The Humanist Hour
Summary: A typical episode of the HH podcast features interviews, commentary, news, and music. Notable guests have included Sir Salman Rushdie, Prof. Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, E.O. Wilson, Alan Dershowitz, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Andy Rooney, Greg Graffin of Bad Religion, Holly Near, Dar Williams and Julia Sweeney. The HH podcast is hosted and produced by Bo Bennett, PhD, from the American Humanist Association.
In this episode, Bo Bennett speaks with Dr. Ginger Campbell, host of the Brain Science Podcast, about neuroscience and the many issues that science can shed light on such as the concepts of self, freewill, belief, consciousness, morality, and others. Dr. Campbell is an experienced emergency physician with a long-standing interest in mind-body medicine, the brain, and consciousness. She is also interested in a wide variety of other topics including the history of science and ideas. She began podcasting in 2006 and has discovered that it is a great way to share ideas with people from around the world. In July 2014, Dr. Campbell left emergency medicine to begin a Fellowship in Palliative Care at the University of Alabama School of Medicine. She has continued to produce her Brain Science Podcast fairly regularly. In May, Dr. Campbell spoke at the 2015 American Humanist Association Annual Conference in Denver, CO, delivering a talk on “What Every Humanist Needs to Know about Palliative Care.”
In this episode, Bo Bennett speaks with Kile Jones, creator of the “Interview an Atheist at Church Day” project. Listen as they discuss what the project is about & why it is needed, and marvel as Bo channels his inner preacher by conducting a “mock interview” with Kile, who demonstrates what it is like to be an atheist in church. From Kile’s website: Interview an Atheist at Church Day is a project created by Kile Jones, a Ph.D student at Claremont Lincoln University, an inter-religious school to train ministers. Kile is an atheist who is interested in helping liberal religious people work together with unbelieving communities for the betterment of society. Interview an Atheist at Church Day is a community project aimed at bettering the under-standing between atheists and religious persons. We hope to connect atheists who are willing to be interviewed with congregations in their area that are interested in developing ties with atheists in their area. The “day” represents our desire to grow into something far-reaching and beneficial to atheists and churchgoers alike. As unbelieving populations around the world continue to rise, dialogue and understanding between atheists and people of faith is more important than ever. We live and work in the same world: understanding better what both unites and divides religious and non-religious people can only help us make this world a better place.
In this episode, Bo Bennett speaks with American Humanist Association Executive Director Roy Speckhardt about his brand new book, "Creating Change Through Humanism". Bo also speaks briefly with AHA Legal Director David Niose about his article in Psychology Today exploring anti-intellectualism and how it can be seen as a major factor in the recent church shooting tragedy. About Roy: Roy Speckhardt has served as the executive director of the American Humanist Association since 2005. He is a frequent media commentator who has appeared on Good Morning America, CNN Headline News, Fox News, and National Public Radio, among others. He writes a regular column for The Huffington Post and has written for Patheos, Washington Post's On Faith, and other publications. He has spoken at universities from Stanford to Oxford, and given speeches at national conferences across the United States. Speckhardt holds a Masters in Business Administration from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Mary Washington College.
In this episode, Bo Bennett speaks with neurologist Dr. Robert Burton about what it means (or doesn’t mean) to be "certain." Wars have been fought and people murdered because people are claim certainty about "what they feel is right," whether that be following a god's commands or simply following a passionate and convincing human leader. Dr. Robert Burton graduated from Yale University and the University of California, San Francisco’s School of Medicine, where he also completed his neurology residency. At age thirty-three, he was appointed chief of the Division of Neurology at Mt. Zion-UCSF Hospital, where he subsequently became Associate Chief of the Department of Neurosciences. His writings include "On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not," three critically acclaimed novels and a neuroscience and culture column at Salon.com, "Mind Reader" (2008-2009). He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. His new book, "A Skeptic's Guide to the Mind; What Neuroscience Can and Cannot Tell Us About Ourselves," is now available.
