Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Show notes for Episode 43

Radio Freethinker episode 43 - TSA's new regulations, Skeptical activism with special guest Jesse Brydle

Song: Who's Driving Your Plane? By The Rolling Stones


TSA's new regulations: and and



Monday, December 28, 2009

Show notes for Episode 42

Radio Freethinker episode 42 - Old Cereal, water on Titan, H1N1 Silver lining, Copenhagan

Song: Santa Claws is coming to town by Alice Cooper


Cereal is older than we think

Water on Titan (almost)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Show notes for Episode 41

Radio Freethinker episode 41 - Economics email, the logic of Sonya McLeod, Science reporting vs Science

Song: Girl you have no faith in Medicine by the White Stripes

Sonya McLeod:

Economics email:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Show notes for Episode 39

Radio Freethinker episode 39 - We discuss Science and Media with special guest Jennifer Kaban

Song: Science is Real by They Might Be Giants


Brain scan used in Trial:

Climate Change emails:

TEDxTerry talks:

Jennifer Kaban "Sharing Wonder"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Show notes for Episode 38

Radio Freethinker episode 38 - Our Second Fundraising Episode!! Vaccines and poor journalism by the Georgia Straight

You can donate by calling 604-822-8648 or at

Great swag awaits you!!

Donations give you the chance to win some great swag!
For $101.90 you get: Year’s subscription to Skeptical Inquirer and Free Inquiry!
For $60 you get: A new copy of Richard Dawkins “The Greatest Show on Earth”!
For $60 you get: A membership, free pass and t-shirt from the Railway Club!
For $30 you get CD of the Music of Radio Freethinker! and a DVD of audio books on science, skepticism and atheism! and a Honorary membership of the UBC Freethinkers! !SOLD OUT!

If you Donate $300 or more... you get it all!!!Call 604-822-8648 or 604 UBC UNIT

Georgia Straight article on Vaccines:

Skeptics in the Pub:
Skepticism and The X-Files:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Show notes for Episode 37

Radio Freethinker episode 37 - Our First Fundraising Episode!! Craziness ensues!! You can donate by calling 604-822-8648 or at Great swag awaits you!!
Donations give you the chance to win some great swag!
For $101.90 you get: Year’s subscription to Skeptical Inquirer and Free Inquiry!
For $60 you get: A new copy of Richard Dawkins “The Greatest Show on Earth”!
For $60 you get: A membership, free pass and t-shirt from the Railway Club!
For $30 you get CD of the Music of Radio Freethinker! and a DVD of audio books on science, skepticism and atheism! and a Honorary membership of the UBC Freethinkers!

If you Donate $300 or more... you get it all!!!
Call 604-822-8648 or 604 UBC UNIT

Water on the moon
Lake Agassiz
Ethan's Skeptic North article in the National Post
Skepticism and The X-Files Event

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Show notes for Episode 36

Radio Freethinker episode 36 - Carl Sagan Day, more Body Soul and Spirit expo
Song: Symphony of Science "We are all connected" by John Boswell

Carl Sagan Day:

H1 N1 Get the Facts:

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Show notes for Episode 35

Radio Freethinker episode 35 - "Ahead of the Curve", Drug advisor fired, Mind Body and Spirit expo is discussed

UK Drug advisor fired:

Vaccine "ahead of the curve" and

Show notes for Episode 34

Radio Freethinker episode 34 - Economic's Special! Topics include bailouts, HST, and Libertarianism vs Liberalism


Secondary links:

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Podcast Problems

Hello all,

Some may have noticed that episode 34 and 35 have yet to be updated on Itunes. We are aware of the problem and it should be corrected within the next 24 hours. Hopefully everything will work out. Thanks for your patience.

