Category Archives: Podcasts

Assessing the current state of the debate on abortion

Here is a GREAT discussion between Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason and Scott Klusendorf of the Life Training Institute. The discussion starts at time 55:50 of the podcast. Klusendorf and especially Koukl are on fire in this podcast! Do not miss this podcast.

Topics include:

  • How do left-leaning Christians justify their pro-abortion voting?
  • What kills more people: unintended civilian casualties in war or deliberate killing of unborn babies? Are these two kinds of death morally equivalent?
  • Have Obama’s policies on abortion reduced or increased abortions?
  • Did the rate of abortion decline under Clinton and increase under Bush?
  • What policies really do reduce the number of abortions, and who supports those policies?
  • Should Christian medical personnel be forced to perform abortions against their consciences?
  • What are the root causes of abortion, and should we be addressing them by government-enforced wealth redistribution (social programs), instead of by legislation?
  • What is the difference between embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) and adult stem cell research (ASCR)?

As well, Klusendorf alludes to some research by Michael J. New at the Heritage Foundation about the policies that reduce abortions. You can read about it here in National Review. The supporting research is here.

I have blogged about some of these topics before, such as: stem cell research, a simple case for defending the unborn, right of conscience for health care workers, and about Representative Michele Bachmann’s opposition to FOCA and ESCR.

Scott Klusendorf makes the pro-life case on audio, here.

UPDATE: Doug Groothuis has a short, non-sectarian argument against abortion here.

Heartland Institute’s podcasts on school choice and education

I waited anxiously for this Heartland Institute series of 10 5-minute podcasts on education to finish, and now it’s finally done!

Here are the links:

  • In episode 0, the introduction, we respond to the question, Why Do We Need School Reform?
  • In episode 1, surveys reveal that parents who choose independent schools do so on the basis of academics, not athletics or convenience.
  • In episode 2, we discuss how allowing tax dollars to follow the child will give parents more control over their child’s education.
  • In episode 3, competition encourages creativity and lessens mediocrity.
  • In episode 4, choice makes parents accountable and frees leaders from excessive regulation.
  • In episode 5, school choice enables teachers to recover lost freedoms.
  • In episode 6, funding should be adequate to enable parents to chose high-quality schools, but parents should be allowed to add their own dollars.
  • In episode 7, voucher programs help teachers by paving the way for better teachers to receive higher pay.
  • In episode 8, private schools should be allowed to retain their self-government. This autonomy is in the best interest of the public.
  • In episode 9, school choice promotes and protects the institutions and organizations that create and protect democracy.
  • In episode 10, school choice creates a genuine free market for education, free from rules.

The booklet that the series is based on is here as a PDF.

New podcasts on academic freedom and intelligent design

I found a couple of new podcasts on intelligent design on Post-Darwinist!

Here is the skinny:

Academic Freedom Update: Where Are We in 2009?

On this episode of ID the Future, CSC’s Casey Luskin gives listeners an update on what’s going on with academic freedom legislation around America. Academic freedom bills submitted in five states already this year, including Oklahoma, Iowa, New Mexico, Missouri and Alabama. Listen in to today’s podcast as Luskin explains how Darwinist opposition to the bills is showing why academic freedom legislation is necessary to protect teachers from a climate of intimidation.

Why Specified Complexity Cannot Be Purchased Without Intelligence

On this episode of ID the Future, CSC’s Robert Crowther highlights one of the foundational books of the theory of intelligent design. “No Free Lunch“, the sequel to mathematician and CSC senior fellow William Dembski’s Cambridge University Press book “The Design Inference”, explores key questions about the origin of specified complexity. No Free Lunch demonstrates that design theory shows great promise of providing insight in the field of evolutionary computation.

Do you know what intelligent design is? The definitive statement of the what intelligent design is was first published in 1998 by Cambridge University Press. The name of that book is “The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance Through Small Probabilities”.

Here’s a little bio of the author, William Dembski. And here are some of his earned degrees:

  • Ph.D. philosophy University of Illinois at Chicago 1996
  • M.A. philosophy University of Illinois at Chicago 1993
  • Ph.D. mathematics  University of Chicago 1988
  • M.S. statistics  University of Illinois at Chicago 1983

If you put together the IQs of all the journalists who have ever written against intelligent design, the total number is actually lower than the IQ of William Dembski’s pinky finger nail clipping. An introduction to intelligent design is here. A chapter explaining intelligent design from a book published by Michigan State University Press is here.

Or, you can just read this sentence: intelligent design is what happens when you select letters and form sequences that have function. Like writing blog posts or software code. That’s intelligent design, and that’s all it is. Surprise! I do it all day at work. I’m doing it right now while I write this post. And it’s in your DNA, too. Sequences of amino acids and proteins arranged to have biological function.

My Dad, who reads everything I tell him to read because he’s such a great Dad, just finished Dembski’s new book “Understanding Intelligent Design: Everything You Need to Know in Plain Language”. He assures me it is extremely easy to understand, even for you helpless squishyheads who dropped math in grade 10.

Here is a good debate on whether the biological information in the simplest organism requires an intelligent designer.

Apologetics 315 lists the 16 best apologetics podcasts

The list of podcasts is here.

Here are the ones I listen to:

1. Reasonable Faith – William Lane Craig
3. Unbelievable?
6. Defenders Podcast – William Lane Craig
11. Intelligent Design the Future

But there are a bunch of new ones I had never heard of in his list. Check it out!

And let me just plug a podcast that is not related to Christian apologetics: the Investors Business Daily podcast (RSS link). This is by far the best podcast available on issues ranging from economics, to foreign policy to social policy. I highly recommend this podcast.

Scott Klusendorf makes the case for protecting the unborn

Linked here at Apologetics 315. His 35-minute presentation (no Q&A) is entitled “Making Abortion Unthinkable: The Art of Pro-Life Persuasion”. There is a presentation of the law of biogenesis and the SLED test (Size, Level of development, Environment, Degree of dependency).

A little biographical information on Scott.

For your office show-and-tell, you can buy Frank Beckwith’s 2007 book “Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice”. Since the book is published by Cambridge University Press, it’s useful to show people who think that there is no respectable case for the pro-life position.

My previous post on the case for the pro-life position in plain english is here. It contains a link to a 4-part series by Beckwith on answering arguments for the pro-abortion position.