In this episode, Bo Bennett speaks with Dr. Tom Greening about Humanistic Psychology: how it differs from modern day humanism, its origins, its relationship to positive psychology and the self-help movement, and much more. Dr. Greening received his B.A. from Yale University, spent a year in Vienna on a Fulbright Fellowship, and attended graduate school at the University of Michigan, receiving his Ph.D. in 1958.
In this special extended episode, we hear from several humanists on a variety of humanist issues. Listen as Kim Ellington interviews Andy Norman, Teresa MacBain, Sheila Malcolm, Richard Howse, Jason Torpy, Roland Halpern, Kelley Freeman, and Ed Gogol.
In this special hour and a half episode, we hear from several humanists on a variety of issues covered this past May 7-10 at the AHA’s 74th Annual Conference in Denver, CO. Listen as Kim Ellington interviews Gretta Vosper, Kevin Jagoe, Steve Hill, Joe Brady, Dr. Calvin and Tonda Kelly, Stephanie Downs Hughes, Juhem Navarro-Rivera, and Bishop McNeil.
In this episode, Bo Bennett and Kim Ellington speak with Professor Dan Ogilvie about the concept of the soul and how to teach this concept to both secular and religious students. After 45 years of teaching, Dan has been engaged in removing the wraps from the topic of soul and afterlife beliefs. He is a personality and social psychologist who formed a partnership with his brain scientist colleague, Leonard Hamilton, and together the two have been exploring the riches of a new field of inquiry. The topic of soul and afterlife beliefs provides an easy entrance into the disciplines of psychology, history, philosophy, brain evolution, child development, cognitive development, anthropology, religion, mythology, and other fields of inquiry. About Dan’s course (from coursera.org): Throughout history, the vast majority of people around the globe have believed they have, however defined, a “soul.” While the question of whether the soul exists cannot be answered by science, what we can study are the causes and consequences of various beliefs about the soul and its prospects of surviving the death of the body. Why are soul and afterlife beliefs so common in human history? Are there adaptive advantages to assuming souls exist? Are there brain structures that have been shaped by environmental pressures that provide the foundation of body/mind dualism that is such a prominent feature of many religions? How do these beliefs shape the worldviews of different cultures and our collective lives? What is the role of competing afterlife beliefs in religion, science, politics, and war? This course explores several facets of this relatively unexplored but profoundly important aspect of human thought and behavior.
In this episode, Bo Bennett interviews singer, actor, and gameshow host John Davidson on being openly secular. They discuss Davidson’s decades-spanning career, religion, and how he manages to still be so good looking in his seventies. From Wikipedia: Davidson was born to two Baptist ministers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and graduated from high school in White Plains, New York before entering Denison University. His boyish good looks, broad smile, and telegenic charm gained him entry to such television venues as sitcoms, game shows, variety shows, and talk shows. He is perhaps best known for hosting 1980–84's "That's Incredible!", a human interest/stunt-themed series created in the tradition of the 1950s television show "You Asked for It".
In this episode, Bo Bennett answers some listener feedback about critical thinking and interviews humanist Matthew Facciani about his activism & research in the areas of feminism, religion, and science communication. From Matt’s website: Matthew Facciani is a PhD candidate in cognitive neuroscience at the University of South Carolina. He completed his undergraduate education at Westminster College, PA receiv-ing a B.A. in Psychology with honors. Facciani has done research on neuroimaging methods and is currently studying the themes of race, class, and gender in comic books. His dissertation will be on the neuroscience of religiosity. He is also an instructor at the University of South Carolina where he teaches psychological statistics. Facciani's writing has been featured on Faith Street, The Good Men Project, The Feminist Observer, Patheos, Skeptical Raptor, Feministing, Secular Nation, and others which are linked in the writing section of this site. As for activism, Facciani is involved with various organizations and projects which pro-mote gender equality and religious tolerance. Facciani also travels around the country to give talks about gender equality and the psychology of religious belief. Once Facciani finishes his PhD, he plans to complete a post-doctoral fellowship furthering his cognitive neuroscience research and become a college professor and science communicator.