Radio Freethinker.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Show notes for Episode 33

Radio Freethinker episode 33 - Halloween Special! Origins of Halloween, Trick or Treating, Scarey Myths

Song: Theme to the Crypt Keeper

Origins of Halloween - Samhain All Saints Day Festival of the Dead

Halloween is safe and always has been:

Mathematical model for surviving zombie outbreak:

Porphyria explains vampires and werewolves:

H1N1 - Get the Facts:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Show notes for Episode 32

Radio Freethinker episode 32 - "Priming the well", Placebo effect study, Science and skepticism

Song: The Big Bang Theory by Barenaked Ladies


Placebo study:

Copper bracelets usless:

Open Access week:

Tck Tck Tck:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Show notes for Episode 31

Radio Freethinker episode 31- Holocaust denial is discussed, new vaccine study on seasonal flu, Simon Singh court battle update, Canadian science media centre.

Song: I Won't Back Down by Tom Petty


Study on vaccines: also see and
Simon Singh:
Canadian science media centre:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Show notes for Episode 29

Radio Freethinker episode 29 - Nobel Prize thoughts, Ardipithecus ramidus, interview with Steve Thoms
Song: Glorious Dawn by Carl Sagan - A custom song created by youtube user Melodysheep.


Canadian winning Nobel Prize:

Ardipithecus ramidus discovery:

Steve Thoms:

Kennedy Goodkey's letter to the Georgia Straight:

Skeptic North:

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Show notes for Episode 26

Radio Freethinker episode 26 - Today we discuss Scientology with special guest Gerry Armstrong and interviews with Vanonymous.
Song "Never going to give you up" by Rick Astley
Gerry Armstrong
Vancouver Anonymous

Show notes for Episode 25

Radio Freethinker episode 25 - This week in science, discussion on cults, interview with a cult survivor Featuring the song: "Cult of Personality" by Living Colour
UBC Freethinker Campus Club:
UBC Freethinker Blog:
Open Government/Standards
Cafe Scientifique:
Skeptics in the Pub:

Friday, August 14, 2009

Ep 21 - Done to Death show

Ep 21 – Done to death Episode

This week in history

3114 BC – The Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, used by several pre-Colombian Mesoamerican civilizations, notably the Mayans, begins. 2012 Doomsday calendar

2001 – US President George W. Bush announces his support for federal funding of limited research on embryonic stem cells.

1173 – Construction of the Tower of Pisa begins, and it takes two centuries to complete.

1977 – In Yonkers, New York, 24-year-old postal employee David Berkowitz ("Son of Sam") is arrested for a series of killings in the New York City area over the period of one year.

1945 –Nagasaki is devastated when an atomic bomb, "Fat Man", is dropped. 39,000 people are killed outright


Prayed to death

Dale Neumann (and wife) found guilty of second-degree reckless homicide in the death of their 11yr daughter who dies from untreated diabetes.

Neumann, who once studied to be a Pentecostal minister, believed God would heal his daughter and he never expected her to die. God promises in the Bible to heal, he said.

"If I go to the doctor, I am putting the doctor before God," he testified. "I am not believing what he said he would do."

Madeline die as a test of faith

The jury deliberated about 15 hours over two days before convicting Neumann.

Carl Brent Worthington, sentenced to 60 days in jail and ordered to provide medical care for his other children. acquitting the couple of felony manslaughter charges in the March 2008 death of their 15-month-old daughter, Ava, from pneumonia and a related blood infection that could easily have been cured with antibiotics.

Carl belongs to the Followers of Christ Church in Oregon City, which avoids doctors in favor of spiritual healing. Larry Lewman, a former medical examiner in the state, alleges that during a ten-year period twenty-five children perished due to the lack of medical intervention.

