Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Your Call 021209 Is evolution by natural selection a fact?

Is evolution by natural selection a fact? On the next Your Call, we celebrate the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species. Darwin's theory about the mechanism of evolution is one of the most predictive, transformational and accurate theories devised by science, but how certain should we be that this explanation is the final word? Proponents of creationism in schools have attacked Natural Selection for being merely a theory. Should science educators, humanists and proponents of rationalism use the language of certainty to fight back? Can the scientific virtues of open-mindedness and curiosity succeed in America? It's Your Call, with Rose Aguilar and you.

Kevin Padian
Professor of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. Padian's area of interest is vertebrate evolution, especially the origins of flight and the evolution of birds from theropod dinosaurs. He served as an expert witness for the plaintiffs in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial, and his testimony was repeatedly cited in the federal court's decision to outlaw teaching creationism in classrooms.

Peter Hess
Faith Project Director at the Oakland-based National Center for Science Education.

Michael Shermer
Publisher of Skeptic magazine and author of Why Darwin Matters

Click to Listen: Is evolution by natural selection a fact?

Your Call 021109 Did the Iranian Revolution Change the World?

How did the Iranian revolution change the world? On the next Your Call we will follow the trail of one of the monumental events of the 20th century and see how we are still living with the repercussions in the 21st. After nearly a decade and a half in exile Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned to Tehran on February 1, 1979. Soon after, Time magazine speculated that the revolution threatened "to upset the world balance of power more than any political event since Hitler's conquest of Europe." How did the Iranian revolution reshuffle the deck in the Middle East and Central Asia? How did it shift the political conversation within the Muslim world, from Morocco to Indonesia? And 30 years on, what do we still need to understand about the Iranian revolution?

William O. Beeman in St Paul
Professor and Chair of Anthropology and specialist in Middle East Studies at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul. He also maintains the very informative and interesting blog on Middle Eastern affairs,Culture and International Affairs

Behrooz Moazami in New Orleans
Assistant Professor of history Loyola University New Orleans where he is creating a Middle East / Peace Studies interdisciplinary minor program. He is a native of Tehran and also a Visiting Scholar at the Center for European and Mediterranean Studies @ NYU.

Click to Listen: Did the Iranian Revolution Change the World?