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The Michael Shermer Show

Science Podcasts

The Michael Shermer Show is a series of long-form conversations between Dr. Michael Shermer and leading scientists, philosophers, historians, scholars, writers and thinkers about the most important issues of our time.

The Michael Shermer Show is a series of long-form conversations between Dr. Michael Shermer and leading scientists, philosophers, historians, scholars, writers and thinkers about the most important issues of our time.

Location:

Altadena, California

Description:

The Michael Shermer Show is a series of long-form conversations between Dr. Michael Shermer and leading scientists, philosophers, historians, scholars, writers and thinkers about the most important issues of our time.

Language:

English

Contact:

1-626-794-3119


Episodes

188. Legendary Undersea Explorer Robert Ballard — Into the Deep: A Memoir From the Man Who Found Titanic

6/16/2021
In this conversation about his memoir and National Geographicspecial on his life, Robert Ballard takes us along his many journeys to find the Titanic, the Lusitania, the Bismarck, Nazi submarine U-166, the USS Yorktown, JFK’s PT 109, and two missing nuclear submarines under the cover of searching for the Titanic. Ballard is also a scientist, and he recalls his many important discoveries that include 750°F hydrothermal vents, undersea volcanoes, black smokers, and the confirmation of the...

Duration:01:59:36

187. Robert Cialdini — Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

6/8/2021
In this dialogue, based on the new edition of his highly acclaimed bestseller (over 5 million copies sold in over 40 languages), Robert Cialdini — New York Times bestselling author of Pre-Suasion and the seminal expert in the fields of influence and persuasion — explains the psychology of why people say yes and how to apply these insights ethically in business and everyday settings. Shermer and Cialdini discuss: Cialdini’s Universal Principles of Influence and 7 Principles of Persuasion,...

Duration:01:56:09

186. William Nordhaus on the Economics of Global Warming, Pandemics, and Corporate Malfeasance

6/2/2021
In this conversation, based on the book The Spirit of Green: The Economics of Collisions and Contagions in a Crowded World, Nobel Prize-winning pioneer in environmental economics Dr. Nordhaus explains how and why “green thinking” could cure many of the world’s most serious problems — from global warming to pandemics. Solving the world’s biggest problems requires, more than anything else, coming up with new ways to manage the powerful interactions that surround us. For carbon emissions and...

Duration:01:06:47

185. Stephen Meyer — Return of the God Hypothesis: Three Scientific Discoveries that Reveal the Mind Behind the Universe (and why Shermer remains skeptical)

5/29/2021
Beginning in the late 19 century, many intellectuals began to insist that scientific knowledge conflicts with traditional theistic belief — that science and belief in God are “at war.” Philosopher of science Stephen Meyer challenges this view by examining three scientific discoveries with decidedly theistic implications. Building on the case for the intelligent design of life that he developed in Signature in the Cell and Darwin’s Doubt, Meyer claims that discoveries in cosmology and physics...

Duration:01:58:09

184. Alexander Green on Money & Why It Matters

5/25/2021
In this special episode of the show Shermer and Green discuss one of the most important and yet poorly understood concepts in modern society: money and why it matters. They discuss: the origins of money, and how to make it work for you, how the stock market works, the power of compound interest, the secrets of millionaires, the difference between a IRA, 401(k), and a Roth IRA, hedge-fund managers and investment advisors, the relationship between risk and reward, the relationship between...

Duration:01:41:08

183. Bari Weiss & Bion Bartning — The Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism

5/22/2021
Shermer, Weiss, and Bartning discuss: why we need the Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism (FAIR) when we have the ACLU, the SPLC, etc.; Richard Dawkins canceled by the AHA; hate speech as violence; Liberal and Conservative attitudes toward free speech and how they shifted; private vs. public speech; government censorship vs. cancel culture; anti-Semitism on the Left and the Right; QAnon; Israel and the BDS movement (Boycott, Divestments, Sanctions); What happened at The New York Times?;...

Duration:01:29:07

182. A Conversation With UFOlogist Alan Steinfeld on How Believers and Skeptics Think About UFOs

5/18/2021
In this episode, Michael Shermer speaks with explorer of consciousness and the emcee of Contact in the Desert (the largest UFO event in the country), Alan Steinfeld, who for over 30 years has hosted and produced the weekly television series New Realities in New York City. In his book, Making Contact, Steinfeld has edited together multiple perspectives on what he claims can no longer be denied: UFOs and their occupants are visiting our world. The volume contains original writings by the...

Duration:01:48:41

181. David Buss — When Men Behave Badly: The Hidden Roots of Sexual Deception, Harassment, and Assault

5/15/2021
Sexual conflict permeates ancient religions, from injunctions about thy neighbor’s wife to the permissible rape of infidels. It is etched in written laws that dictate who can and cannot have sex with whom. Its manifestations shape our sexual morality, evoking approving accolades or contemptuous condemnation. It produces sexual double standards that flourish even in the most sexually egalitarian cultures on earth. And although every person alive struggles with sexual conflict, most of us see...

Duration:01:47:46

180. Andy Norman — Mental Immunity: Infectious Ideas, Mind Parasites, and the Search for a Better Way to Think

5/11/2021
Astonishingly irrational ideas are spreading. COVID-19 denial, anti-vaxxers compromising public health, conspiracy thinking hijacking minds and inciting mob violence, toxic partisanship cleaving our nations, the return of Flat Earth theory… What the heck is going on? Why is all this happening, and why now? More important, what can we do about it? Does our “right to our opinion” trump our responsibilities? Does the resulting ethos effectively compromise mental immune systems, allowing “mind...