In this episode, Bo Bennett speaks with Drs. Joe Gerstein and Bill Abbott about a secular approach to addiction education and recovery via the SMART Recovery® program. From SmartRecovery.org: SMART Recovery® is the leading self-empowering addiction recovery support group. Our participants learn tools for addiction recovery based on the latest scientific research and participate in a world-wide community which includes free, self-empowering, secular and science-based, mutual-help support groups. SMART Recovery® helps people recover from all types of addiction and addictive behaviors, including: alcoholism, drug abuse, drug addiction, substance abuse, alcohol abuse, gambling ad-diction, cocaine addiction, and addiction to other substances and activities. SMART Recovery sponsors face-to-face meetings around the world, and daily online meetings. In addition, our online message board and 24/7 chat room are excellent forums to learn about SMART Recovery and obtain addiction recovery support.
In this episode, Bo Bennett speaks with Dr. Michael Britt, host of The Psych Files podcast. Listen as they discuss critical thinking and anti-intellectualism--—why it’s a problem, examples, and what we can do about it. Dr. Britt has a Ph.D. in psychology from The State University of New York at Albany (with a specialization in social and industrial/organizational psychology), and a B.A. in Psychology from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. He attended L’Ecole des Psychologues Praticiens in Paris, France. Dr. Britt taught psychology at Marist for 10 years at the graduate and undergraduate level. He currently runs B & E Productions, LLC – a mobile app and social media firm – from his home in Rhinebeck, NY.
In this episode, Bo Bennett speaks with Lisa Montoya, organizational development coach and current seminary student. From Lisa’s website: Lisa Montoya is pursuing her own personal and spiritual development by attending One Spirit Interfaith Seminary. As a soon-to-be ordained interfaith/interspiritual minister, she is also a volunteer pastoral care visitor at the Leonard Morse Hospital at MetroWest Medical Center in Natick, MA. Additionally, she is a certified Grief Recovery Specialist, helping people work through the pain of major life losses (divorce, death, job loss, etc.). This grief work ties directly to her work with organizations going through major change. Lisa is especially skilled at helping managers assist their employees with the emotional aspect of change which, if not acknowledged and handled properly, can delay or derail the change efforts, regardless of how rational they may be. When not working, Lisa enjoys yoga, walks in nature, spending time with family and friends, and traveling.
In this episode, Bo Bennett speaks with Sean Michael Wilson, author of the graphic non-fiction "Goodbye God?", exploring the art of graphic illustrations, church-state separation in England and Scotland, and several other humanist issues. Sean Michael Wilson has written around 20 books, published by a variety of US, UK and Japanese publishers and translated into eight languages. As well as writing 'western' style graphic novels, he often works with Japanese and Chinese artists on manga style books. Japanese publisher Kodansha has published 3 of his manga books so far, and he has had work published in the keitai/mobile phone manga format in Japan - both very unusual for a British creator. His comic books are different from the normal superhero/fantasy brands in collaboration with a variety of 'non-comic book' organizations, such as charities and museums. His main influences include British and American creators, such as Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Eddie Campbell and Harvey Pekar.
In this episode, Bo Bennett speaks with Sarah Morehead, Executive Director of Recovering From Religion about her personal journey from religion, the Secular Therapist Project, and the Hotline Project. A life-long evangelical Southern Baptist, Sarah spent years as a dutiful wife and mother before finding the courage to leave an abusive marriage. She ultimately let go of her faith, becoming a passionate advocate for growing the secular community by developing resources for practical support as people reconsidering the role of religion in their life. In 2011 she joined the leadership of Recovering From Religion and in 2012 she was appointed the Executive Director. Thanks to her tireless efforts, Recovering From Religion is well known as the bridge of hope for those negatively impacted by religion. In 2014 she was honored with the American Atheists “Atheist of the Year” award for her activism throughout the secular movement and in January 2015 she was elected President of the Reason Rally Coalition. When she is not busy directing RR and organizing events like Apostacon, she enjoys spending time with her family and homeschooling her many children.