Audible! We’re going to listen to a podcast this week (get it?) instead of homework in the textbook. Here the task is different. The speaker, Sam Harris, considers many outside sources. Pick one of his statistical outside sources, use the internet to find this source, and then write a three part essay in which you identify what the data shows in the original source, and what claims if any the authors of that source make about their data. Then, compose an essay in which you compare the data in the original source to the claims made by Harris: does he accurately represent the data from the original? Does he use the data to reach conclusions that the data actually supports? In a final section, write about your personal response to this podcast, indicating the thoughts it provoked in you, and the lessons, if any, you learned from it. What problems, if any, do you find with Harris’ arguments, asides, or opinions?
Keep in mind the views of the podcaster are not necessarily my own views. Sam Harris has achieved fame for his polemical brand of anti-religious atheism, and he is well known as a progressive, and, interestingly, a member of the so-called “dark web” (cue scary music). But he is, if nothing else, excellent at the kind of dispassionate objective analysis that I am trying to impart to you all. Plus he has cool intro music.
Transcript of Podcast with links to sources (Links to an external site.)