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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


Friday
Apr042014

RS105 - Greta Christina on Coming Out Atheist

Release date: April 6, 2014

Greta Christina Atheist activist and author Greta Christina appears on this episode of Rationally Speaking, to discuss her new book, "Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, And Why." A spirited debate ensues, in which Greta, Julia and Massimo disagree over the boundaries of the "atheist movement," and the role of social justice in it. Other topics include: The cognitive biases that can make it hard to get a clear picture of whether people regret "coming out" as atheists; Plus, Greta's argument for why atheist community-building shouldn't model itself after religious communities.

Greta's pick: "The Ebony Exodus Project: Why Some Black Women Are Walking Out on Religion-and Others Should Too"

Saturday
Mar222014

RS104 - Edward Frenkel on Love and Math

Release date: March 23, 2014

Edward Frenkel courtesy of Timothy ArchibaldCan you find beauty -- even romance -- in mathematics? Mathematician Edward Frenkel, author of "Love and Math," joins Rationally Speaking to talk about how the subject seduced him as a young man, and how he believes it's generally mis-taught in schools. Other topics include: the search for a "grand unified theory" of mathematics, and the splash Edward caused when he produced -- and starred in -- "Rites of Love and Math," a steamy short film about equations.

Edward's pick: "Infinitesimal: How a Dangerous Mathematical Theory Shaped the Modern World"

Friday
Mar072014

RS103 - Neil deGrasse Tyson on Why He Doesn't Call Himself an Atheist

Release date: March 9, 2014

Neil deGrasse TysonAstrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson returns for this episode of Rationally Speaking, with a particular question to discuss: Should he call himself an atheist? The impetus is a recent dust-up over Neil's appearance on Big Think, in which he explained that he avoids the label "atheist" because it causes people to make all sorts of unflattering (and often untrue) assumptions. Julia and Massimo reply with some counterarguments, and along the way delve into the philosophy of language.

Neil's picks: The movie "Gravity," "IFLS," and the TV Shows "The Big Bang Theory," "CSI" and"NCIS."