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Episode 48: Abby Hafer – Unintelligent Design

Gabe and Erik chat with Dr. Abby Hafer about how the human body does not show the hallmarks of intelligent design. Plus, plenty of examples of better designs from the animal kingdom. And if you’re a fan of the intelligent design movement, be warned: they don’t come out on top in this episode.

Listen to this episode

Thanks again to Dr. Hafer for taking the time to chat with us!

Show outline:

How Abby got involved in criticizing the intelligent design movement (4:00)

  • Rebranding creationism as intelligent design
  • Abby emails her minister about testicles, which he reads over the pulpit
  • The human body provides a good vehicle to talk about biology to non-biologists

Intelligent Design does not do science; it is a political pressure group (12:20)

  • Science is a method of investigation, not a collection of facts
  • Science is really hard to do: experimentation, predictions, results, falsification, statistics, replication, peer-review
  • The quantitative difference between evolutionary biology and intelligent design papers
  • Hey, does anyone have a microscope? I’m trying to find my p-values!
  • Why scientists are bad at politics and debating

Unintelligent design in the human body, and animals with better body parts (26:20)

  • Bad design in the testicles
  • Traveling to Maine by way of Utah
  • Bad design in your throat
  • Choking on a hot dog isn’t just sexual innuendo, it’s a serious design flaw!
  • Bad design in your eyes
  • Squid can see polarized light, and you can’t. Some pinnacle of creation you are…
  • Bad design of the human birth canal
  • Pain during childbirth isn’t from Eden-era punishment; it’s because you aren’t a kangaroo or a centaur
  • Bad design in the fertilization process
  • God is the world’s busiest abortionist

The implications of bad design in the human body and some common responses (1:05:25)

  • These designs couldn’t really be better
  • The design flaws are a result of the devil fiddling with the plans!
  • God works in mysterious ways

Abby’s forthcoming book (1:18:45)

  • “The Not So Intelligent Designer: Why Evolution Explains the Human Body and Intelligent Design Does Not”
  • Why Soviet agriculture failed
  • The politics and history of intelligent design
  • Bad body parts
  • Way more cool stuff!

External links:

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2014 in Guest, New Episode, Science

 

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Episode 47: The Backfire Effect

Did you guys hear the latest Nontheology episode? No, and furthermore you’d really rather not? Well, too bad, you’re about to.

Listen

Listeners can now contact us and leave a voicemail! Feel free to call in at (260) 245-3846. That’s 260-24-KEVIN!

Erik’s fun pamphlet (7:10)

  • Q1: Will suffering end?
  • A1: Listen guys, God is super busy and won’t be able to get back to you in a timely manner.
  • Q2: Can we trust the bible?
  • A2: Duh, the Bible says so.

The backfire effect (15:00)

  • A great summary from a great blog, youarenotsomart.com: “When your deepest convictions are challenged by contradictory evidence, your beliefs get stronger.”
  • The backfire effect hasn’t been studied for a terribly long time, but there are definitely some good papers floating around the internet, a few of which we discuss.
  • When Corrections Fail: The persistence of political misperceptions (2010) by Brendan Nyhan and Dr. Jason Reifler

“In each of the four experiments, which were conducted in fall 2005 and spring 2006, ideological subgroups failed to update their beliefs when presented with corrective information that runs counter to their predispositions. Indeed, in several cases, we find that corrections actually strengthened misperceptions among the most strongly committed subjects.”

“The American public remains largely divided about how to approach climate change despite widespread scientific consensus that global climate change is largely caused by anthropogenic sources and has the potential to create substantial ecological, social, and economic harm worldwide.”

  • The Millerites and the Great Disappointment
  • What can trigger the backfire effect
  • The implications of the backfire effect
  • Science ftw!
  • The difference between confirmation bias and the backfire effect
  • Chasing Ice is Erik’s favorite documentary. Check out the trailer!
 
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Posted by on October 16, 2014 in Cognitive Bias, New Episode, Wait What?

 

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Episode 46: Non-Atheist Manifesto

Welcome back to another episode of the only podcast in the universe!

Listen up!

Da show:

By the way, I was reading through some of the academics sections of the BJU website. Their biology students take a course in their third year called “Evolution & Origins”. The course description is as follows:

Discussion and critical evaluation of the biology and philosophy behind neo- Darwinism (materialism), the intelligent design movement and special creation. […] The course will engage students in critical thinking and problem solving, and prepare them to answer challenges to a biblical worldview regarding evolution and origins.

Ugh…

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Episode 45: Appeal to Tradition

Welcome back to the show! Prepare to be disappointed. Again.

Listen up!

Erik on LGBT visibility in popular sports (3:00)
  • Michael Sam: the first openly gay player to be drafted in the NFL
  • Hot muscly football celebration kiss
Appeal to Tradition/Antiquity (14:30)
Listener feedback (47:55)
 

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Episode 44: Daniel Dewey – Thinking Carefully About Artificial Intelligence

In this episode, Gabe and Dan have the opportunity to chat with Daniel Dewey about artificial intelligence (AI) and intelligence explosion. Daniel is a researcher at the Future of Humanity Institute, researching artificial intelligence, reinforcement learning, and how machines could have values.

Check out Daniel’s TEDx talk: The long-term future of AI (and what we can do about it)

Listen to this episode

Some links to what we talked about:

The book we mentioned in the episode:

Links to other people whose cool research came up in the discussion:

Thanks for listening!

 
 

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Episode 43: Dr. Eric Meikle – Anti-evolutionism and Human Uniqueness

Continuing in their quest to talk about evolution, Erik and Gabe chat with Dr. Eric Meikle about the Nye-Ham debate, anti-evolutionism in the education system, and what makes humans unique in the animal kingdom. T’was a total blast, so listen up!

Dr. Eric Meikle is a physical anthropologist and the Education Project Director for the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). He has done a lot of awesome work in the origins of humans, and countering groups who want to bring anti-evolution material into science classrooms in the public schools.

Listen to this episode

The show:

  • The recent debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham
  • Countering anti-evolutionism in the public education system
  • What (if anything) makes humans unique compared to other animals?

Links:

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2014 in Guest, New Episode, Science

 

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Episode 42: Bad Objections to Evolution

We once again attempt to digitally celebrate Darwin Day with a few episodes about evolution. Here, we take on some bad and common objections to evolution.

Listen to this episode

What does the show say? This:

  • Hello, listeners!
  • Wait, What…? Alan Keyes on the coming (sp?) gay dystopia
  • Evolution can’t happen, because something can’t come from nothing
  • Evolution takes too much time to have been observed, so we can’t know it’s true
  • Ring species (see a cool look at some of these here)
  • Micro evolution is true, but macro evolution is not
  • You never see a Crocoduck
  • Why don’t you see dogs giving birth to cats?
  • If humans came from apes, why are there still so many apes?
  • Darwin was wrong about some aspect of evolution
  • Hitler believed in evolution and used the principles to drive Nazi ideology
  • The human eye is to perfect to have evolved (find your blind spot!)
  • The bacterial flagellum is irreducibly complex and couldn’t have evolved
  • We don’t observe any transitional forms in the fossil record
  • Mutations are always negative, so they can’t be making us better and better
  • Mutations don’t create new information
  • Life is balanced on a razors edge (ex: because of the proportion of oxygen in our atmosphere), it is only rationally attributable to an intelligent creator – Cliffe Knechtle in a debate with Matt Dillahunty at 1:12:30
 
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Posted by on February 3, 2014 in Mailbag, New Episode, Science, Wait What?

 

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