Radio Freethinker

Vancouver's Number 1 Skeptical Podcast and Radio Show

Posts Tagged ‘Radio Freethinker’

Donate to CiTR 101.9FM Fundrive 2011!!

Posted by Ethan Clow on November 18, 2011

CiTR’s annual Fundrive started yesterday at 12 noon. The goal is to raise $35,000 to fund CiTR’s programming and good work. This is a daunting task, the station has only 7 days to raise the funds (November 17th to 24th) and we at Radio Freethinker want to do our part and help this great campus-community station stay on the air!

Listeners who donate are investing in the future of CiTR. Operational expenses, upgrades, and equipment costs rely on the Fundrive for support. By donating and helping the station get up-to-date equipment, you help on the on air quality of radio.

CiTR is an independent radio station, meaning it’s not commercial. You won’t hear advertisements for beer or viagra on this station. What you will hear is psa’s and ads for community events, cultural celebrations, musical and artistic endeavours and causes and non-profits.

When you consider the value of having independent media that isn’t owned by a conglomerate, a small donation to CiTR seems like an easy decision!

For us skeptics we should keep in mind that often times independent media is frequently in bed with alternative medicine, conspiracy theories and pseudo science.  It’s all the more important than that Radio Freethinker do its part to help out so that stations like CiTR realize just how many skeptics out there appreciate them giving their valuable air space to us to freethink about.

How you can Donate:

Donations can be made in-person at CiTR Radio offices. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Personal Cheque, Money Order & Cash, and Direct Deposit. You can also send a cheque payable to UBC with “CiTR Fundrive” in the memo, to the following address:

CiTR Radio
#233-6138 SUB Blvd.
Vancouver, BC
V6T 1Z1

Call 604-822-8648 (UBC-UNIT) to donate over the phone and on the air to your favourite show!

Donors can choose to receive a tax receipt for their full donation, or a tax receipt for the value of their donation minus the value of the prize received. Online donations are not eligible for prizes – only tax receipts. Click here to donate online.

CiTR has some great prizes for donating, check them out here!

What you get for donating to Radio Freethinker!

When you donate, you’ll be asked if you want to donate to a specific show. The money doesn’t go to that show or anything, all the money raised goes to help CiTR. However by donating to your favourite show you can win great custom prize packs from them. Plus, you give the programmers bragging rights for a whole year!

We at Radio Freethinker have lined up some awesome skeptical themed prizes for donors.

We are also quite happy to announce that we’ve received prizes from some skeptical organizations!

These items are from the James Randi Educational Foundation, a great U.S. nonprofit that promotes scientific skepticism in the media, provides resources to skeptical educators and activists, and works to support our community of skeptics and freethinkers around the world. They’re at

Any donation over $20 will receive a JREF sticker decal + A Flim-Flam bumper Sticker

Bumper sticker and decal

Any donation over $30 a cheque book full of blank $1,000,000.00 !!! (Okay not real million dollar cheques. They’re promotional items to commemorate the Million Dollar Challenge by the JREF)

One Million Dollars! (Not really)

Any donation over $40 will receive a Radio Freethinker CD Gift Pack! (Including the Best of and the Best of Interviews!)

Any donation over $70 will receive a copy of James Randi’s book The Faith Healers

Any donation over $80 will receive a JREF t-shirt (size XL)

Any donation over $101.09 will receive a TAM DVD Set! the Choices are TAM 5.5 or TAM 7

Any donation of or over $250 will earn the donor a chance to come on Radio Freethinker and host a show!

*We hope to get more prizes soon so stay tuned!*

IMPORTANT NOTE – Prize packs are limited 1 per donation (you can’t donate $ and get all the prizes) However if you want to donate $ but only want the sticker for example, we can accommodate that. Also please note that we have limited quantities of prizes! So it’s first donate/first serve.

One final note, we know that asking for donations of $100 is no trivial thing. Even $30 is a lot. But the reason we ask is because we are confident and proud of the programming that we (not just Radio Freethinker) produces. CiTR gives a voice to a community that simply isn’t served by commercial radio. Further, we’re aware of the generosity within the Skeptical Community and we’re asking for some right now. If you’ve listened to our show or downloaded the podcast, please consider donating because without that source of funding, we wouldn’t be able to produce any on-air content and certainly no podcast. Help us if you can. This money goes a long way.

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Show notes for Episode 138

Posted by Ethan Clow on October 26, 2011

Radio Freethinker Episode 138 – Robots and Robot ethics with special guest Ajung Moon, biominetics, AI, and Robot-Human relations

Download the Episode here!

