Roger Bacon (British Heritage) | The Persecution of Philosophers (Bad News About Christianity) | Darwin’s Heretic | Charles Darwin: A heretic and a hero (The Globe and Mail) | Religious views of Charles Darwin (Wikipedia) | Are great scientists always heretics? (BBC Science) | Darwin on a Godless Creation: “It’s like confessing to a murder” (Scientific American) | Evolution and the Catholic Church (Wikipedia) | Reactions to On the Origin of Species (Wikipedia) | Giordano Bruno (Wikipedia) | Archimedes (Wikipedia) | Our Unknown Martyrs (The Scientist Magazine) | 7 Scientists Who Died Violently (FamousScientists.org) | Baruch Spinoza (Wikipedia) | Science and Religion (MarkHumphrys.com) | Michael Servetus (Wikipedia)

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Episode 117: Trump

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Ashlyn, Laura, Lauren, and Brendan discuss a few of the many myths and conspiracy theories endorsed by Donald Trump, and Brendan points out that a simple fact check isn’t enough.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism that is produced by the Winnipeg Skeptics.

Note: For further context on Trump, fact-checking, border control, and claims of journalistic objectivity, Gem recommends these excellent episodes of On the Media: The Game Has Changed (On the Media) | The Ties That Bind (On the Media) | What We Know About the Border (On the Media)

Links: Episode 110: Science & Race (LUEE) | Non-Muslims Carried Out More than 90% of All Terrorist Attacks in America (Global Research) | New Research Shows That More Immigration Means Higher Wages for All Workers in Cities (CityLab) | 3 Ways to Immigrate to USA (uscitizenship) | Immigration and the Economic Status of African-American Men (SSRN) | Unskilled Workers Lose Out to Immigrants (NYTimes.com) | An Aging U.S. is Revitalized by Immigrants (NYTimes.com) | Immigrants Are Replacing, Not Displacing, Workers (NYTimes.com) | Immigration Doesn’t Hurt Native Jobs or Wages in the U.S., Report Finds (Time) | Immigrant Employment by State and Industry (Pew) | Does Illegal Immigration Disadvantage American Workers? (ProCon.org) | Immigrants Aren’t Stealing American Jobs (The Atlantic) | Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories (Wikipedia) | Central Park jogger case (Wikipedia) | COINTELPRO (Wikipedia) | What an Uncensored Letter to M.L.K. Reveals (The New York Times) | Episode 101: “Trace Amounts” (LUEE) | 10 facts on immunization (WHO) | About Vaccines (Manitoba Health) | The GOP’s dangerous “debate” on vaccines and autism (The Washington Post) | Trump team denies skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was asked to head vaccine commission (CNNPolitics.com) | Gregg Phillips: Trump’s Favorite Voter-Fraud Activist (The Atlantic) | 25% of Voters Believe President Trump’s Unfounded Voter Fraud Claim (Time) | President Trump’s Voter-Fraud Expert Was Registered to Vote in Three States (Time) | President Trump Vowed to Investigate Voter Fraud. Then Lawmakers Voted to Eliminate an Election Commission (Time) | Arguments from Global Warming Skeptics and what the science really says (Skeptical Science) | Fact Check: Trump’s Cabinet Picks on Human-Caused Global Warming | Ice-albedo feedback (Wikipedia) | Yes, Donald Trump did call climate change a Chinese hoax (PolitiFact) | 2012 Benghazi attack (Wikipedia) | A Comprehensive Guide To Benghazi Myths And Facts | Hillary Clinton emails – what’s it all about? (BBC News) | Essays: To Profile or Not to Profile? (Schneier on Security) | Protestors call on mayor to make Winnipeg a sanctuary city (Winnipeg Free Press)

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Episode 116: Risk

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Laura, Gem, and Lauren talk about how bad we are at assessing risk. Also on this episode: Do we get more risk averse as we get older? Is margarine going to kill you, or will a hippopotamus get you first? Will the world end not with a bang but a Boolean?

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism that is produced by the Winnipeg Skeptics.

Note: Music featured in this episode include samples from “Death from the Skies” by George Hrab (featuring Phil Plait), “Paranoid Android” by Radiohead, and “Binnorie” by Mediæval Bæbes.

