The Humanist Hour #73: the Reason Rally (part 2)

A new episode of the Humanist Hour is available for listening. Keep reading to find out about the guests on this month’s show.

In this month’s podcast, experience even more of the Reason Rally, the largest gathering of the secular movement in the world, with: British stand up comedian Eddie Izzard, youTube activist Cristina Rad, long time humanist activist and leader “the Amazing” James Randi, best-selling author Richard Dawkins, and our very own Todd Stiefel.


Segment 1: Eddie Izzard

Edward John “Eddie” Izzard is an English stand-up comedian and actor. His comedy style takes the form of rambling, whimsical monologue and self-referential pantomime. He had a starring role in the television series The Riches as Wayne Malloy and has appeared in many motion pictures such as Ocean’s Twelve, Ocean’s Thirteen, Mystery Men, Shadow of the Vampire, The Cat’s Meow, Across the Universe, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and Valkyrie. He is also the voice of Nigel in the 2006 animated film The Wild and Miles Axlerod in the 2011 Disney/Pixar animated film Cars 2.

Segment 2: Cristina Rad

Cristina Rad, cybername ZOMGitsCriss (pronounced “Zoh My God, it’s Criss!”), is a Romanian atheist vlogger. She joined YouTube on September 20, 2008 and currently has just shy of 85,000 subscribers.

Her videos mainly consist of discussions of atheism and critiques of creationism, notably in her video series “How to Be a Good Creationist.” She criticizes religion (particularly Christianity and Islam) and religious fundamentalists.

Rad gained a degree of attention for her response to Ray Comfort’s version of Darwin’s Origin of Species. On September 19, 2009, Rad posted a video on YouTube titled “Origin of Stupidity” that received over a million views, including, apparently, one by Comfort himself. Fellow YouTube user Thunderf00t posted a clip of Comfort briefly mentioning Rad’s video.

Segment 3: James Randi

James Randi is a Canadian-American stage magician and scientific skeptic best known as a challenger of paranormal claims and pseudoscience. Randi is the founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF). Randi began his career as a magician named The Amazing Randi, but after retiring at age 60, he began investigating paranormal, occult, and supernatural claims, which he collectively calls “woo-woo”.

Although often referred to as a “debunker”, Randi rejects that title owing to its perceived bias, instead describing himself as an “investigator”. He has written about the paranormal, skepticism, and the history of magic. He was a frequent guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and was occasionally featured on the television program Penn & Teller: Bullshit!. The JREF sponsors The One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge offering a prize of US $1,000,000 to eligible applicants who can demonstrate evidence of any paranormal, supernatural or occult power or event under test conditions agreed to by both parties.

Segment 4: Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins is the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, a position he has held since 1995. The Wall Street Journal said his “passion is supported by an awe-inspiring literary crafsmanship.” The New York Times Book Review has hailed him as a writer who “understands the issues so clearly that he forces his reader to understand them too.” Among his books are The Ancestor’s Tale, The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, A Devil’s Chaplain and The God Delusion.

Segment 5: Todd Stiefel

Todd Stiefel lives in Raleigh, NC. He is a secular humanist, an atheist and full-time freethought activist. Todd serves as an advisor to many of the top nontheistic organziations. He has given over $3.5 million dollars to charities in the Freethought Movement. This is highlighted by $2.5 million to found the Stiefel Freethought Foundation.

Links from this month’s episode:

Reason Rally

American Humanist Association

Eddie Izzard

Cristina Rad

James Randi

Richard Dawkins

Todd Stiefel

Upcoming Event links:

Music from this month’s episode (in order of appearance):