Special Guest Ajung Moon see her website Roboethics Info Database: A Place to Talk about the Newest Technologies and the Ethical Issues Behind Them


CubeStorm II the Rubik Cube solving robot, see here

Biomimetic robotics, see here and here

Discussion on AI, MI, and EI in Robots:,0,7812744,full.story

Star Trek TNG episode The Measure of a Man

Star Trek Voyager episode Author, Author

Skeptical Highlights:  

Climate Corruption:  The Smart People and Big Money Behind the Campaign to Deny Global Warming

Thursday, October 27, 2011, YWCA Vancouver Program Centre @ 535 Hornby Tix $25

Against overwhelming evidence of dangerous changes in our climate, scientists say we have done much too little to save ourselves from this certain threat.  Yet political foundations in Canada and British Columbia are backing away even from their admittedly inadequate targets.  This is no accident.  For more than two decades, some of the richest companies and foundations in the world have promoted a policy of confusion and denial in the climate discussion.

In their award-winning book, Climate Cover-up, investigative journalist Richard Littlemore and David Suzuki Foundation Chair James Hoggan pointed fingers and named names.  In this lecture, Littlemore will bring the exposure of wrongdoers home to Vancouver and offer an inoculation against the muddled and corrupt thinking that characterizes Canadian journalism and current political debate.

CiTR Fundrive is coming up on November 17th – we at Radio Freethinker will of course be encouraging listeners to call in and donate some money to help us out here at CiTR and we’ll have some great unique skeptical prize packs.

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Show notes for Episode 137

Posted by Ethan Clow on October 19, 2011

Radio Freethinker Episode 137 – Dreams are discussed, the philosophy of dreams, the history of dream interpretation and the current science on dreams

Download the Episode here!

Dream interpretation history

Also see:

Dreams in myth, medicine, and movies By Sharon Packer) pg 99-101

Doubt: A history, By Jennifer Michael Hecht page 23

Neurology of Dreams

Skeptical Highlights

Next week come hear Jenna talk about tuberculosis, cholesterol and biochemical progress at Cafe Scientifique downtown at the railway club. 7:30, October 25th. Facebook Event here.

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Show notes for Episode 136

Posted by Ethan Clow on October 12, 2011

Radio Freethinker Episode 136 – Dawkins banned from event, psychological disorders linnked to religious belief? Understanding diversity in science testing, plus the Nobel and Ig-Nobel prizes

Download the episode here!

Skeptical News:

Richard Dawkins event canceled because venue saw his interview on the Bill O’Reilly Show, see here and here

-see the interview with Richard Dawkins and Bill O’Reilly here.

Religious origins in a genetic disorder? see here and here.

Stereotyping: not just for high school anymore.


A Nobel pursuit

Bottle Sex – super-normal stimulation

Is a sigh just a sigh?

The power of the PEE

Skeptical Highlights:

Occupy Howe Street

Last week i informed our listeners about a major popular uprising in the US called Occupy Wall Street. Well, it seems RFT is having its unparalleled influence again. I have heard rumours that this Saturday around noon we here in Vancouver will have our own Occupy event…Occupy Howe Street. It is reported to be happening on the lawn of the Art Gallery .

Antibiotic Reminder

I hate to tell you all but its fall and the wind is up and the bugs are ready to fly. I know I’ve noticed in my building they’ve started rolling out the hand sanitizer dispensers and I’m about to start avoiding toddlers like the plague. It’s also the time of year that we make choices about antibiotic use. To make these choices in an informed and rational way check out my latest blogpost on And That’s Science on some of the underlying principles of antibiotic effectiveness and resistance. It’s at

FREE lecture with Dr. Jessica Tracy: DEATH AND SCIENCE – Monday, October 24 · 6:30pm. See Facebook Event Here

The UBC Freethinkers Club and the BC Humanists are proud to co-sponsor this FREE lecture by Dr. Jessica Tracy: “DEATH AND SCIENCE: : The Existential Underpinnings of Belief in Intelligent Design and Discomfort with Evolution”

Jessica Tracy is an Associate Professor of Psychology at UBC, who specializes in research on emotion and self. She is a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar and a Canadian Institutes for Health Research New Investigator, and won the 2010 Early Career Award from the International Society for Self and Identity.

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Show notes for Episode 135

Posted by Ethan Clow on October 5, 2011

Radio Freethinker Episode 135 – Science in the Courtroom, Insite wins Supreme Court case, Italian scientists face manslaughter charges for failure to warn of earthquake. Plus how can scientist better communicate their concerns?

Download the episode here!

Skeptical News:

Insite wins its supreme court case, see here and here (court ruling)

Italian Scientists charged with manslaughter for failure to warn of earthquake danger, see here and here


Science communication – how to avoid problems?

