Episode 79: The Historicity of Jesus

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Greg Christensen, Ian Macaulay, and Gem Newman discuss whether the character of Jesus Christ as portrayed in the Christian Bible is actually based on an historical figure, and Greg gives us a review of Bill O’Reilly’s new book along the way.

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

Links: Historicity of Jesus (Wikipedia) | Christ myth theory (Wikipedia) | Carrier and Ehrman disagree on the historicity of Jesus | David Fitzgerald responds to criticism of Nailed | LUEE Episode 72: The War on Christmas (A Brief History) | Irreligiosophy: The One True Podcast (Website, iTunes) | The Bible Geek Show (Website, iTunes) | Josephus on Jesus | Tacitus on Christ | Criterion of Embarrassment | Acharya S (Wikipedia)

Books: Killing Jesus, by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard | Nailed, by David Fitzgerald | Proving History, by Richard Carrier | The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man, by Robert Price | Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth, by Bart Ehrman

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Episode 62: Star Trek’s Humanism (and Lack Thereof), Part 2

Episode 62: Star Trek’s Humanism (and Lack Thereof), Part 2

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Greg Christensen, Richelle McCullough, Robert Shindler, and Gem Newman continue their discussion of Star Trek’s long history of humanism, and some of the places the franchise has stumbled along the way.

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

Episodes Discussed: The Next Generation (The Measure of a Man, Who Watches the Watchers) | Deep Space Nine (Family Business, In the Pale Moonlight) | Voyager (Author, Author) | Enterprise (Dear Doctor)

Other Links: Riker Sits Down | Gem’s Rant on the Subject of “Dear Doctor” | Mansplainer #3: I’m Sick of Television (and Real Life) | That Mitchell and Webb Look: English Civil War

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Episode 61: Star Trek’s Humanism (and Lack Thereof), Part 1

Episode 61: Star Trek’s Humanism (and Lack Thereof), Part 1

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Greg Christensen, Richelle McCullough, Robert Shindler, and Gem Newman discuss Star Trek’s long history of humanism, and some of the places the franchise has stumbled along the way.

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

News Items: An Open Letter to Exodus International’s Super-remorseful Alan Chambers | Vaccine Against HPV Has Cut Infections In Teenage Girls | ‘Racist’ Licence Plates Recalled in New Brunswick | Licence Plate Standards (Manitoba, Alberta, New Brunswick)

Episodes Discussed: The Original Series (Who Mourns for Adonais?) | Star Trek V: The Final Frontier | The Next Generation (The Child)

Other Links: Riker Sits Down | ‘Star Trek’ Franchise an Homage to Humanist Philosophy | Gene Roddenberry | Michael Piller | CBS/Paramount and Michael Piller’s “Fade In” | D.C. Fontana | The “Mind Rape” Trope

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Episode 52: The Movie Review Show

Episode 52: The Movie Review Show

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem Newman, Ashlyn Noble, Robert Shindler, and Laura Creek Newman review several recent films from a skeptical perspective.

Warning! We discuss plot points in Life of Pi, Source Code, Wreck-It Ralph, The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, Prometheus, Contagion, Looper, and the 2009 reboot of the Star Trek franchise in some detail. There are several spoilers large and small, so proceed at your own risk. Also, this episode makes copious use of “air quotes” for some reason. So, there’s that.

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

Star Trek
Science Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Spoiler Level: Medium

Source Code
Science Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Spoiler Level: Maximum (All the spoilers!)

Life of Pi
Science Rating: ★★★☆☆
Spoiler Level: High

Wreck-It Ralph
Science Rating: ★★★★☆
Spoiler Level: Low

Contagion
Science Rating: ★★★★★
Spoiler Level: Low

The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra
Science Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Spoiler Level: None

Looper
Science Rating: ★★★☆☆
Spoiler Level: Medium

Prometheus
Science Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Spoiler Level: High (But who cares?)

Other Links: Sir Ian McKellen to Marry Sir Patrick Stewart | Bad Astronomy Review: Star Trek | Rasplex.com | Ridley Scott Says Jesus Was a Space Alien, or Something Like That

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SkeptiCamp Winnipeg 2012: Robots and Emotions

On Saturday, 29 September 2012, the Winnipeg Skeptics held their third annual SkeptiCamp event. SkeptiCamp Winnipeg is a conference for the sharing of ideas. It is free and open to the public: anyone can attend and participate! Presentations and discussions focus on science and free inquiry, and the audience is encouraged to challenge presenters to defend their ideas.

Dr. Jim Young is a researcher in computer science at the University of Manitoba specializing in human-robot interaction. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Calgary, where he focused on mixing robotic interface design with sociology, and worked for four years at the University of Tokyo, designing easy-to-use robotic interfaces for the general public.

SkeptiCamp is an open conference celebrating science and critical thinking. For more information please visit SkeptiCamp.org.

Episode 49: Robots! Part 2!

Episode 49: Robots! Part 2!

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem Newman, Richelle McCullough, Greg Christensen, and Mark Forkheim talk about the robot apocalypse and how robots are portrayed in fiction. This episode also features the second part of our interview with Human Robot Interaction researcher Derek Cormier.

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

Links: Episode 29: Zombies! Part 1! | Episode 32: Zombies! Part 2! | “Grey Goo” Scenario | Robot Toddler Could Unlock Secrets of Human Development | Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics | What If? The Robot Apocalypse | Why I Am No Longer a Christian | Carl Sagan’s Cosmos

What Are You Reading? The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood | Rapture of the Nerds, by Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross | Mortality, by Christopher Hitchens | The Missionary Position, by Christopher Hitchens | This Book Is Full of Spiders, by David Wong/Jason Pargin | A Memory of Light, by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson | Sundiver, by David Brin | Losing My Religion, by William Lobdell | The Demon Haunted World, by Carl Sagan | Flatland, Edwin Abbott Abbott

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Episode 48: Robots! Part 1!

Episode 48: Robots! Part 1!

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem Newman, Richelle McCullough, Greg Christensen, and Mark Forkheim talk about robots: specifically, about how they will eventually take over the world. This episode also features an interview with Human Robot Interaction researcher Derek Cormier.

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

Links: Episode 29: Zombies! Part 1! | Episode 32: Zombies! Part 2! | “Grey Goo” Scenario | Robot Toddler Could Unlock Secrets of Human Development | Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics | Milgram Experiment

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Listen: Direct Link | iTunes | RSS Feed