Podcast Beyond Belief, the Official Podcast of Foundation Beyond Belief


Podcast Beyond BeliefBy Colin Thornton
Blogger at Science-Based Parenting and Podcast Beyond Belief co-host

Foundation Beyond Belief has been hosting a science-based parenting podcast produced by a group of rational moms and skeptic dads. Here’s a little behind-the-scenes look at how we started.

I met Dale McGowan for a blog interview at one of his secular parenting seminars in Cincinnati. After the session, I stayed for lunch to meet Dale and introduce myself to the local atheists, some of whom expressed their faith in acupuncture. I walked away confused at how those atheists I met could deny the invisible, unfalsifiable, unquantifiable force of God while confidently claiming a belief in the invisible, unfalsifiable, unquantifiable Chinese concept of chi.

It was then that I realized that some atheists, just like anyone, could benefit from the critical thinking and science-based reasoning of skepticism.

When Foundation Beyond Belief first launched, I knew that this was an organization that I would join and support. Organized philanthropy is a concept that the freethinking community has needed for a long time. I only wished that I had the time or money to do more than my monthly contribution. Then, I had the bright idea: Why not ask Dale if Foundation Beyond Belief would want to partner with my new hypothetical podcast?

There was only one potential problem with the partnership: Most of the co-hosts lined up for the podcast were more motivated by science-based skepticism than atheism. As a general rule, the hosts of Podcast Beyond Belief want to focus on the values in which we believe, rather than those we do not. But in this respect, I see the podcast having a complementary vision with the Foundation. We share a belief in science, altruism, ethics, and positive parenting, among other things.

It’s our hope that we will inspire skeptics to join the Foundation, and that we’ll motivate secular humanists to find out more about skepticism. The two subcultures are certainly compatible; there’s no reason why skepticism and secular humanism shouldn’t support each other.

If you haven’t checked out Podcast Beyond Belief, I hope you go to iTunes and subscribe. As we approach our seventh episode, I can say that we’ve made a lot of progress from our debut. Dale helped us launch the podcast with an episode that introduced new listeners to the concept of secular humanism. Daniel Loxton joined us to help explain skepticism. We’ve also had interesting interviews with John Flansburgh from They Might Be Giants, “Raising Happiness” author Christine Carter, “Raising Freethinkers” co-author Amanda Metskas, and “The Frog Scientist” author Pamela S. Turner. Our latest interview was with Ute Mitchell, secular homeschooler and FBB’s parent community coordinator.

In coming weeks, you can look for special episodes on vaccines with Dr. Paul Offit and Dr. David Gorski.

The podcast’s hosts are Laurie Tarr from Rational Moms, Elyse Anders from Skepchick, Heidi Anderson from She Thought, and the contributing writers to Science-Based Parenting: myself, John Paul Daigle, and Rob Tarr. We are a work in progress, so we hope that you have time to write us at podcastbeyondbelief@gmail.com to give us feedback, recommend guests, or submit a parenting question. If you are so inclined, please help us spread the word by writing a review on iTunes.

Thanks for listening! We are having a lot of fun recording new episodes and hope our enthusiasm comes across in every episode.