Our rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness
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21 June 2013

Dr. Monica Hughes on Myths about Evolutionary Theory: Philosophy in Action Podcast

By Diana Hsieh

On Wednesday's Philosophy in Action Radio, I interviewed biologist Dr. Monica Hughes about "Myths about Evolutionary Theory." The podcast of that episode is now available for streaming or downloading. You'll find it on the episode's archive page, as well as below.

You can automatically download podcasts of Philosophy in Action Radio by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:



Podcast: Dr. Monica Hughes about "Myths about Evolutionary Theory"

Many Americans are woefully ignorant of the basics of evolutionary theory, even while they criticize or reject it. Biologist Monica Hughes explained the basics of evolutionary theory, including some fascinating examples of evolution in action. Then she discussed and dispelled some common myths about it.

Monica Hughes received her master's and PhD degrees in mycology and forest pathology at SUNY-ESF (State University of New York College of Environmental and Forest Biology). Broadly trained in aspects of plant and fungal biology, Monica's research is focused on an obscure but diverse group of insect-associated fungi, particularly co-evolution of the fungi with their hosts, and description of new species: her research uncovered roughly 50 new species of fungi from New Zealand, including several new genera. Since obtaining her PhD in 2008, Monica has worked as a biology professor in the Community College system of Colorado and at Regis University in Denver.

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Topics:
  • Wildfires in Colorado
  • The basic tenets of evolutionary theory
  • Examples of evolution in action: bacteria, dogs, silver fox
  • The creation of new species: plants, fruit flies
  • The evidence for evolutionary theory
  • Evolution is not just randomness
  • The second law of thermodynamics does not preclude evolution
  • The argument from irreducible complexity
  • The first living organism
  • The irreducible complexity argument
  • The time required for evolution
  • The "goal" of evolution
  • Evolution as "just a theory"

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About Philosophy in Action Radio

Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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12 June 2013

Doctors Refusing to Perform Abortions: Philosophy in Action Podcast

By Diana Hsieh

On Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio, I answered a question on doctors refusing to perform abortions. The question was:

Does a doctor violate a woman's rights by refusing to perform an abortion? Many people on the left claim that a doctor who refuses to perform an abortion – or a pharmacist who refuses to dispense Plan B – is thereby violating the rights of the woman. Those doctors and pharmacists, however, claim that they're exercising their own freedom of religion. Who is right?

My Answer, In Brief: A doctor does not violate a woman’s right to abortion by refusing to perform an abortion, and a doctor’s freedom of religion does not entitle him to renege on the terms of his employment.

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Tags: Abortion, Ethics, Medicine, Politics, Religion, Rights

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To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

A podcast of the full episode – where I answered questions on Objectivism versus libertarianism, bad ideas as a cause of mental illness, doctors refusing to perform abortions, and more – is available here: Episode of 9 June 2013.

You can automatically download podcasts of Philosophy in Action Radio by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:
About Philosophy in Action Radio

Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

Philosophy in Action's NewsletterPhilosophy in Action's Facebook PagePhilosophy in Action's Twitter StreamPhilosophy in Action's RSS FeedPhilosophy in Action's YouTube Channel

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11 June 2013

Bad Ideas as a Cause of Mental Illness: Philosophy in Action Podcast

By Diana Hsieh

On Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio, I answered a question on bad ideas as a cause of mental illness. The question was:

Can the consistent practice of wrong ideas lead to mental illness? Often, the most consistent practitioners of an ideology – such as Naziism or Islam – seem to become increasingly unhinged over time. Does fully embracing a fantasy-based ideology entail or encourage mental illness, such as paranoia and delusions? If so, are such people then not responsible for what they say or do?

My Answer, In Brief: A person can damage his mind severely by consistent practice of evasion and irrationality, and religion and other fantasy-based ideologies can help a person do that.

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Tags: Epistemology, Mental Illness, Philosophy, Rationality, Religion

Links:
To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

A podcast of the full episode – where I answered questions on Objectivism versus libertarianism, bad ideas as a cause of mental illness, doctors refusing to perform abortions, and more – is available here: Episode of 9 June 2013.

You can automatically download podcasts of Philosophy in Action Radio by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:
About Philosophy in Action Radio

Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

Philosophy in Action's NewsletterPhilosophy in Action's Facebook PagePhilosophy in Action's Twitter StreamPhilosophy in Action's RSS FeedPhilosophy in Action's YouTube Channel

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07 June 2013

Laws Against Marital Infidelity: Philosophy in Action Podcast

By Diana Hsieh

On Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio, I answered a question on laws against marital infidelity. The question was:

Should marital infidelity be illegal? Many states, including Colorado, have laws against marital infidelity on the books. These laws are rarely if ever enforced. Politicians often attempt to repeal them, but those attempts are often unsuccessful. Many people think that the government ought to "take a moral stand" even if the law isn't enforced. Does that view have any merit? Should these laws be repealed? Why or why not?

My Answer, In Brief: Laws against adultery are wrong and unjust. They do not set a proper moral example, and they undermine respect for the rule of law.

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Tags: Adultery, Colorado, Conservatism, Crime, Divorce, Ethics, Law, Marriage, Politics, Rights

Links:
To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

A podcast of the full episode – where I answered questions on abortion rights and the violinist argument, Obama's cultural impact, laws against marital infidelity, managing demands for family time, and more – is available here: Episode of 2 June 2013.

You can automatically download podcasts of Philosophy in Action Radio by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:
About Philosophy in Action Radio

Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

Philosophy in Action's NewsletterPhilosophy in Action's Facebook PagePhilosophy in Action's Twitter StreamPhilosophy in Action's RSS FeedPhilosophy in Action's YouTube Channel

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05 June 2013

Abortion Rights and the Violinist Argument: Philosophy in Action Podcast

By Diana Hsieh

On Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio, I answered a question on abortion rights and the violinist argument. The question was:

Can abortion rights be justified based on Judith Thomson's "violinist" argument? Even if we accept that an embryo is a person with a right to life, can't abortion rights be justified on the basis of Judith Thomson's famous "violinist" thought experiment – meaning, on the grounds that one person does not have the right to use another person for life support?

My Answer, In Brief: Judith Thomson’s defense of abortion is an excellent way to challenge and dispense with the view that abortion immoral and should be illegal because the embryo or fetus has a right to life. It’s not a definitive account of rights in pregnancy, nor is it intended to be such. It's major flaw is that it relies too heavily on intuitions, albeit good ones.

Download or Listen to My Full Answer:

Tags: Abortion, Academia, Ethics, Intuitions, Judith Thomson, Law, Personhood, Philosophy, Politics, Trolley Problem

Links:
To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

A podcast of the full episode – where I answered questions on abortion rights and the violinist argument, Obama's cultural impact, laws against marital infidelity, managing demands for family time, and more – is available here: Episode of 2 June 2013.

You can automatically download podcasts of Philosophy in Action Radio by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:
About Philosophy in Action Radio

Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

Philosophy in Action's NewsletterPhilosophy in Action's Facebook PagePhilosophy in Action's Twitter StreamPhilosophy in Action's RSS FeedPhilosophy in Action's YouTube Channel

Read more...

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