The Gospel of Food
Dr. Barry Glassner
January 7, 2007 at 2pm
Baxter Lecture Hall
Caltech, Pasadena, CA
In his latest debunking project (after The Culture of Fear), sociologist Glassner argues that frequent sensational headlines and scientific controversies about obesity, fast food, and food safety have left many Americans bewildered about what to eat. Glassner’s well-researched and wide-ranging commentary on American eating habits and food-related beliefs offers a welcome antidote to such confusion by examining the veracity of numerous food myths. Casting his clear-eyed, critical gaze on nutrition researchers and reformers, food writers, and corporate food marketers, Glassner succeeds in making a persuasive case that Americans take their concern over healthy eating to unnecessarily extreme levels.
The Great Afterlife Debate:
Michael Shermer v. Deepak Chopra
The second debate between Deepak Chopra and Michael Shermer came about after the widely read and referenced debate the two had last year on the virtues and value of skepticism. Deepak has a new book out on the subject, Life After Death: The Burden of Proof (Harmony, 2006 ISBN 0307345785), and Michael has written extensively about claims of evidence for the afterlife, so the two of them thought it would be stimulating to have a debate on the topic. Michael read Deepak’s book and goes first in the debate, offering his assessment of the “proofs” presented in Deepak’s book, then Deepak responds. Shorter blog-length versions are published on www.HuffingtonPost.com, with the longer versions presented here and on www.intentBlog.com.
This week on Skepticality, we kick off the first show of 2007 with a recording of author and lecturer Dr. Sam Harris (see Optimism below) speaking at the Symposium on Science, Religion & Politics, part of the Skeptic sponsored lecture series at Caltech.
Dr. Harris is the author of the New York Times bestsellers, The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation. Additionally, Dr. Harris makes regular appearances on television and radio to discuss the danger that religion now poses to modern societies.
While conventional wisdom tells us that things are bad and getting worse, scientists and the science-minded among us see good news in the coming years. Edge online magazine asks What Are You Optimistic About? Why? The 160 responses to this year’s Edge Question span topics such as string theory, intelligence, population growth, cancer, climate and much more. Respondents include:
James Randi’s Amazing Meeting 5
“Skepticism and the Media”
January 18–21, 2007
The Riviera Hotel
Las Vegas, Nevada
Matt Stone and Trey Parker of South Park are now planning to join the amazing roster of speakers at The Amazing Meeting 5! Also, Penn & Teller tickets before and after the conference are now available to attendees at a special rate!