Episode 52: Confounding Factors

You will get smarter listening to this podcast. Listen, and I’ll prove it. (Results may vary).

The episode

  • Wait, what? Kent Hovind, creationist and evangelical preacher, is set to be released from prison in the summer of 2015!
  • Don’t forget about a related character: Ted Haggard, who, as it turns out, is completely heterosexual
  • Confounding Factors! (11:10)
  • Ice cream sales and drowning deaths
  • Cold weather and flu infection rates
  • Brain anatomy and schizophrenia
  • The Hawthorne Effect: the difference between how people act when being watched vs not being watched
  • Self reporting data
  • High schoolers self reporting drug consumption.
  • Jimmy Kimmel pokes fun of people at music festivals and fashion week, and also brings on doctors talking about vaccines
  • Self reported alcohol consumption during prohibition
  • Self reported data related to socially stigmatized sexual practices

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Episode 51: The 5 Best Popes

Episode 51: The 5 Best Popes

Ever wanted to know which 5 popes were best? We’ve got you covered.

Listen along

Teh Showz:

  • Intro
  • Erik on royal families and etiquette coaches (0:50)
  • Drunk with Blood: Sampson (6:00)
  • The papacy (14:25)
  • Pope Formosus: the only pope whose body was twice exhumed, twice found guilty in a papal court, and twice dismembered.
  • Pope Sergius III: the only pope who, while pope, fathered a child out of wedlock who grew up to be pope.
  • Pope Benedict IX: the only pope to hold the papal seat three times in his life, and the only one to sell the papacy.
  • Pope Boniface VIII: the pope who fought a financial turf war with France over whose powers were temporal and whose were spiritual.
  • Pope Leo X: the pope who reigned during the height of the Catholic church selling indulgences, and had a bunch of his bishops killed.
  • The papal schism: the era when there were multiple, simultaneous, disagreeing popes.


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Posted by on March 15, 2015 in Drunk with Blood, New Episode


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Episode 50: (!) Mailbag 2

Crack open a box of wine, and get ready to celebrate the arrival of episode number 50! Don’t let your friends know that you’re getting ruinously drunk, alone, listening to this podcast… again…

Listen up!

  • NonTheology trivia contest (2:45)
  • Listener feedback (8:45)
  • We’re getting serious about this podcast (37:00)
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 10, 2015 in Mailbag, New Episode


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Episode 49: David Niose – 2014 Secular Legal Recap

Gabe and Dan talk to David Niose and review legal issues in the US in 2014.


David Niose is is a practicing lawyer, avid secular activist, and author. His 2013 book, Nonbeliever Nation, is about the growing population of secular Americans and their persistent under-representation in elected public office. His new book, Fighting Back The Right, is about driving human-centered public policy and combating the culture of anti-reason.

We discuss:

  • Doe v. Acton-Boxborough Regional School District
  • Burwell v. Hobby Lobby
  • Greece v Galloway
  • American Humanist Association v. United States
  • US midterm elections
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Posted by on January 19, 2015 in Cognitive Bias, Guest, New Episode


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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.


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, “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!

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.



Posted by on August 31, 2014 in Uncategorized




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