Skeptical Highlights:

Occupy Wall Street

As some may have heard, but I doubt many have, there is currently going on in the States a mass protest. For over 2 weeks protesters have been having a ‘Arab spring’ like occupation of Wall Street…well it’s a park next to Wall Street. It has spread to over 20 cities in the US. The protest was called for by our own Canadian Magazine AdBusters and now has active support by major Labour unions and the progressive movement. They are protesting the standard issues – corporate bail outs, tax cuts for the rich, reduced social spending, union busting, money politics – one of the more popular signs reads “I can’t afford a lobbist, I am the 99%”.

Okay, interesting you say, but why mention it on the show? First, it’s important that we, the 99% remain informed and engaged – perhaps start our own “Occupy Bay Street”. Secondly and as a skeptic lesson, the way media can distort reality. If you scan the corporate media you will get the occasional small story about the protest but nothing big. Compare that to the press the 1% gets via the Tea Party. Over the weekend over 700 people were arrested, you would think that would be big news. Compare it to the press coverage in the alternative independent media – such as Democracy Now, Real News, etc – you get an object lesson in how ones perception of reality can be molded – distorted? – by the information or lack thereof we receive.

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Show notes for Episode 134

Posted by Ethan Clow on September 27, 2011

Radio Freethinker Episode 134 – Interview with James Randi, Catholic enough for Canada? Faster than light possible? Why do people doubt climate change?

Download the episode here!

Skeptical News:

Ethan discusses Catholic requirements for Canada, see blog post here

Don talks about the recent “faster than light” particles, see blog post here

Jenna tells us about the reasons people doubt climate change, see blog post here


James ‘the Amazing’ Randi

The James Randi Educational Foundation

Randi on Wikipedia



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Welcoming Winnipeg

Posted by Ethan Clow on September 12, 2011

The Radio Freethinker Media Empire has expanded once more! This time in Winnipeg, Manitoba! That’s right, Radio Freethinker can now be heard on CJUM 101.5FM in Winnipeg, Mondays at 8am!

CJUM has a long history of providing campus community radio in Winnipeg. Broadcast out of the University of Winnipeg, the station began in 1975 but due to financial difficulties had to close down in 1980. The station, however, was one of the first two campus radio station in Canada to receive a broadcast licence. In 1996 a group of students campagined to get a campus radio station back and succeeded. In 1997 CJUM (aka UMFM) was approved by the CRTC and started broadcasting in 1998.

We here at Radio Freethinker are of course very honoured to be added to their lineup and we encourage anyone local in Winnipeg to check us out.

CJUM seems like a pretty skeptic-friendly place too. Looking at their schedule I noticed how Radio Freethinkers follows another skeptical show, our comrades over at Skeptically Speaking! So they have a nice block of rational radio there Monday mornings!

And for any local Winnipeger’s who heard our show, welcome! Have a look around and check out some our blog posts and be sure to download and subscribe to our podcast as well as follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

You might want to check out a few of these posts as they deal with some local Winnipegish issues!

Saturday Stub: The Winnipeg Jets Are Back but Are They American?

Show notes for Episode 124 – including a discussion of prayer in Manitoba Schools!


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Show notes for Episode 129

Posted by Ethan Clow on August 24, 2011

Radio Freethinker Episode 129 – Interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson, California teacher who criticized Christianity, Drug companies funding clinical trials and the Pope in Spain and Abortion forgiveness week.

Download the Episode here!

This week: Don discusses a California teacher who was sued for criticizing Christianity, Jenna explains how drug companies will fund clinical trials, and Ethan tells us about the Pope’s latest visit to Spain and Abortion Forgiveness Week. Plus, an Interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson!

Skeptical News:

Teacher can’t be sued for bashing Christianity, see here

What happens when drug companies fund clinical Trials? see:

Dtsch Arztebl Int 2010; 107(16): 279-85
Dtsch Arztebl Int 2010; 107(17):295-301

Vatican offers six-day abortion forgiveness in Madrid, see here and here

Interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson:

Neil deGrasse Tyson


Skeptical Highlights:

The death of addiction

There have been a number of articles in the news-o-sphere about the recent decision of the American Society of Addiction Medicine to classify addiction, be it alcohol, cocaine or sex addiction, as a mental disorder. Traditionally addiction was seen as, at least in the initiation of the addiction, moral failing…a weakness of mind. Modern research has brought such ‘common sense’ into doubt. The ASAM statement holds that an addition is really a “bio-psycho-socio-spiritual” illness.

