Talking about the "things that matter most" on Dec. 28
Countdown of the best interviews of 2011
4:00 – #14 Biden Under Fire for 'Not Second-Guessing' China's One-Child Policy
Vice President Joe Biden is under fire for appearing to condone China’s one-child policy during a speech Sunday at Sichuan University in Chengdu. Addressing social and budgetary challenges faced by the U.S. and China in the wake of respective population booms, Biden told his audience, “Your policy has been one which I fully understand -- I’m not second-guessing -- of one child per family.” He has since back-tracked a bit, but we talk with China expert Steven Mosher.
4:20 - #13 God in Action: How Faith Can Address the Challenges of the World
What if God has his own ways that are not always our ways? What if God acts in public affairs in ways that can, of course, be ignored from day to day but at a price for individuals and whole societies? If God is an actor, how is it possible to trace his action? Can we discover God’s actions in the part of human experience that is public in our day?" These are some of the questions that Francis Cardinal George asks and answers in his new book God in Action: How Faith Can Address the Challenges of the World. He joins us.
5:00 – #12 Why Catholics Are Right
Columnist, television host, author, and Canadian Catholic Michael Coren is here to examine four main aspects of Catholicism as they are encountered, understood, and more importantly, misunderstood, today. For some Catholicism is the only permanent, absolute body of truth, while for others it is the last permanent, absolute body that has to be opposed and stopped. Coren then traces Catholic history, with a discussion of the Crusades, Inquisition, Holocaust, and Galileo. He looks at Catholics and theology, explaining what and why Catholics believe what they do — Papal infallibility, Immaculate Conception, and Tradition vs. Bible alone. Finally, Coren outlines the pro-life position and why it is so important to Catholicism. Michael draws on history, politics, and theology to present the arguments for the truth of Roman Catholicism. He is with us today.
5:40 – #11 The Most Human Human: What Talking with Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive
Computers playing chess. Computers playing Jeopardy! What does this technology teach us about what it means to be alive? In a fast-paced, witty, and thoroughly winning style, Brian Christian documents his experience in the 2009 Turing Test, a competition in which judges engage in five-minute instant-message conversations with unidentified partners, and must then decide whether each interlocutor was a human or a machine. The program receiving the most "human" votes is dubbed the "most human computer," while the person receiving the most votes earns the title of "most human human." Ranging from philosophy through the construction of pickup lines to poetry, Christian examines what it means to be human and how we interact with one another, and with computers as equals.