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Related Readings
  • Answers for Aristotle: How Science and Philosophy Can Lead Us to A More Meaningful Life
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Rationally Speaking is the official podcast of New York City Skeptics. Join Julia Galef and guests as they explore the borderlands between reason and nonsense, likely and unlikely, science and pseudoscience. Rationally Speaking was co-created with Massimo Pigliucci, is produced by Benny Pollak and recorded in the heart of Greenwich Village.

Current Episodes


Wednesday
Jun122013

RS89 - Online Dating

Release date: June 16, 2013

Looking for love online? You're not alone -- one in five new relationships nowadays begin on a dating site. But just how scientific are the "matching algorithms" sites like eHarmony and OKCupid use? What does cognitive psychology tell us about how this new choice context affects our happiness? Massimo and Julia turn an analytical eye on the math and science of online dating, in this episode of Rationally Speaking.

Julia's pick: "Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed"

Massimo's pick: "Do different kinds of alcohol get you different kinds of drunk?"

Saturday
Jun012013

RS88 - Mario Livio on Brilliant Blunders

Release date: June 3, 2013

Mario Livio

The next time you're kicking yourself for some stupid mistake, remember: Even history's genuises screw up! Astrophysicist and author Mario Livio joins this episode of Rationally Speaking to talk about his new book, "Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein - Colossal Mistakes by Great Scientists That Changed Our Understanding of Life and the Universe." Learn about why Darwin's theory of natural selection "shouldn't" have worked, why Einstein was confused about the role of aesthetics in physics, why Hoyle stubbornly refused to change his mind about a "steady state" universe -- and why those mistakes are central to scientific progress.

Mario's pick: "Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error" 

Thursday
May162013

RS87 - Sean Carroll on Naturalism

Release date: May 19, 2013

Sean CarrollAstrophysicist and author Sean Carroll joins this episode of Rationally Speaking, to talk about "naturalism" -- the philosophical viewpoint that there are no supernatural phenomena, and the universe runs on scientific laws. Sean, Julia, and Massimo discuss what distinguishes naturalism from similar philosophies like physicalism and materialism, and what a naturalistic worldview implies about free will, consciousness, and other philosophical dilemmas. And they return to that long-standing debate: should scientists have more respect for philosophy?

Sean's pick: "The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human" 

References:
 http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/
 Moving Naturalism Forward workshop