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I was raised in a loving, Southern Baptist home and was a fundamentalist Christian for over 20 years. After 8 years in the Navy and several years in the hi-tech game, I set out to re-affirm my faith with designs on attending seminary and continuing with a life in the ministry. What began as an attempt to bolster my faith became a continuing investigation into more topics than I ever suspected I'd enjoy.
After the first couple of years, reason forced me to acknowledge that my faith had not only been weakened by my studies - it had been utterly destroyed. The thoughts, writings and wisdom of people like; Robert Ingersoll, Voltaire, Dan Barker, Richard Dawkins, Farrell Till and many others, helped free my mind from the shackles of religion without a single moment of despair. I continue to study philosophy, religion, science, history and the many other topics which have helped me to understand reality and enjoy my life.
Having spent the majority of my life compartmentalizing my religious beliefs to keep them safe from skepticism, it's thrilling to leave the critical, investigative, hungry portion of my brain turned "on". While my own pursuit of knowledge is a powerful driving force in my life, I'd also like to prevent others from wasting another day on irrational beliefs. Education is the key ...and if my work manages to educate even one person, I'm satisfied.
Anyone interested in reading further is encouraged to visit the counter-apologetics encyclopedia, Iron Chariots. Russell Glasser and I started the wiki and we encourage others to help us build it into a great resource for anyone interested in apologetics and theological debate.
I'm a computer scientist with an interest in evolutionary biology and the nascent science of memetics. Viewed in memetics terms, religions are gangs of cooperating "mind viruses" whose only "goal" is to perpetuate themselves, often at the expense of humanistic interests. I have written and collected a wide range of material on this topic on my web site.
As a rotating co-host of Atheist Experience, I have the pleasure of bringing these ideas to the show. When I am co-host, you will often find me criticizing religions, especially Christianity, on moral as well as rational grounds. Atheism and secular humanism are vastly better than religions in ensuring our survival and achieving our potential as humans.
Read my testimonial on the Atheist Community of Austin web site for more.
I'm an aerospace engineer, former military test pilot, and foxhole atheist. I'm fascinated by social phenomena like conspiracy theories, moral panics, and group behaviors, so you'll often see me bring these subjects to the show. In my spare time, I like to play around with biological models, especially predator-prey and infectious disease models. I'm also a huge science fiction fan.
My journey to atheism began when I was 15 and a newly "saved" family friend pointed out some Bible passages that conflicted with my then-limited understanding of Christianity. His attempt to get me to accept his version of Christianity backfired. After reading the Bible in detail for the first time, I realized that the claims of Christianity are absurd and, in many respects, morally bankrupt. This inspired years of study in which I examined the claims of many religions and, one by one, rejected them all.
At this point in my life I no longer defend atheism; I actively promote it. My life has the value, meaning, and purpose that I give it, and I'm very pleased to be affiliated with a group like the ACA that shares that philosophy. Dispelling common misconceptions of atheists and promoting positive atheism as a co-host of The Atheist Experience is the icing on the cake.
Tracie is one of the newer faces on the Atheist Experience. She's a former fundamentalist who brings a common sense perspective to our show.
Tracie is also a talented cartoonist who does the Atheist Eve strip hosted on the Atheist Community of Austin web site.
Russell is a rotating host of the Atheist Experience. Russell has been active in the Atheist Community of Austin for many years and involved with the show about as long. Russell has been producer of The Non Prophets, ACA's Internet radio program. Russell has a blog called Kazim's Korner where he often writes about atheist topics..