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German Jesuit mathematician and astronomer Christopher Clavius (1538-1612)

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Creationism and intelligent design are widely understood as the province of American Protestants. Today’s episode explores how people in some of the world’s other religious traditions – particularly Jews, Catholics, and Muslims – have positioned themselves in the evolution-intelligent design debate.

First guest essay – Emily Jenkins, “Why Genesis Doesn’t Mean Creationism for (Most) Jews”

Second guest essay – David Squires, “The Jesuits: Between Science and Faith”

  • This segment includes an interview with Father George Coyne, an astrophysicist and former director of the Vatican Observatory.
  • David Squires is a junior majoring in history and philosophy at Southwestern University. After graduation, he plans to attend law school.

For further reading

On the shelf:

Audio credits:

All music on this program courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network, except where noted.

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Sputnik

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How did the Civil War and the Cold War affect the acceptance of evolution in the United States? Tune in to today’s program to find out. This is the second episode in a three-part series on the history behind the evolution-intelligent design controversy.

First guest essay – Caitlin McShea, “Atomic Bombs and Evolutionary Mushroom Clouds

  • Caitlin McShea is a sophomore majoring in biology and philosophy at Southwestern University. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in bioethical law.

Second guest essay – Kate Peteet, “Evolution Is Not a Dirty Word”

  • Kate Peteet is a sophomore studying art history, architecture, and design at Southwestern University. She plans to attend graduate school as well, perhaps to study pre-Columbian South American art.
  • Additional voices in the essay provided by fellow students Jennifer Pitzen and Marco Duran.

For further reading:

On the Shelf:

Audio credits:

All music on this program courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network, except where noted.

Susan Epperson, an Arkansas teacher who challenged her state's anti-evolution law in 1968Listen to this episode.

This episode inaugurates our series on the history behind the evolution-intelligent design controversy. Today, we examine the deep history of scientific method, and how the rules evolved to the point where intelligent design cannot follow them.

Guest essay – John Burchfield and Shalane Giles, “The Evolution of Scientific Method”

  • for further reading:
    • A. J. Ayer, Logical Positivism (Free Press, 1959).
    • William A. Dembski, Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions about Intelligent Design (InterVarsity Press, 2004).
    • William A. Dembski and Michael Ruse, eds., Debating Design: From Darwin to DNA (Cambridge UP, 2004).
    • Barry Gower, Scientific Method: A Historical and Philosophical Introduction (Routledge, 2002).
    • Malachi Haim Hacohen, Karl Popper, the Formative Years, 1902-1945: Politics and Philosophy in Interwar Vienna (Cambridge UP, 2000).
    • David C. Lindberg and Ronald L. Numbers, eds., When Science and Christianity Meet (University of Chicago Press, 2003).
    • Ronald L. Numbers, The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design (Harvard UP, 2006).
    • Michael Ruse, The Evolution-Creation Struggle (Harvard UP, 2006).
    • Sergio Sismondo, Introduction to Science and Technology Studies (Blackwell, 2004).
    • The TalkOrigins Archive: an online collection of articles on the evolution-intelligent design controversy, including documents from the McLean v. Arkansas case.

  • John Burchfield and Shalane Giles are both seniors at Southwestern University. John is studying political science and has ambitions of becoming a writer. Shalane is studying religion and biology; after graduation, she plans to travel and may attend graduate school.

On the Shelf:

Audio credits:

All music on this program courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network, except where noted.

New RSS feed

(To some of you, the subject line of this post and what I am about to say will be complete gibberish. If it is, then what follows probably doesn’t affect you, so fret not.)

I have changed the RSS feed for the podcast. This is only an issue if you have subscribed to the podcast using a podcatcher that is not iTunes.

  • If you subscribe via iTunes, then your subscription should have shifted over automatically.
  • If you subscribe using another podcatcher, you will need to resubscribe using the RSS feed listed at the right. (Look for the orange icon.)
  • If you listen to the podcast directly from the website (that is, if you click on “Listen to this episode”), then this change will not affect you.

My apologies for the inconvenience. If you must know, I got fed up with Libsyn’s poor excuse for a statistics generator.

Right. Let’s all get back to something more interesting.

Caracol - “The Observatory” in Chichén Itzá

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This month, guest essayist Scott Lough concludes his exploration of time’s strange behavior, this time focusing on how early human societies understood and measured it.

Guest essay – Scott Lough, “The Weirdness of Time” (part 2)

  • for further reading:
    • Abel, K. Drum Songs: Glimpses of Dene History. Montreal and Kingston: McGill and Queen’s UP, 2005.
    • Aveni, A. F. “Old and new world naked eye astronomy.” In Brecher, K., Feirtag, M., (eds.), Astronomy of the Ancients (pp. 61-89). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1979.
    • Aveni, A. F. Empires of Time: Calendars, Clocks, and Culture. New York: Basic Books, 1989.
    • Aveni, A. F. Conversing with the Planets: How Science and Myth Invented the Cosmos. New York: Times Books, 1992.
    • Barbour, J. B. The End of Time. New York: Oxford UP, 1999.
    • Cobo, Bernabé. Inca Religion and Customs. Hamilton, R. (ed. and trans.), Austin: University of Texas Press, 1990.
    • Ferris, T. Coming of Age in the Milky Way. New York: Doubleday, 1988.
    • Galison, P. L. Einstein’s Clocks, Poincaré’s Maps: Empires of Time. New York: W. W. Norton, 2003.
    • Gleick, J. Faster. New York: Vintage, 2000.
    • Hawking, S. W. A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes. New York: Bantam, 1998.
    • Hesiod. Works and Days. Tandy, D. W., Neale, W. C. (eds. and trans.). Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996.
    • Krupp, E. C. In Search of Ancient Astronomies. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1978.
    • Krupp, E. C. Echoes of the Ancient Skies. New York: Meridian, 1983.
    • Krupp, E. C. Beyond the Blue Horizon: Myths and Legends of the Sun, Moon, Stars, and Planets. New York: Harper Collins, 1991.
    • MacDonald, J. The Arctic Sky: Inuit Astronomy, Star Lore, and Legend. Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum/Nunavut Research Institute, 2000.
    • Massie, P. “Time and Contingency in Duns Scotus.” The Saint Anselm Journal 3, no. 2 (2006): 17-31.
    • Smith, A. A., II. “Time and the Medieval World.” Philosophy Now Magazine 62 (July/Aug. 2007): 18-20.
    • Smolin, L. The Life of the Cosmos. New York: Oxford UP, 1997.
    • Staley, K. M. “Omniscience, Time, Eternity: Is Aquinas Inconsistent?” The Saint Anselm Journal 3, no. 2 (2006): 9-16.
    • Urton, G. At the Crossroads of the Earth and the Sky: An Andean Cosmology. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981.
  • Scott Lough is a husband, father, Montessori teacher trainer, educational consultant, science writer, lay preacher and resident of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, in Canada.

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Audio credits:

All music on this program courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network, except where noted.

Xhosa cattle

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This episode explores two cases when we have realized that what we thought was common sense – well – wasn’t.

Guest essay – Scott Lough, “The Weirdness of Time” (part 1)

Host essay – “Quantity vs. Quality”

On the Shelf:

Audio credits:

All music on this program courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network, except where noted.

The sixth episode is running a little late, but will be up by the end of the first week in January.

The seventh episode will be back on schedule for the end of January. My apologies for the delay.