New radio product
Just uploaded to my radio archives:
December 3, 2011 Michael Dorsey, professor of environmental studies at Dartmouth, on the Durban climate summit • Bélen Fernández, author of The Imperial Messenger, on that egregious blowhard Thomas Friedman
November 26, 2011 Greg Graffin, lead singer of Bad Religion and author of Anarchy Evolution, on evolution and punk rock • Jeffrey Sachs, the economist formerly known as Dr Shock, on the mess that is the USA, a topic he explores in The Price of Civilization (see my review of his last book here)
I only had a chance to listen to the Greg Graffin interview once, with distractions, so I may have misunderstood or misheard, but I have issues (I think) with at least two things he said. HIs observation that atheism is a negation of religion but doesn’t serve as a basis to go anywhere else is the sort of trivial truth that I associate with people who find Sam Harris annoying. I think it’s misleading and potentially counterproductive to emphasize that approach in a time where some people are trying to base laws, public and social policy, and the terms of scientific and medical research solely on their notion of their version of what their god dictates. Atheism at least says no to that. Also, the last time I looked, natural selection was indeed generally considered the great engine of evolutionary change, and the fact that some people do a bad job of trying to apply it to human behavior is more or less a red herring. Again, perhaps I wasn’t paying adequate attention to what was said, or perhaps all is made more clear in his book where he has more space for discussion.