Like many states, Oregon has laws protecting from prosecution parents who practice faith healing. The laws in Oregon at the time were especially liberal in the protections granted to parents; granting immunity from manslaughter charges to parents whose children perished due to an alleged reliance on faith healing over traditional medicine

In January 1999, a bill was introduced in the Oregon Legislature to repeal the "religious beliefs" defence to charges of manslaughter, homicide, and child abuse. After much debate, a modified version of the law was subsequently passed later that year. Oregon State Law House Bill 2494 Section 163.555 2b retains the "religious beliefs" defence: "In a prosecution for failing to provide necessary and proper medical attention, it is a defence that the medical attention was provided by treatment by prayer through spiritual means alone by adherents of a bona fide religious denomination that relies exclusively on this form of treatment in lieu of medical attention." Thirty states have child abuse religious exemptions. These are Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming.


It will be assumed, that those who are our listeners, that there is no soul. As such, any definition of life will not rest upon this concept.

This discussion is intended to explore the apparent logical contradiction between those who are approve of abortion on the one hand and decry capital punishment on the other. The apparent contradiction present being – is the preservation of life paramount; abortion points to no and capital punishment points to yes. As such, other issues around this debate (notable a woman’s right to body, father rights and democratic will) will be ignored....for now.

For the sake of this talk (and as rational thinkers) we acknowledge the non-existence of a ‘soul’ and as such it will not be mentioned. Because ‘souls’ and ‘religion’ are inherently irrational, they can be used to prove any point. IE. One has no right to life until baptized.

However, it must be acknowledged that at some point during gestation that the bundle of cells attains ‘personhood’ and that because of the contention of this issue, the contradiction above is possible even in a scientific debate.


What is personhood?

Having rejected the spiritual definition (ie soul) what (and when) does a potential person achieve personhood?

This is complicated by the fact, if one uses consciousness, the human brain finished development outside the womb

- Does this mean “post-birth” abortions are acceptable?

o Singer concluded that infanticide would be permissible until the 3rd month after birth, because, at that point, self-awareness has still not been acquired (Singer, P. (1976). Practical ethics, chap. 6. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.)

- What about people of ‘diminished’ capacity later in life? (the elderly, injured, disabled or diseased)


Denying existence to Einstein?

Although a fetus may not have rights, the person it would (have) become does.

We can acknowledge we have legal/moral obligations to “potential” humans in the environmental debate. Immigrants often will sacrifice their own well being in the hopes that their potential progeny will prosper.


Abortion for medical reasons

Abortion for psychological reason

Abortion for Socio-economic reasons

- A form of discrimination

Abortion for gender selection

- Cultural insensitivity

Abortion as birth control – Overpopulation vs. alternative to condoms/the pill

Capital Punishment

Is it ever right/justified to take a life for the sake of the community/justice?

Is it EVER appropriate to kill the unjust?

- What about Hitler?

- What about a clear and unambiguous case of MASS homicide?

- Morally speaking, if you allow it once, then your debate is not moral but practical

- Does killing a killer bring justice?

- Does killing a killer save lives?

- What part of punishment is retribution and what part restitution? Does (should) it accomplish both or either or neither?

Wrongful conviction

- Utility – ie killing one innocent to prevent

o Estimates 39 “probable” innocents executed in US since 1976 out of 1,171 (3.4%)




- Do the convicted have the same rights as the ‘innocent’ or are those (to some degree) relinquished by perpetrating a crime?


- Is it cheaper to kill than to confine?

- If restitution (for the loss of value to the community of the murdered), is killing the best way to achieve this? Maybe work-camps?


“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth”.
Sherlock Holmes in The Sign of the Four
corollary: whatever is impossible, however desirable must be eliminated for the possible, however improbable they may seem. (Don)

“There is a rumour going around that I have found God. I think this is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist.”
Terry Pratchett The Daily Mail (2008-06-21)

“Suicide was against the law. Johnny had wondered why. It meant that if you missed, or the gas ran out, or the rope broke, you could get locked up in prison to show you that life was really very jolly and thoroughly worth living.”
Terry Pratchett " Johnny and the Dead (1993)

We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Sahara. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively outnumbers the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.
Richard Dawkins, 'Unweaving The Rainbow'


Depeche Mode- Blasphemous Rumours