Duration:01:35:41

179. Niall Ferguson — Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe

5/8/2021
Disasters are inherently hard to predict. Pandemics, like earthquakes, wildfires, financial crises, and wars, are not normally distributed; there is no cycle of history to help us anticipate the next catastrophe. In this episode, Michael Shermer speaks with one of the world’s most renowned historians, Niall Ferguson, who explains why our ever more bureaucratic and complex systems are making us worse, not better, at handling disasters.

Duration:01:38:34

178. James Hunter & Paul Nedelisky on religious vs. secular morality — Science and the Good: The Tragic Quest for the Foundations of Morality

5/4/2021
In their book Science and the Good, professional philosophers James Hunter and Paul Nedelisky trace the origins and development of the centuries-long, passionate, but ultimately failed quest to discover a scientific foundation for morality. The conversation takes a decidedly interesting turn when Drs. Hunter and Nedelisky reveal that they are both theists and that their Christian worldview informs their thinking on moral issues. The three then dig into the weeds of the difference between...

Duration:02:02:39

177. Angus Fletcher — 25 Most Powerful Inventions in the History of Literature

5/1/2021
Michael speaks with neuroscientist and literature professor Dr. Angus Fletcher about 25 of the most powerful developments in the history of literature, from ancient Mesopotamia to Elena Ferrante. Fletcher says these literary technologies can alleviate grief, trauma, loneliness, anxiety, numbness, depression, pessimism, and ennui — all while sparking creativity, courage, love, empathy, hope, joy, and positive change. Fletcher is a professor of story science at Ohio State’s Project Narrative,...

Duration:01:53:05

176. Minouche Shafik — What We Owe Each Other: A New Social Contract for a Better Society

4/27/2021
Michael Shermer speaks with Nemat Talaat Shafik, Baroness Shafik DBE, known as Minouche Shafik, one of the leading policy experts of our time, about a new and better social contract that recognizes our interdependencies, supports and invests more in each other, and expects more of individuals in return: a rethinking of how we can better support each other to thrive. Shafik avers that no only can every country provide its citizens with the basics to have a decent life and be able to...

Duration:01:40:17

175. Brian Keating — How it All Began: Cosmic Inflation, the Multiverse, and the Nature of Scientific Proof

4/24/2021
In this episode, based on the cover story from Skeptic magazine 26.1 (2021), Michael speaks with University of California professor of physics Brian Keating about: time, infinity, the shape of the universe, the multiverse, quantum gravity, string theory, the laws of nature, and more… Listen to this fascinating episode for free and order a copy of the Skeptic magazine 26.1 to read Keating’s cover story, complete with splendid graphics, charts, and illustrations (in print or digital formats).

Duration:01:48:02

174. Jordan Peterson — Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life

4/20/2021
Join Michael Shermer and Jordan Peterson (bestselling author of 12 Rules for Life) for this extraordinary conversation based on Peterson’s new book Beyond Order. After working for decades as a clinical psychologist and a professor at Harvard and the University of Toronto, Peterson has become one of the world’s most influential public intellectuals. His YouTube videos and podcasts have gathered a worldwide audience of hundreds of millions, and his global book tour reached more than 250,000...

Duration:02:49:00

173. Naomi Oreskes — Why Trust Science?

4/17/2021
In this interview, based on her landmark book, Why Trust Science?, historian of science Naomi Oreskes offers a bold and compelling defense of science, revealing why the social character of scientific knowledge is its greatest strength — and the greatest reason we can trust it. Drawing vital lessons from cases where scientists got it wrong, Oreskes shows how consensus is a crucial indicator of when a scientific matter has been settled, and when the knowledge produced is likely to be...

Duration:01:45:50

172. Andrew Doyle — Free Speech: And Why it Matters

4/13/2021
Political Correctness has formed the basis for a new intolerant mindset, actively policing speech that is deemed offensive or controversial. Rather than confront bad ideas through discussion, it has now become common to intimidate one’s detractors into silence. Taking on board legitimate concerns about how speech can be harmful, Andrew Doyle argues that the alternative — an authoritarian world in which our freedoms are surrendered to those in power — has far worse consequences.

Duration:02:15:13

171. John Mueller — The Stupidity of War: American Foreign Policy and the Case for Complacency

4/10/2021
In this conversation based on his new book, The Stupidity of War, political scientist John Mueller argues that American foreign policy since 1945 has been one long miscue; most international threats — including during the Cold War — have been substantially exaggerated. The result has been agony and bloviation, unnecessary and costly military interventions that have mostly failed. With international war in decline, complacency and appeasement become viable diplomatic devices and a large...

Duration:01:49:15

170. Michio Kaku — The God Equation: The Quest for a Theory of Everything

4/6/2021
Synthesizing relativity and quantum theory would be the crowning achievement of science, a profound merging of all the forces of nature into one beautiful, magnificent equation to unlock the deepest mysteries in science. In this episode, Michael Shermer speaks with professor of theoretical physics Michio Kaku about: the Big Bang, black holes, worm holes, the multiverse, time travel, dark energy and dark matter, gravity, string theory, ETIs, meaning, and God.

Duration:01:36:45

169. Jeff Hawkins — A Thousand Brains: A New Theory of Intelligence

4/3/2021
Michael Shermer speaks with Jeff Hawkins, cofounder of Numenta: a neuroscience research company, about his new book A Thousand Brains: A New Theory of Intelligence in which Hawkins explains how simple cells in the brain create intelligence by using maplike structures to build hundreds of thousands of models of everything we know. Listen to this in-depth dialogue about the discoveries that allow Hawkins to answer important questions about how we perceive the world, why we have a sense of...

Duration:01:47:16