Recent Shows

  • Week of: 
    September 18, 2016
    What is it: 

    Have you ever avoided stepping on a crack, just in case you might break your mother’s back? Every day, people make decisions and act based on completely unfounded ideas and superstitions – even when they acknowledge that there is no evidence to support their reasoning. Why do we so often engage in this kind of magical thinking? What could cause otherwise rational people to believe outlandish things? Are we as rationally motivated as we might think? John and Ken share some magic with Michael Shermer, author of Skeptic: Viewing the World with a Rational Eye.

    Michael Shermer, Founding Publisher, Skeptic Magazine

  • Week of: 
    September 11, 2016
    First Aired: 
    December 15, 2013
    What is it: 

    In most Western democracies, religions are exempt from certain rules and regulations that most other organizations have to follow. For example, in the US, religious organizations are not required to pay taxes or follow non-discrimination employment laws. Some faithful go so far as to argue that their religious freedom means they shouldn’t have to provide birth control to their employees. But does religion truly deserve this preferential treatment? Should the demands for legal exemption based on religious freedom be treated any differently than those based on moral conscience? What special status, if any, should religion have in the eyes of the law? John and Ken grant guest status to Brian Leiter from the University of Chicago, author of Why Tolerate Religion?

    Brian Leiter, Karl N. Llewellyn Professor of Jurisprudence and Director, Center for Law, Philosophy, and Human Values, University of Chicago

  • Week of: 
    September 4, 2016
    What is it: 

    John and Ken look beyond the horse race at some of the bigger questions raised by this year’s campaign:

    Do we always have a duty to vote? with Stanford political scientist Emilee Chapman
    Can our democracy survive the amount of money in politics? with former Labor Secretary Robert Reich
    • How do we justify the two-party system? with Elaine Kamarck from the Brookings Institution.

    Emilee Chapman, Professor of Political Science, Stanford University





    Robert Reich, Former US Labor Secretary




    Elaine Kamarck, Senior Fellow in Governance Studies, The Brookings Institution

John Perry and Ken Taylor

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