Alex J. O’Connor, YouTube’s Cosmic Skeptic

Alex J. O’Connor is a YouTuber who makes videos on the Cosmic Skeptic channel. He also runs a blog of the same name. I’ve really enjoyed his work in the few months since he began posting content and this was my first opportunity to talk to him.

We spoke about advice he would offer aspiring YouTubers, why anyone interested in becoming the next Richard Dawkins should start now, and whether there’s a difference between atheists who were influenced by the New Atheism books versus those influenced by YouTube (and if one is better than the other).

Daniel Dennett, Author of From Bacteria to Bach and Back

Dr. Daniel Dennett is a philosopher, professor at Tufts University, and author of several books including Breaking the Spell and Darwin’s Dangerous Idea. His research also led to the formation of The Clergy Project, an online forum for closeted religious leaders who no longer believe in God.

His latest book is called From Bacteria to Bach and Back, and it’s all about how our minds evolved.

I spoke with him about why our minds are like a loaded iPhone, what we would do if the internet broke, and his new art exhibit.

Notes:

Here’s more information on Dr. Dennett’s upcoming art exhibit.

(Image via Wikipedia)

Jack Moline, President of Interfaith Alliance

Jack Moline is President of Interfaith Alliance. In his long career, he’s become a powerful voice fighting for religious freedom for all Americans, regardless of their faith or belief system. As a rabbi, he has worked to create common ground between people of diverse religious and secular backgrounds. He’s advocated for a number of issues, including services for this disabled, affordable housing, marriage equality, pay equity and civil rights. Rabbi Moline has authored two books and offered commentary on a number of news programs.

I spoke with him about whether Donald Trump‘s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch could be a surprise on church/state issues, why Trump’s proposed repeal of the Johnson Amendment would be a disaster in more ways than you might think, and what role atheists play in the interfaith movement.

Notes:

Be sure to check out Interfaith Alliance’s podcast State of Belief and details about the recipients of the group’s annual Walter Cronkite Faith & Freedom Award.

Donald Trump’s First Week in Office

We (Hemant and Jessica) discussed the first week of the Donald Trump presidency.

We spoke about the Women’s March (and whether they were right to push aside anti-abortion groups), whether religious pandering still matters in politics, and what Trump did in his first week in office.

Notes:

The New York Timesannotated inaugural address transcript.

POLITICO’s breakdown of Trump’s first week.

Adam Ruins Everything video.

Information about Texas’ maternal mortality rate.

Bonus link: Action points for the First 100 days.

(Image via Shutterstock)