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Podcasting: Sunday 20 October 2013 - Sunday 27 October 2013

In Chapter 8 of the Tyranny of God, we got thinking about memes. We generally defined memes to be anything that we, human beings can copy. Memes including ideas, stories, rituals and parables made up by people and got copied from one mind to another. Over generations, these memes join up with memes that are compatible or they may also make new memes conceivable. The idea that there is a soul for example, makes the idea of life after death, heaven and hell possible. These in turn makes it possible for gods to exist and we looked at all the different conceptions of god throughout the world. Religions embody and codify these conceptualisations of gods which is an argument I will delve into in later chapters.

However, before we proceed further, in this week's podcast, we will first discuss beliefs and delusions because they are two most powerful types of memes that influence our actions, thoughts and behaviour. This Sunday 20th of October 2013, Chapter 9 of The Tyranny of God: Beliefs and Delusions.

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Podcasting: Sunday 13 October 2013 - Sunday 20 October 2013

Currently, we are broadcasting the audiobook version of The Tyranny of God.  In Chapter 7 of the Tyranny of God, we got thinking about language. In our quest to understand human nature and the nature of religions, it is important to realise that language helps if not facilitates much of the way we think. In this chapter, I go through memes. Discussions of memes are important because a few chapters later, I argue that much like living organisms are made up of genes, religions are non-living organisms made up of memes. This Sunday 12th of October 2013, Chapter 8 of The Tyranny of God: Memes.

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Podcasting: Sunday 06 October 2013 - Sunday 13 October 2013

Last week, we defined what we mean when we use the word God and Religion in the context of this book. By the word God, we are mainly referring to the Theistic concept of God. That God is a supernatural being, who created the universe, watches our every move, listens to our thoughts and punishes or rewards us after we die. Jews, Christians and Muslims believe in a Theistic as opposed to a Deist or a Pantheist concept of God. These three religions are monotheists. They believe in only one god. We will refer to them as Abrahamic religions because they all trace their origins to a man named Abraham. Our use of the word religion in my book refers to these Abrahamic Religions not necessarily other types of religions like those found in India or Asia.

In understanding religion, I believe we need to understand how we think. Since language determines how we think, I deem it necessary to touch on the subject of Language. This Sunday 6th of October 2013, Chapter 7 of The Tyranny of God: Language.

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Podcasting: Sunday 29 September 2013 - Sunday 06 October 2013

In Chapter 1, we discussed the origins of the Universe. In Chapter 2 we discussed the origin of life. In Chapters 3 and 4 we went through Genetics and how evolution works through Natural Selection. Last week, we concluded Chapter 5 titled How Life Evolved on Earth.
So far, our discussions were purely to establish our natural history based on the evidence, proof and reason derived what we know of fossils, biology, geology, physics, chemistry and other branches of knowledge.

This Sunday 29th of September 2013, we draw attention to understanding the nature of religion. Here now for you, Chapter 6 of The Tyranny of God: Respite.

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Podcasting: Sunday 22 September 2013 - Sunday 29 September 2013

Last week, we continued listening to how life began on Earth. We picked up our story from the Teleostomes, a species of animals that evolved into the ray-finned and fleshy-lobed fish which later developed into terrestrial vertebrates, tetrapods, amphibians, reptiles and mammals. Some of these mammals evolved into primates which include monkeys and apes. We pick up our journey of our human evolution after introducing our Hominini ancestors and we discussed the findings of Dr. Zeresenay Alemseged of the Max Plank Institute about the remains of a girl from 3.3 million years ago that looked human in many ways.

This Sunday 22nd of September 2013, we conclude our journey of human evolution with Part III of Chapter 5 of The Tyranny of God: How Life Evolved On Earth.

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Podcasting: Sunday 15 September 2013 - Sunday 22 September 2013

Last week, we began listening to how life began on Earth. Life began as a prokaryote, a single-celled organism to a multi-celled organisms referred to as eukaryotes. With the production of oxygen and the ozone layer, life could flourish first from the seas then later, on land.
Descendants of the early eukaryotes evolved having flagellate cells which propel themselves with a whip-like organelle called a flagellum behind them. These opisthokonts gave rise to animals: animals that evolved bilaterally-symetrical organisms of which some later evolved to deuterostomes, chordates, craniates, vertebrates and jawed vertebrates. Jawed vertebrates later evolved to the teleostomes.

