Is the renewed influence of religion in public life a threat to reason and science? That's the conviction of some nonbelievers aggressively advocating Atheism. We hear the latest version of an ancient argument in the US, where Atheists have less credibility than anyone else. Plus, Mexico swears in its new President amidst a slug-fest, and a conversation about Hugo Chavez. Dictator out of control or secular saint?
FROM THIS EPISODE
Three hundred years after the Age of Enlightenment began some nonbelievers are worried that reason is losing out to religion. Their concern has provoked what's called a New Atheism movement. Proponents, who see the growing influence of religion in public life as an attack on reason and science, are fighting back with an intellectual movement that has produced several best-selling books. At the same time, surveys show that Atheists are America's least trusted people, and critics accuse them of being fundamentalists in their own right. Does religion foster ignorance and lead to violence and war? Can human society survive without it?
Richard Dawkins, Professor of the Science of Public Understanding at Oxford
Francisco Ayala, Professor of Evolutionary Biology at UC Irvine
Bob Edgar, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches
Penny Edgell, Director of Graduate Studies in Sociology at the University of Minnesota
A new president was sworn into office today in Mexico, after much uncertainty after a disputed election. On Sunday, President Hugo Chavez is running for re-election in Venezuela. Reviled in the United States, but in his own country Chavez arouses passion in supporters as well as opponents. What are the chances of the man who called President Bush "the devil" in a speech to the United Nation?
Guy Taylor, International Editor for World Politics Watch
Felipe Calderón took the oath of office as President of Mexico today amid jeers and whistles from opposing factions in Congress. For three days, his elected friends and enemies have assaulted one another with soft-drink cans, pizza boxes--and punches--in the Congressional chamber.
Hector Tobar, author and journalist
More From To the Point
Bannon, Moore storm the establishment barricades Donald Trump appealed to the frustrated base of the Republican Party, and Steve Bannon rode Trump's train to the White House. Now, Bannon's out on his own -- fomenting revolution against the GOP establishment—especially leadership in the Senate. Where's President Trump as the battle lines are being drawn?
Sifting through the ashes: Cleanup and questions after the fires Wildfire is all too familiar in the Golden State, but last week's record-setting blazes in Northern California left behind something new — more property damage over a wider area with more human casualties than ever before. We hear about likely causes, the struggle to clean up and the possibility of prevention.
Political dueling and the future of the ACA Uncertainty about the fate of Obamacare grows by the day, with key factors including bipartisanship in the Senate, opposition deeper than ever in Congress -- and a president who veers from one side to the other. We talk with Maryland's attorney general and others about what's at stake from the state house to the doctor's office.
Will the NFL find common ground on national anthem protests? National Football League team owners are meeting today to craft a unified message about political protest. Men and women athletes in other sports are protesting too. We hear how one man's refusal to stand for the flag has demonstrated the inseparable relationship between sports and politics.
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Substandard living in Santa Barbara Property owner Dario Pini houses thousands of low-income tenants throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, but faces over 3,000 health and safety violations and three lawsuits by the city of… Read More
How to prepare for an earthquake Thursday is California’s Great ShakeOut drill. If you haven’t gotten your earthquake kit together and made sure you have a plan, do it today! What should be in your earthquake… Read More