Category Archives: interview

The FFRF exposes Amy Coney Barrett’s religious extremism

In this video from the Freedom from Religion Foundation’s (FFRF’s) “Ask an Atheist” series, co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor and constitutional attorney Andrew Seidel, FFRF’s Director of Strategic Response, masticate the Amy Coney Barrett hearings, beginning with a legal analysis of Barrett’s testimony (until 11:30). Seidel, as always, is percipient and eloquent on the hearings. Then […]

Gregg Caruso on free will, the justice system, prisons, the meaning of life, and the good life

The New Philosopher has a long interview, “On Purpose,” with Zan Boag speaking to the philosopher Gregg D. Caruso, Professor of Philosophy at SUNY Corning, Honorary Professor of Philosophy at Macquarie University, and Co-Director of the Justice Without Retribution Network (JWRN) at the University of Aberdeen School of Law. Although I’ve never met Caruso, I […]

Steve Stewart-Williams on the value of evolutionary psychology

When I give talks about why Americans reject evolution so frequently, I refer to Steve Stewart-Williams’s excellent book from 2010: Darwin, God, and the Meaning of Life: How Evolutionary Theory Undermines Everything you Though You Knew.  It goes through reason after reason why evolution not only undermines our ideas, but why that undermining makes people resistant […]

An interview with Noam Chomsky and why he signed the Harper’s letter

I’ve been remiss in following—or even learning about—Noam Chomsky. I’m not much into linguistics, and, truth be told, I couldn’t even recount his big contributions there beyond the concept of Universal Grammar, or how well they’ve stood up over time. I have read several of his political pieces, so I’m aware of his severe criticism […]

A profile of Glenn Loury

Glenn Loury, a professor of economics at Brown University, is well known to us as an African-American intellectual who, though a centrist with liberal tendencies (he might contest that position), dares to question the received wisdom of critical race theory. In this he’s sympatico with Columbia’s John McWhorter, and the pair often do discussions on […]

Sapolsky interview redux (and SpaceX launch/docking)

Most of the issues plaguing this website were resolved by WordPress yesterday, but the site was inaccessible for much of the day. I thus invite you to comment on yesterday’s post about Robert Sapolsky’s Scientific American interview on free will. Comments were few for this kind of post; the paucity is either due to reader […]

James Carville on the 2020 Democratic candidates

Who doesn’t like James Carville? He’s smart, strongly liberal and pro-Democratic Party, and has an impish look but a potty mouth. His Louisiana accent is endearing. And he’s famous as a campaign strategist and for posting these three mantras on the wall of the Clinton election’s “campaign war room” in 1992: Change vs. more of […]

A new interview with Steve Pinker

I’ve often been a defender of Steve Pinker, and it’s because I agree with most of what he says and because I think he’s been unfairly maligned—perhaps the most unfairly maligned public intellectual in the U.S.. But today I’m going to praise and criticize his views, largely praising his views on identity politics but criticizing […]

A profile of George Church on 60 Minutes

60 Minutes is the only non-evening-news show I watch on television, but I missed this week’s episode that included a 13-minute segment on Harvard /MIT geneticist George Church. I’ve written about Church before, but only to kvetch about his accommodationism, for he truly has a soft spot for religion, is a big-time accommodationist, and has […]

A NYT interview with Bill Maher

This Sunday’s New York Times Magazine has a long interview with Bill Maher (click on screenshot below)—complete with footnotes, something I haven’t seen in the NYT. I’ve always been a big fan of Maher: there are in fact few things he’s said on his show that I don’t agree with. I suppose it’s because both […]