Though addicts can’t choose not to be addicts, they can choose to get treatment. Recovery, ASAM says, is best realized not just by self-management and mutual support groups such as 12-step fellowships, but also with trained professional help. The ASAM’s timing corresponds with the current revamping of American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders—the bible of the mental health profession.

Why is it a highlight? I would like our listeners to check out the links on the show notes and let us know if you agree with addiction as a disease, the use of the spirituality in treating addiction, 12-step programs…this will likely be a future segment.

US geolocial survey Did you feel it? page
The earthquake earlier this morning in Virginia got everyone talking about whether they felt it, how it was, etc. This site lets you see where the effects of eathquakes across the US are being felt and report if you can feel it.

Skeptics in the Pub Richmond – Thursday, August 25 · 7:30pm Legends Pub 6511 Buswell Street in Richmond BC. Facebook Event here

Humanist Summer Potluck – Friday, August 26 · 6:00pm at Oakridge Seniors Centre 513-650 41st Ave W in Vancouver, BC.  The BC Humanists are having a potluck dinner! Bring your favourite appetizer, entrée, or dessert. Meet at the Oakridge Senior’s Centre at 6 PM – enter from the outside door, which is on the SW corner of Oakridge mall. Event info here

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Show notes for Episode 126

Posted by Ethan Clow on August 3, 2011

Radio Freethinker Episode 126 – Interview with Dr.’s Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen Macknik, U.S Debt “crisis”, Christian Terrorism and the double standard of it

Download the episode here!

Song: Armageddon by Prism

Skeptical News:

International Space Station to be ‘sunk’ after 2020, see here

US National Debt “Crisis”

Double Standards of Terrorism:


Dr. Susana Martinez-Conde

Dr. Stephen Macknik

Skeptical Highlights:

Skeptics in the Pub in Kitsilano – Wednesday, August 3 · 7:30pm at the The Billy Bishop Legion.

In addition – Skepticamp 2011 rehearsal event will take place at 6pm at the Billy Bishop an hour or so before Skeptics in the Pub starts. If you want to practice your talk, get feedback, ask questions, come by for 6pm. – See Facebook Event Here

Friday Illusion: Shifty shadow alters an object’s path

New Scientist TV has this cool illusion. The video shows a ‘ball’ (actually just a round image) traveling across a grid plan. The motion of the ball remains constant but there is the addition of a shadow beneath the ball. This shadow is manipulated to give the perception that the path of the ball is not constant…although it is.

We heard about the Neurobiology of magic, but I have a book about the magic of neurobiology. I’ve been reading “An anthropologist on Mars” by Oliver Sacks who is an amazingly insightful neurobiologist. This book is a collection of some case studies and explores some of the amazing things our brains do to make things okay.


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Show notes for Episode 125

Posted by Ethan Clow on July 26, 2011

Radio Freethinker Episode 125 – Interview with Richard Wiseman, Creationism out of Textbooks in Texas, Reddit Co-founder in trouble, Pre-infected PC’s, and Drug strategies.

Download the episode here!

Song: Luck be a lady tonight by Frank Sinatra

Skeptical News:

Texas to keep creationism out of its science classes, see here

Reddit Co-Founder Arrested for data theft, see here

Pre-infected PC, see here and here and here.

Drug Discovery Strategies and Outcomes, see here.


Richard Wiseman



Skeptical Highlights:

BC Humanists in the Pride Parade

On Sunday, July 31st, 2011, the BC Humanists will be marching in the Vancouver Pride Parade for the second consecutive year to show our support for the LGBTTQ community and to promote humanism to the wider community.

Everyone wanting to march with us should be at Section F by 12:30 pm. The parade takes about 2 hours to walk, so bring lots of water, sunscreen, and colourful outfits!

Here’s the directions to enter F from Pride:

“Please enter WEST bound ROBSON STREET from BURRARD STREET. Continue WEST along ROBSON STREET towards THURLOW STREET and Section F. Parade Assembly Marshals (green volunteer t-shirts) will direct you to your specific assembly position.”

Vancouver SkeptiCamp 2011

Saturday, August 6 · 10:00am – 7:00pm in the Victoria Learning Theatre, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre Room 182

Vancouver SkeptiCamp is a fun, informative, one-day, free, open, attendee-driven, grassroots skeptic conference featuring many brief (~10 minute) presentations with Q&A sessions. We hope to make this year’s event as successful as the previous four Vancouver SkeptiCamps, but we need your participation, either as a speaker or as an attendee. Please take a moment to register today: http://vancouver.skepticam​  This is our fifth skepticamp in Vancouver, we have a full roster of speakers (18) but we encourage you come out and participate as these talks will each have some great QandA portions and we really like to involve the audience.

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