Talking about the "things that matter most" on Dec. 24
Kresta Countdown of the top interviews of 2009
#30 – The Darwinian Revolution – Darwin Turns 200
Published 150 years ago, Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species—the text that introduced the world to natural selection—is among a handful of books that have changed the world. Born amid a ferment of speculation about evolutionary scenarios in the early 19th century; vilified and later pronounced dead at the turn of the 20th century; and spectacularly confirmed by discovery after discovery in succeeding decades—natural selection ranks with the theories of Copernicus and Newton for its iconic stature in science. But the route to that status has been surprisingly circuitous and uncertain. Darwin's profoundly revolutionary message has often been misunderstood, and so have his own views on evolution, the intellectual background that led to them, and the turbulent history of their reception. We talk to Dr. Frederick Gregory about Darwin, his influence, and how his work should be viewed today.
#29 – The End of Secularism
University scholars have spent decades subjecting religion to critical scrutiny. But what would happen if they turned their focus on secularism? Hunter Baker seeks the answer to that question by putting secularism under the microscope and carefully examining its origins, its context, its claims, and the viability of those claims. He reveals that secularism fails as an instrument designed to create superior social harmony and political rationality to that which is available with theistic alternatives. He also demonstrates that secularism is far from the best or only way to enjoy modernity's fruits of religious liberty, free speech, and democracy. The message is that the marketplace of ideas depends on open and honest discussion rather than on religious content or the lack thereof. He is here to make his case.
#28 – Victory for Prop 8 – Where Does the Fight Go From Here
The California Supreme Court upheld a voter-approved ban on same-sex “marriage” earlier this year but it also decided that the estimated 18,000 gay couples who tied the knot before the law took effect will stay wed. The 6-1 decision rejected an argument by gay rights activists that the ban revised the California constitution's equal protection clause to such a dramatic degree that it first needed the Legislature's approval. The court said the people have a right, through the ballot box, to change their constitution. How big was this victory and where does the battle go from here? Maggie Gallagher has the answers.