Radio reminder

Remember — Sunday morning at 9am, you can tune in to the Minnesota Atheists’ very own Atheist Talk radio program. This week, we’re planning to have a bigger slice of time for the Moment of Science, and Kristine Harley and I will be talking about the idea of bad “design” — the observation that many features of evolved organism don’t look at all like they are the product of intent.

(Oops, no — not this week. That’ll be next week. This week, you’ll get to hear from Lori Lipman Brown, and you’ll hear a discussion of secular ethics. Tune in!)

Feel free to call in, but please do try to be crisp and cogent…we do have more time, but even the extended segment will fly by quickly.

By the way, there have been some problems with the audio stream in the past, with the program getting cut off at the commercial breaks; the station says that it was a technical glitch, and that it has been fixed.


  1. Dennis says

    Dr. Myers,

    What is being researched in modern human evolution? We must be in a period of rapid change. Not so much physical except size, health, and longevity (no small potatoes there); but brain “use”. 2 centuries ago horses and sailing ships were the high tech travel method, walking was the norm, cooking was perfomed in open fire hearths as it had been for millenia before that. Since’ we have developed steam ships, trains, electricity, automobiles, air planes, nuclear power, space ships, home computers, microwave ovens, cool home appliances, genomics, just too much to list. somthing is happening!

    Most archaeologists are focused on the deep past. Geneticists and bioligists are very deep into understanding the processes, very important work! I am a geophysicist by training and I read your blog and Larry Moran’s blog because I find Biology fascinating and I learn a lot, but I think we are all missing something. Modern humans are undergoing a huge transition, NOW! Who is chronicaling this, It’s evolution in process. Imagine if an archeaologist dug into a layer that had all the modern advances I listed in less than a mm thick, stone tools lasted millions of years. WOW.

    Someone has to be looking at this, or should be.

  2. Avekid says


    You’re right. Memetics, for one, is taking a stab at this from an evolutionary perspective — not to mention evo trends in anthropology, sociology, and psychology. Memetics has a bit of a hard job of it as it’s a bit “underground” as far as legit sciences go, right now, but it’s at least an option. There seems to be a great deal of opposition, however, to evo approaches to social and cultural phenomena (esp. of the sort that you’re describing). This fact is of course, unsurprising given the current opposition (esp. in the States) to evo in general!

    One of the things that I’m trying to deal with in my own work is convincing the nay-sayers to set aside their in-principle objections to the very idea of “evolutionizing” culture. Aside from the fact that there are good answers to these challenges, whether or not culture follows the same principles as (Darwinian) natural selection — a la Dennett, Dawkins, and Blackmore — is, really, an empirical question. I think they can explain culture, and there are plenty of reasons why I think so — though I admit the sciences that are equipped to do this are a bit green and rough around the edges.

    The point:
    Take comfort. People are, despite the opposition, looking at it.

  3. says

    Dennis: I don’t think this change we’re making right now is biological, but rather technological and cultural. On the technological side, we have developed a highly effective method of testing natural phenomena, combined with a way of storing and sharing that knowledge. On the cultural side, we’ve diversified the knowledge to such an extent that the individual needs to know only a small amount of information to take advantage of incredible gains in technology.

    As long as I can fill a job and know how to shop, I can get food, clothing, shelter, transportation and other technological advantages without knowing how to make, gather or design ANY of those.

  4. JM says

    rick, I live in CT, and I just google “Minnesota zip codes” Sunday morning and pick one at random… it’s worked so far.

  5. Sam says

    Thanks for the reminder. I’ve listened to the radio show for a couple weeks now and have been very impressed. It makes me glad I’m an atheist.

  6. says

    I think I have only missed one show since this started, but I am pleased that this show is becoming more tight since it started. I think at first it was a little too loose and is now pretty much like every other professional radio show. I hope in the future this show gains acceptance and can get 2 or 3 hours instead of just 1 hour.

  7. Holydust says

    Sam: how I missed that, I’ll never know. You guys always save me from all the things I somehow manage to blink and miss. Thank you! :’D