Open thread for episode #768

I wasn’t sure — coming back after two weeks out of town caring for a pair of ailing parents (all is well on that front) — that I was entirely on my game for yesterday’s show, but I’ve gotten a lot of compliments about it already, so that’s nice.

Later on at dinner I was talking with one of our studio audience (forgive me for being lousy with names) about one remarkable and highly consistent trait you always see from callers like Matt from Oslo: the grandiose nature of what they claim to be able and about to do — like, oh, debunk evolution — set against the ludicrous lack of preparation that always makes them faceplant pathetically when they try. Matt from Oslo could not even articulate a clear definition of the scientific theory he claimed he was ready to demolish, and his attempt to demolish it was nothing more than a gaggle of logical fallacies weakly trotted out in a way that made it embarrassingly obvious he was just winging it. And he just as obviously hadn’t so much as Googled any real science websites to see if there was, in fact, any information on the evolution of these “unusual” animals he was on about. The theist who called directly after Matt from Oslo was very quickly reduced to stubbornly insisting he had a rational basis for what he believed, while admitting he was falling back on faith at the same time! It’s like they just cannot even get a single thought straight.

On the whole I was satisfied with the way the calls played out. Matt was firm with the theists without blowing up as a lot of folks criticized him for doing last weekend. Though I must admit that Heads or Tails Oreos aren’t my favorite flavor. But isn’t that what diversity is all about?

Open thread on episode #757

Have at it.

[Edit by Russell:]

After the main show ended, Jeff said to me that this was one of the weirdest shows he’s ever done.  I can’t really disagree, and it’s pretty unusual that we wound up with so many calls in a row about Eastern religions.  I suppose it was kind of a refreshing change from our show being all Christianity all the time.

Open thread on episode #756

Sorry about whatever the hell was going on with UStream today, but it was nothing the control room could control. It was really nice to be back on, the calls felt good (it’s very helpful when a Christian caller will just come right out and admit that Christianity is neither logical or rational — saves time), and I found it a very pleasurable experience on the whole. Glad to the see the UT SSA gang in the audience, too. Here’s the info about this Thursday’s Sean Faircloth talk on-campus. To anyone in the area, please consider working that into your schedule.

Open thread on episode 753 / Rally update

Today, Matt welcomes guest David Smalley, host of the podcast Dogma Debate. Pop that popcorn and settle in.

Also, our illustrious host should remember to remind everyone of my attendance at the Reason Rally, coming up very fast. (To think I fly out Thursday…what to pack!?) At the moment, I am leaning towards a Saturday morning, pre-rally breakfast for the AXP meetup. There’s already a bunch of stuff happening the previous night and immediately post-rally (that I want to go to too), so breakfast might be the best bet, except of course for folks only driving in that morning.

I am not flying out until mid-afternoon on Sunday, so another Sunday morning breakfast meetup may be possible if there are folks driving in on Saturday but not leaving until Sunday. I’m trying to accommodate as many of you as possible, but really, what I need is your feedback. So Rally attendees, please provide that here, and if you’re not attending, just talk/praise/gripe about today’s show in general. Cheerio.

AETV Live Chat Room Moderation Policy (v1.0)

Most of you who watch The Atheist Experience live are aware that there is a live chat room that runs on Ustream.  It has, as of recently, been regularly moderated by some combination of Jen, Lynnea, John and me.  The purpose of this post is to try to establish some guidelines that will clarify the moderation policy.  This list was written primarily by Lynnea, but has been presented to and accepted by the rest of the TV crew.

(Update: These rules now have a permanent web home at  Read this version below the fold.)

[Read more…]

A Sunday without AETV is like a day without rainbows and kittens

But that is the kind of day we’re having today, folks. Another stupid studio cancellation. But AETV will return next weekend with Matt and Jen, followed by Russell and myself the following weekend.

Word may have gotten out that we have a new building. I haven’t actually toured it myself yet, but I’m hopeful some of it can be McGyvered into a studio of our own where we can do AETV and NPR shows all the live-long day with no interference from anyone. While we still like being on local access, the fact is we really don’t need them any more. Ultimately it’s not my choice to make, but I know we’re sick of a lot of the random crap that Channel Austin throws at us. It would be nice to be able to take total control of our media once and for all.

Introductions: The show

Welcome to our new home on Freethought Blogs.  The transition seems to have gone smoothly, so I assume we’ll have some new people stumbling across us.

The Atheist Experience is a live public access call-in television show based out of Austin, Texas.  It launched in 1997.  You can learn more about the show here, including information on how to watch live and view the extensive archive.  We’ve got two hosts — Matt Dillahunty is on three out of every four weeks, and I (Russell Glasser) host the fourth week.  We also have five rotating cohosts: Don Baker, Jeff Dee, Jen Peeples, Martin Wagner, and Tracie Harris.

Since we have fifteen years of live callers behind us, we’ve covered a pretty wide range of personalities.  They range from slickly packaged professional apologists like Ray Comfort and Matt Slick on one end, to just plain unexpected silliness on the other.

The Atheist Experience is sponsored by the Atheist Community of Austin, a terrific social group which also supports two other podcasts: The Non-Prophets, a round table discussion group; and Godless Bitches, an atheist feminist podcast.

We’re all looking forward to interacting with the Freethought Blogs community at large, and I’ll be writing a new post introducing myself personally as one of your regular bloggers.  Talk to you soon!

Open thread on Episode #728

Russell and Jeff in the self-described “awesome episode.”  One theist caller gets 20 minutes, while another gets summarily dumped after his opening statement.  A new study shows that belief in God is linked with intuitive thinking, or to put it another way, preferring to choose the answer that sounds good over thinking carefully about what’s probably correct.  Be there!

Also, as I mentioned on the show, Lynnea and I have plans to hang out in a bar with Orlando-based fans on a weeknight in November.  Check out this page for planning if you’re nearby.