Links: Relative risk (Wikipedia) | Spreading disease or spreading deliciousness: the butter vs. margarine debate rages on (dietitian at home) | Global catastrophic risk (Wikipedia) | Death from the Skies! (Wikipedia) | Holocene extinction (Wikipedia) | Existential risk from artificial general intelligence (Wikipedia) | AI Risk Analysts are the Biggest Risk (Singularity Weblog) | There is a blind spot in AI research (Nature News) | Program good ethics into artificial intelligence (Nature News & Comment ) | TRC #429.5: Programming Ethics Into AI (The Reality Check) | Potential Risks from Advanced Artificial Intelligence: The Philanthropic Opportunity (Open Philanthropy Project ) | If Aliens Exist, They May Come to Get Us, Stephen Hawking Says (Space.com) | Risk Preferences and Aging: The “Certainty Effect” in Older Adults’ Decision Making (Journal of Psychology and Aging) | Differences in risk aversion between young and older adults (NAN) | Differences in Risk Aversion between Young and Older Adults (Neuroscience and Neuroeconomics) | Aging and loss decision making: increased risk aversion and decreased use of maximizing information, with correlated rationality and value maximization | It is surprisingly rare for an alligator to kill a person (BBC Earth) | Chart: The animals that are most likely to kill you this summer (The Washington Post) | The Odds of Dying | 25 shocking things more likely to kill you than a shark (WNYY) | Choking Prevention and Rescue Tips | 10 Things More Likely to Kill You than Islamic Terror | List of selfie-related injuries and deaths (Wikipedia) | Animal bites (WHO)

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Episode 115: Holiday Charity Special

On the Life, the Universe & Everything Else Holiday Special, Brendan Curran-Johnson joins Gem, Laura, Ashlyn, and Lauren to talk about charitable giving, including how an organization qualifies as a charity, how to maximize the good your contributions can do, and some of the questionable practices of the most popular charities. The episode concludes with a rebroadcast of a segment from 2013’s holiday episode contrasting the various nativity accounts.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism that is produced by the Winnipeg Skeptics.

Definition of Charity: What is charitable? (Canada Revenue Agency)

Image vs. Effect: Dems help reopen a NC Repub office by David Weinberger (GoFundMe) | MEDIA ADVISORY: NCGOP Sees Encouraging Early Voting, Obama/Clinton Coalition Tired, Fail to Resonate in North Carolina | Courts are finally pointing out the racism behind voter ID laws (The Washington Post) | Today I did a lot of screaming about the anti-LGBT bill North Carolina passed (mcclure111) | Susan G. Komen Partners With Fracking Firm, Despite Possible Cancer Links (Huffington Post) | Pinkwashing (Wikipedia) | Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Promises to Spend $3 Billion to Research and Cure All Diseases (Forbes) | Mark Zuckerberg can’t believe India is debating net neutrality rather than being grateful for Facebook’s free internet (Quartz)

Effective Altruism: Effective altruism (Wikipedia) | GiveWell (Charity Reviews and Research) | Giving What We Can | 80,000 Hours | TRC #270: Effective Altruism + Drinking While Eating + Square on Toothpaste Tube (The Reality Check) | TRC #325: Cells On A Plane + Effective Donating Revisited + Sad Music (The Reality Check) | TRC #379: Charitable Giving + Premium vs Regular Gas + Elf On The Shelf (The Reality Check) | The Way to Produce a Person (The New York Times)

Donations in Kind: Understanding the Impact of Donated Clothes (WhyDev) | Why second-hand clothing donations are creating a dilemma for Kenya (The Guardian) | Stop donating canned goods to food drives: Your corned mutton castoffs are only making things worse (National Post) | Charities Need Your Money, Not Your Random Old Food (Slate) | The Problem With Little White Girls, Boys And Voluntourism (Huffington Post)

Winnipeg Harvest: Winnipeg Harvest | Winnipeg Harvest (Charity Intelligence)

Salvation Army: The Salvation Army in Canada Non-Discrimination | UK Salvation Army chief defends ban on gay members (PinkNews) | Here’s The Internal Document The Salvation Army Doesn’t Want You To See (Queerty)

World Vision: FAQs (World Vision International) | World Vision Canada statement on sexual orientation and hiring practices | A World Vision Donor Sponsored a Boy. The Outcome Was a Mystery to Both. (The New York Times)

