The Skeptics Annotated Bible

Steve Wells Episode mp3

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We start out the podcast with an interview with Steve Wells.  Steve Wells is easily the most important skeptic you’ve never heard of, and though you may not know the man, you definitely know his work.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve found yourself in this situation.  About four beers into a six pack you decide to bounce around a few web news sites; after all, you’re in your refractory period, and you’re starting to worry that if you scamper any further down the YouPorn rabbit hole, your internet service provider is going to put you on some special list.  Anyways, as you click from story to story, you see it, out of the corner of your eye . . . a comment with the word “Truth” in it, that’s right . . . capital T Truth.  

As you start to read the comment, your child like innocence is shattered;  sure, you thought you were just watching a video of Asimo the dancing robot, but “Souljah4christ84” says that according to Revalation 13:11-18, the beast will come in the form of a super computer, and the technicians at Honda are just helping to bring about the biblical Apocalypse; not only is he right, but he has the bible passages to prove it?!?

But, here’s where the panic sets in, what to do, what to do?  Someone is saying something bat-shit insane on the internet, for this you will not stand, but you’ve had a glass of OJ now, and you’ve just realized the girl in the Asimo video is insanely hot, (seriously, go take a look, I’ll wait) you have ten minutes, at best, to throw a couple of passages back in souljah boy’s face, but that bible the Gideons tossed at you outside of Brewfest is nowhere to be found.  That is when you let Steve Wells author of the Skeptics Annotated Bible save the day.

In a project spanning over a decade, Steve has worked his way through the Bible, the Qur’an and the Book of Mormon, marking flaws, contradictions, and flat out absurdities to create one of the most powerful online tools available to skeptics, atheists, and the religious alike.  During our interview, Seth and I got a chance to ask Steve about some of his experiences working with the SAB project, his book “Drunk With Blood: God’s Killings in the Bible”, his plans for a possible print version of the SAB, as well as a few of his “favorite” bible passages.   It’s an interview you won’t want to miss.

Later on, inspired by our talk with Steve, Seth and I round out the podcast by tossing mics in front of a handful of drunken skeptics for an erudite and rational dissections of a few of their “favorite” bible verses.

Finally, we wrap things up by reminding you to give us a 2 and 2, tell two friends, and take two minutes to leave us a review on the interwebs.

Thanks for listening.

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Animal Ethics

Link to mp3

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This episode features Dr. Alastair Norcross from the University of Colorado. Kai Haswell and I caught up with him at the Pickle Barrel in Fort Collins to talk about his life and his work over a pint. This was immediately after the first day of a two-day animal ethics conference held at Colorado State University sponsored by the philosophy department.

photo courtesy of Susan Gerbic

Kai

photo by Amy Maass

Kai and I basking in the hatred of the loathsome WBC

For  those who do not know Kai he is a philosophy grad student at CSU, and as such, much more qualified than me to be asking questions on the topic of ethics.

Then less than an hour later I head over to Wild Boar for our weekly skeptic circlejerk where Jeff speaks to Joel MacClellan from the University of Tennessee. They talk for quite a while on the topic of sentience. What organisms are sentient? How can we know? Do sentient beings deserve our moral consideration? What about non-sentient beings?


Joel MacClellan, an alumnus of the University of Akron (BA, Philosophy, 2002) and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, is a PhD candidate in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Tennessee.  His philosophical research includes Environmental Ethics and Animal Ethics, Ethical Theory, Philosophy of Science/Biology, and History of Modern Philosophy.