Rank #1: Rationally Speaking #124 - Stoicism
Dec 28 2014
Rank #2: Rationally Speaking #144 - Bryan Caplan on "Does parenting matter?"
Oct 04 2015
Rank #3: Rationally Speaking #4 - The Great Atheist Debate Over the Limits of Science
Mar 14 2010
Rank #4: Rationally Speaking #103 - Neil deGrasse Tyson on Why He Doesn't Call Himself an Atheist
Mar 09 2014
Rank #5: Rationally Speaking #3 - Can History Be a Science?
Feb 28 2010
Rank #6: Rationally Speaking #239 - Saloni Dattani on "The debate over whether male and female brains are different"
Sep 03 2019
Rank #7: Rationally Speaking #156 - David McRaney on "Why it’s so hard to change someone’s mind"
Apr 03 2016
Rank #8: Rationally Speaking #145 - Phil Tetlock on "Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction"
Oct 18 2015
Rank #9: Rationally Speaking #149 - Susan Gelman on "How essentialism shapes our thinking"
Dec 13 2015
Rank #10: Rationally Speaking #120 - Nihilism
Nov 02 2014
Rank #11: Rationally Speaking #87 - Sean Carroll on Naturalism
May 19 2013
Rank #12: Rationally Speaking #207 - Alison Gopnik on "The wrong way to think about parenting, plus the downsides of modernity"
Apr 30 2018
Rank #13: Rationally Speaking #194 - Robert Wright on "Why Buddhism is True"
Oct 02 2017
Rank #14: Rationally Speaking #133 - Sean Carroll on "The Many Worlds Interpretatioln Is Probably Correct"
In this episode of Rationally Speaking, Caltech physicist Sean Carroll describes an "embarrassing" state of affairs in modern physics: that we still don't know how to interpret quantum mechanics, almost a century after its discovery. Sean explains why he thinks the "Many Worlds Interpretation" (MWI) is the most plausible one we've got, and Julia explores his thoughts on questions like: Can MWI be tested? Is it "simpler" than other interpretations, and why? And does MWI threaten to destroy our systems of ethics?
Sean Michael Carroll is a research professor in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. He is a theoretical cosmologist specializing in dark energy and general relativity.
May 03 2015
Rank #15: Rationally Speaking #101 - Max Tegmark on the Mathematical Universe Hypothesis
Feb 09 2014
Rank #16: Rationally Speaking #135 - Robin Hanson on: "Most human behavior is signaling"
In this episode, economist Robin Hanson explains the signaling theory of human behavior: That our motivations for our choices, about school, shopping, medical care, and so on, evolved primarily to shape other people's perceptions of us. In the process Robin and Julia discuss what makes a good theory: How to decide what you should (a priori) expect to see, and why simplicity is a virtue.
Robin Dale Hanson is an associate professor of economics at George Mason University and a research associate at the Future of Humanity Institute of Oxford University. He is known as an expert on idea futures and markets, and he was involved in the creation of the Foresight Exchange and DARPA's Future MAP project. he blogs at Overcomng Bias.
May 31 2015
Rank #17: Rationally Speaking #97 - Peter Singer on Being a Utilitarian in the Real World
Nov 25 2013
Rank #18: Rationally Speaking #143 - Scott Aaronson on "The theorem that proves rationalists can't disagree"
Sep 20 2015
Rank #19: Rationally Speaking #6 - Fluffy Thinking
Fluffy Thinking is a peculiar type of uncritical thinking that sounds sophisticated, and is next to impossible to criticize frontally both because it barely has anything to do with empirical evidence, and because it is hard to articulate what, exactly, these people are saying. These people include scientific luminaries like Freeman Dyson and Paul Davies. Also, Karen Armstrong, author of "The Case for God", and Krista Tippett, author of "Einstein's God" and host of National Public Radio's "Speaking of Faith", where scientific notions are regularly distorted and mixed up with barely intelligible mystical “insights” that are put forward as profound truths.
The question is not only whether there is anything interesting in what these people are saying, but rather the much more difficult issue of why it is that smart individuals, who make their living thinking and writing about science and philosophy, are attracted by fluffy thinking.
Apr 10 2010
Rank #20: Rationally Speaking #5 - Neil deGrasse Tyson and the Need for a Space Program
Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson joins Massimo and Julia to discuss the need for a space program. Many scientists (and most people in the skeptic community) simply assume that funding outlets like NASA are a good idea. But, can scientists justify the enormous expense involved, not just in terms of their personal curiosity, but as a matter of tangible and intangible benefits to society at large? Should we go back to the Moon and establish a permanent base? Is it worth the expense and likely risk to human life to attempt a mission to Mars? What is a space station for, anyway?
Dr. Tyson is an astrophysicist by training and director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan. He is also the host of PBS's science NOW. His latest book is “The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet.”
Mar 28 2010