Tag Archives: Zoe Margolis

BHA Conference 2013 – Full Talks

The British Humanist Association held their annual conference in Leeds this year. Here’s some of the talks from some of the guests in full.

Christopher Priest
Magic as metaphor; metaphor as the reality ingredient of literature; a rational approach to the fantastic. Presented by the award winning author of The Prestige, which was later adapted into a successful Hollywood movie directed by Christopher Nolan, Priest will explore another way of seeing – exploring magic as a metaphor in literature and lifting the veil on taking a rational approach with the fantastic.


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Sue Blackmore
“I did not come to this conference of my own free will because free will is an illusion. Plenty of evidence from neuroscience suggests that there is no persisting ‘me’ who could exert this mysterious power. Libet’s experiments on the timing of voluntary actions throw free will into doubt; the neuroscience of volition reveals the brain areas responsible for decision-making and self-control; and research by Wegner shows how the feeling of being responsible for an action depends on post-hoc attributions based on sequence, similarity and timing. So if our intuitions are not to be trusted, how should we live our lives? Many people reject the traditional idea of free will but still say they must live ‘as if’ they have free will. Otherwise, they claim, society would disintegrate and all hell break loose. I disagree and will discuss ways of living a moral and happy life without believing in free will.”


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Marek Kukula
Our tiny blue planet is the only place we know where life can exist – a precious oasis in the vast desert of space. But throughout Earth’s history everything from exploding stars to impacts with giant asteroids have all left their mark on our planet – with profound consequences for its cargo of plants and animals. Public Astronomer Dr Marek Kukula explores how the world around us has been shaped by events in space, and how life on Earth has adapted to survive them.


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Melinda Gebbie
Having used art in many areas of politics – from Processed World, the magazine for Angry Secretaries, to anti-nuclear vehicles such as the 1985 film When the Wind Blows, Melida Gebbie’s work has always had the message that if an artist is doing their job properly they are meant to be the social, political, and universal barometer of their times. Currently working with Alan Moore on Angel Passage, a tribute to William Blake Gebbie will focus on the art and life of William Blake, exploring his vision and aspirations.


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Jim Al-Khalili
With ongoing discussions between neuroscientists and philosophers on the existence, or not, of free will, and with so many people in the so-called ‘enlightened’ West still believing that their fate is somehow linked to the movements of the stars and planets, what does modern physics have to say on the matter of determinism and chance? Indeed, is our future preordained? This lecture will be a whistle-stop tour of Einsteinian relativity, quantum indeterminacy and whether, according to our current understanding of the nature of time, the future is knowable.


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Episode 192 – 21st June 2013

This week we talk DNA patents, apps that claim to cure homosexuality, and whether Man of Steel has a religious message. Plus we speak to Girl With A One Track Mind Zoe Margolis and singer/songwriter Shelley Segal.



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DNA Patents (1:39) by Julie Gould
Zoe Margolis Interview (12:24) by Liz Lutgendorff
Shelley Segal Interview (24:15) by Chris Hofstader
Friday I’m In Love (With Men) – The Gay Cure App (32:09) by Tom Morris
Lets Talk About Sacks (43:43) by Sam Burns
Man of Steel (51:07) by Alex Fitch
The sketch at the end is by David Lovesy & Brian Two

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