Open thread on AE #744 / NPR 11.1 / GB 2.1

This week in ACA media:


  1. says

    I’m kind of surprised you guys didn’t talk more about the Cranston prayer banner case and Jessica Ahlquist’s win in that case. It was a victory for atheists and secularists everywhere in this country.

  2. Kazim says

    As far as I remember, it was brought up on all three shows, with NPR getting the most discussion.

  3. Orlando says

    Kazim, did you hear see the interview on CNN et al about the newly compassionate Romney giving a poor black woman $60 during a campaign stop? She said something to the effect that god told her to follow the Romney campaign bus and to ask Romney for help and she added that Joseph Smith was a prophet.

    Well, journalists discovered that she worked in Romney’s local campaign office and one of Romney’s assistants gave her some money a week before.

    Sounds like a PR set-up to me. But most of the articles on the incident (and there are many) omit the Joseph Smith remark and the previous contact with the assistant, which clearly contradicts the claimed impromptu following of the bus that the lady initially claimed.

  4. atheist from hell says

    Good show. The best was …. if prayer worked all football teams will win all games they play….


  5. Kazim says

    Did not see that, probably wouldn’t have brought it up, but good to know. It does sound like a PR setup, although I’m not sure how keen he is to draw attention to his mormonism.

  6. Orlando says

    The best article – which lays out the timeline – is on Political Ticker on She originally met Romney last Wednesday, and showed up at the rope line Saturday, when he handed her the money.

  7. Orlando says

    Oh you tiny atheistic mosquito. Murdoch is protected by the impenetrable epistemic bubble of Fox, WSJ, and the rest of the right wing delusion generating media.

  8. Orlando says

    Shall we resurrect Kazim’s Proof that god does not exist?

    A true god, being perfect in all respects, would not deign to prove his existence.

    Theists offer proofs of god’s existence.

    Therefore god does not exist.

  9. Jeff says

    Russell, posted this in the other thread in our discussion about call lengths, not sure if you saw it:

    I just listened to the latest show (Jan. 16th), and I think the pace of callers was pretty much perfect (as compared to the previous episode). You moved on to the next callers almost exactly when I would have if I had control of the buttons. Not that I’m an expert or anything, but as a viewer/listener, I thought your pacing was an improvement over last week and would like to ask you to continue like this in future episodes.

    Anybody else agree or disagree?

  10. John K. says

    I was a bit surprised NP did not talk about the supreme court decision that occurred last week about exempting churches from anti-discrimination laws.

    I think the supreme court got the first amendment exactly backwards in this case, but in my crazy world all churches would have to operate under the same rules as all other non-profit organizations.

  11. Orlando says

    Well, if AE runs short of topics, you can sponsor the Great Debate: Chris Langan vs Matt Slick: Cognitive Theoretics vs Logical Absolutes: whose obscurantist god has the highest verbosity index?

    I can hear the snores already (*_*)

  12. says

    I’ll have to re-listen to the AE episode because that woman who was going on about how evidence is ambiguous for their supernatural claims – and she just knows that her reality-changing abilities work – and you would too if you go through her methods.

    My mind was glazing over listening to that conversation.

    She needs a thorough education on the concept of falsifiability. Every time she’d bring a claim to the table, it was indistinguishable from not being true – which is the core problem with unfalsifiable claims.

    If you can’t tell the difference in the results from the claim being true versus the claim not being true, that’s the point when Occam’s Razor goes on a chainsaw massacre. Her point was very similar to the “just drop to your knees and pray” to prove that there’s a god.

    When encountering someone who makes such claims, my first question is “how can we verify that you’re not just delusional?“.

    If I try to replicate his/her results by following the same procedure he/she took, I may end up seeing what he/she sees. I may have the exact same personal experience.

    The problem is that I still have the same problem – how can we verify that it’s not just a delusion? How do I know that I’m not now delusional? It could be that I’m just seeing the same mirage now.

    The answer is the scientific method and adhering to the standards of evidence, which have been carefully fine-tuned to minimize subjective/human error.

    Unfortunately, such people will, more often than not, utterly abandon any semblance to proper epistemology to maintain their beliefs, often due to a deep emotional investment.

    They have their own fairy-dust-based epistemology going on.

    Maybe I’m ranting a bit, but the process of knowledge gathering is important to me – perhaps even more so than the knowledge it gathers.

  13. nunya bidness says

    I was happy to here you guys back on the ball with NPR but I do have one tiny little complaint that might just be all me and a result of coffee deprivation Saturday morning. Shilling was jangling to my nerves. He seemed to do a lot of listening with his tongue and impressed himself greatly with his own intelligence. He didn’t seem to appreciate the fact that debate is two or more sides of an argument and not stomping on everyone else to prattle on endlessly. At least he was always right, it seemed to save a lot of time.

  14. says

    I just watched the AE video clip. Isn’t it a slam-dunk that it’s not right to discriminate on the basis of religion? Does it matter if it’s Christians doing the discriminating or atheists? Not to me.

    Russell got there, eventually, but Don still seemed to be sympathetic to that guy who wanted an “atheist Yellow Pages.” Sure, that Christian group might do it, but they’re WRONG.

    I was disappointed that this wasn’t the immediate response to that guy. I’m an atheist, but I’m not going to discriminate against Christians. I’m not going to discriminate against Jews. I’m not going to discriminate against Muslims. I’ll disagree with them, sure, but religious discrimination is wrong no matter WHO does it.