Other Charities That Need Your Help: Top Charities (GiveWell) | American Civil Liberties Union | Canadian Civil Liberties Association | Planned Parenthood | Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights | Trans Lifeline (877-565-8860) | National Center for Transgender Equality | Trans Equality Rights in Canada | Advocating for LGBTQ Equality (Human Rights Campaign)

The “Charity Slump”: The Holiday Giving Season: A Make or Break Time for Small Charities (CanadaHelps) | Charitable Giving in America: Some Facts and Figures | Why Charities Receive Less During The Summer (CanadaHelps)

Other Links: Episode 72: The War on Christmas: A Brief History (LUEE) | Episode 107: Solving Homelessness (LUEE) | Power In A Union on Vimeo | C.R.E.A.M. (Wu-Tang Clan) | The best God joke ever (Emo Phillips) | Are We the Baddies? (That Mitchell and Webb Look)

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Episode 114: Ray Comfort’s “Atheist Delusion”

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, Gem, and Laura review Ray Comfort’s new “documentary” with special guests Ash Burkowski and David Bonwick, and the panel bids farewell to evangelical cartoonist Jack Chick with a game of Jack or Fiction.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism that is produced by the Winnipeg Skeptics.

Links: Bad Science Watch | NHP Monograph Consultations (Bad Science Watch) | TRC #420: Origin of 420 + Gem Newman of Bad Science Watch + History Of Halloween (The Reality Check) | The Atheist Delusion (YouTube) | Checkmate, Atheists! (YouTube) | Jack Chick (RationalWiki) | Leonard Nimoy Gallery (NSFW)

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Episode 102: Apologetics & Counter-apologetics

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem runs through several arguments for the existence of God with Ashlyn, Ian, and Laura, and the panel ponders whether it’s worth talking about religious arguments at all.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism that is produced by the Winnipeg Skeptics.

Links: Selling Religion Door to Door (Startled Disbelief) | Ontological argument (Iron Chariots Wiki) | Miracle of the Sun (Wikipedia) | Sanal Edamaruku (Wikipedia) | The Argument from Miracles (Arguments for Atheism) | Thank You God (Tim Minchin) | Euthyphro dilemma (Wikipedia) | Euthyphro dilemma (Iron Chariots Wiki) | The Euthyphro Dilemma (Philosophy of Religion) | Episode 132: Euthyphro’s Revenge (Reasonable Doubts) | Argument from design (RationalWiki) | Occam’s razor (Wikipedia) | Cosmological argument (Iron Chariots Wiki) | Kalam (Iron Chariots Wiki) | Leibniz cosmological argument (Iron Chariots Wiki) | Ontological Girlfriend (Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal) | 20 Arguments For God’s Existence (Strange Notions) | Dietitian at Home

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Episode 94: Free Will

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem is joined by Donna, Ashlyn, and Ian to talk about free will, determinism, and what it means to make a choice. Also on this episode, Donna sits down with August Berkshire of Minnesota Atheists to discuss the moral implications of a world without free will. We went a little long, but don’t blame us: determinism exempts us from all ethical responsibility!

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism that is produced by the Winnipeg Skeptics and the Humanists, Atheists & Agnostics of Manitoba.

Note: Barium. Radioactive caesium decays into barium.

Links: Free Will: What is it? and Do we have it? (The Winnipeg Skeptics) | Free will (Wikipedia) | Phineas Gage (Wikipedia) | Unconscious cerebral initiative and the role of conscious will in voluntary action (Behavioral and Brain Sciences) | Unconscious determinants of free decisions in the human brain (Nature Neuroscience) | A Brief Defense of Free Will | Discovery of quantum vibrations in ‘microtubules’ corroborates theory of consciousness (Phys.org) | Quantum indeterminacy (Wikipedia) | Uncertainty principle (Wikipedia) | Minnesota Atheists | Freedom Evolves (Wikipedia) | Freedom Evolves by Daniel C. Dennett (Amazon.ca) | Free Will by Sam Harris | Breaking the Free Will Illusion by ‘Trick Slattery | Beyond Freedom and Dignity by B.F. Skinner (Amazon.ca) | Killing of Tim McLean (Wikipedia) | Li case exposes ugly truth about Tories (Winnipeg Free Press) | The Fallaway Slam Podcast (The only podcast that matters!)

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