This Sunday 15th of September 2013, we continue our journey of human evolution, Part II of Chapter 5 of The Tyranny of God: How Life Evolved On Earth.
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Podcasting: Sunday 8 September 2013 - Sunday 15 September 2013

Last week, we listened to Chapter 4 on Natural Selection. We needed to find a way to understand how evolution works, because it is often misunderstood as a force that somewhat ‘mutates’ or ‘morphs’ plants and animals into other species. Evolution works through Natural Selection. The plants and animals that thrive in a particular environment are those with genes that help them survive, adapt and reproduce. Those that do not, have less offspring and will eventually die. The genes that are helpful to this end survive and are passed on to the next generation of plants and animals. The genes that are not helpful will reduce in number and risk extinction.

The next thing we need to look into is how organisms of animals evolved here on Earth based on the works of scientists in multiple fields of study.  This chapter of the book is quite extensive and in the audiobook, it is about an hour long. To keep with standard lengths of podcasts, we will divide it in roughly 20 minute segments. So here now, for you, this Sunday 8th of September 2013, Chapter 5 of The Tyranny of God: How Life Evolved On Earth.

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Podcasted: Sunday 1 September 2013 - Sunday 8 September 2013

Last week, we listened to Chapter 3 on Genetics. We looked at how replicators like DNA work, so that we can understand how organisms like us may have grown and evolved from the original replicator. I took you through what DNA, Chromosomes, Cells and Genes are. We learnt that chemicals in our bodies make up a genetic code, like letters making up alphabets. They make up words and sentences that instruct our cells how to manufacture the proteins our body needs. We learnt how this code is passed on from parents to children through DNA molecules that make up genes through sexual and asexual reproduction. These genes provide descendants of organisms with physical -- and especially of interest to us humans -- behavioural traits. I concluded the chapter by saying that even though genes, in their physical form, do not last forever, the information they contain is passed on inside living organisms for millions of years. In a sense, therefore, genes have the potential to be immortal and live on forever.

The next thing we need to look into is how organisms including plants and animals evolve.  So here now, for you, this Sunday 1st of September 2013, Chapter 4 of The Tyranny of God: Evolution By Natural Selection.
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Podcasted: Sunday 25 August 2013 - Sunday 1 September 2013

Last week, we listened to Chapter 2 on The Origin of Life. We fast-forwarded from when the solar system formed to the beginning of life on Earth. We came to understand how life may have originated from the emergence of a single molecule. We looked at experiments that emulated early conditions of the Earth to bring about a molecule we call the replicator. We referred to it as the replicator because unlike most other molecules that formed before it, this molecule was able to replicate itself. We know replicators exist because we are made up of them. DNA molecules are replicators. From there, we now need to ask how replicators like DNA work to understand how organisms like us may have grown and evolved from such humble beginnings. So here now, for you, this Sunday 25th of August 2013, Chapter 3 of The Tyranny of God: Genetics.

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Podcasted: Sunday, 18 August 2013 - Sunday 25 August 2013

Last week, we listened to Chapter 1 on Cosmology. Cosmology is the study of the origins and the eventual fate of the universe. We discussed the Big Bang Theory and how the universe began 14 billion years ago. From there, we discussed how matter collected into clouds, which condensed. Smaller structures formed and they began forming bigger structures. We looked at how galaxies may have formed and how, 530 million years after the Big Bang, our very own galaxy -- the Milky Way -- slowly came into existence. Our own star -- the Sun -- formed, along with everything else in our solar system, including our own planet, the Earth, and its moon. Now, in Chapter 2, we fast-forward from when the solar system formed to the beginning of life on Earth. So here now, for you, this Sunday 18th of August 2013, Chapter 2 of The Tyranny of God: The Origin of Life.

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