The Atheist Experience

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The Atheist Experience is a weekly webcast and cable access television show in Austin, Texas, first aired on October 19, 1997. The show is hosted and co-hosted by rotating regulars Matt Dillahunty,[1][2] Jeff Dee, Martin Wagner, Russell Glasser, Don Baker, Tracie Harris, Jen Peeples, and John Iacoletti. Frequent topics are religious dogma, morality, ethics and application of the scientific method.[3] The co-host often opens with a theme or current event, after which live calls are taken. Although debate about all theist and atheist-related views are welcome, because of the large number of Christians in the United States,[4][5][6] the emphasis is mostly on Christianity.

The Atheist Experience is broadcast by the Atheist Community of Austin (ACA), an educational non-profit organization based in Austin, Texas. The central goals of the ACA are to promote positive atheism and the separation of church and state.[7]

A formerly fan-run YouTube channel has over 117,000 subscribers and videos with over 15.3 million views.[8] It became the official YouTube channel of The Atheist Experience by August 2012 (as mentioned in episode #774).

Personalities[edit]

Matt Dillahunty was raised a fundamentalist Baptist[9] and was a Christian for over 20 years. He served in the Navy for 8 years and spent several years in the hi-tech game industry. After this he set out to re-affirm his faith with the intent of attending seminary and pursuing a life in the ministry,[10] but through a process of study, no longer believed his previous theistic beliefs.[11] He co-founded Iron Chariots, a counter-apologetics wiki.[12] Dillahunty served as the president of the Atheist Community of Austin.[13] He is married to Beth Presswood, who sporadically co-hosts The Atheist Experience.

Russell Glasser, (Princeton, New Jersey) is a software engineer in Austin, Texas. He received an MSc in computer engineering at the University of Texas in 2007.[14] Glasser is the producer of the internet radio show The Non Prophets.[15][16] He has a son, Ben.[14] His sister, Keryn, used to be a regular co-host.

Jen Peeples is an aerospace engineer. She served in the US Army for 26 years retiring as a lieutenant colonel, was a military test pilot and left the military as an aviation officer.[17] Peeples is a self-described "foxhole atheist".[18] She currently serves as the president of the Atheist Community of Austin.[13]

Jeff Dee (15 May 1961) is an artist and game designer. He is a recognized figure in the role-playing game community and game industry.[19] His illustrative work shows comic book art form and influence. He is the co-creator of Villains and Vigilantes,[20] illustrator of Dungeons & Dragons, Deities & Demigods, artist for Master of Orion,[21] art director for Ultima VII, and lead designer for The Sims: Castaway Stories. He co-created the The Non Prophets, an internet radio show by the Atheist Community of Austin.[22]

Martin Wagner (27 April 1966, Henderson, Nevada) is an artist, cartoonist, and filmmaker. Wagner was a prominent figure in the short-lived comics self-publishing movement, along with Dave Sim (Cerebus), Jeff Smith (Bone), and Colleen Doran (A Distant Soil).[23] He self-published the comic book Hepcats.[24]

Tracie Harris (Orlando, Florida) is a graphic artist, cartoonist and publishing professional who does the Atheist Eve strip hosted on the Atheist Community of Austin web site. She received her BA in Liberal Studies from the University of Central Florida. Harris is a former Christian fundamentalist.[25][26] Harris and Dillahunty were featured on the Religion section of The Huffington Post "facing down an aggressive Christian caller with a shocking view of children who have been the victims of rape."[27]

Don Baker is a PhD computer scientist working in the field of computer-supported cooperative work.[26] He has taught at the University of Texas (Austin) as an adjunct for two years. Baker is a board member of the Atheist Community of Austin. He has a strong interest in the nascent field of memetics and has spent several years exploring the implications of Christianity as a meme complex, expressed in his writings at Christianity Meme.[28] Baker serves as the secretary of the Atheist Community of Austin.[13]

Notable appearances[edit]

Affiliations[edit]

Since its launch on the 29th of July, 2014, The Atheist Experience has been affiliated with AtheistTV, the world's first atheism-dedicated television channel.[39] Distributed through the Roku streaming television network, and available through online streaming through the American Atheists webpage, Atheist TV's playlists and programming include the latest The Atheist Experience episodes.

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ New group helps students understand atheism, University Star, Retrieved 2012-06-02
  2. ^ WTAMU Lecture to Debate Christian and Atheist Doctrines, West Texas A&M University, Retrieved 2012-06-02
  3. ^ Understanding Peer Reviewed, Benedictine University, Retrieved 2012-06-02
  4. ^ Gallup, "This Christmas, 78% of Americans Identify as Christian", December 24, 2009. Accessed February 8, 2011.
  5. ^ American Religious Identification Survey 2008
  6. ^ Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. U.S. Religious Landscape Survey: Religious Affiliation: Diverse and Dynamic. February 2008, pp. 5, 12. Accessed February 8, 2011.
  7. ^ "The Atheist Community of Austin". Retrieved 2012-04-03. 
  8. ^ "The Atheist Experience". YouTube. 
  9. ^ The Source of Human Morality Debate, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Retrieved 2012-06-02
  10. ^ Eileen E. Flynn (March 18, 2007). "Preaching his own gospel of atheism". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved February 3, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Saving believers: Former Christian finds calling to preach the good news of atheism". Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. March 21, 2007. 
  12. ^ "Profile of Matt Dillahunty". The Atheist Experience. 
  13. ^ a b c "Board of Directors". Atheist Community of Austin. 
  14. ^ a b Russel Glasser, personal profile
  15. ^ "PBS MediaShift - Public-Access TV Fights for Relevance in the YouTube Age", Mike Rosen-Molina, December 17, 2008 [1]
  16. ^ "Profile of Russel Glasser". The Atheist Experience. 
  17. ^ "She later earned a commission and spent 9 years on active duty, first as a Field Artillery officer, then as an Aviation officer." [2]
  18. ^ "Profile of Jen Peeples". The Atheist Experience. 
  19. ^ Olivo, Benjamin (March 9, 2007). "Leatherface to rev up ChimaeraCon action", San Antonio Express-News, p. H16.
  20. ^ Jebens, Harley (September 21, 1995). "Game central". Austin American-Statesman. p. 38. 
  21. ^ The Atheist Experience at the Internet Movie Database
  22. ^ "Profile of Jeff Dee". The Atheist Experience. 
  23. ^ "Biography for Martin Wagner"
  24. ^ "Hepcats by Martin Wagner". Comic Genesis. 
  25. ^ "Profile of Tracie Harris". The Atheist Experience. 
  26. ^ a b "Freethunk - Atheist Eve"
  27. ^ Bennett-Smith, Meredith (January 8, 2013). "'Atheist Experience' TV Host Shocked By Caller's Statement About Child Rape (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. 
  28. ^ "Profile of Don Baker". The Atheist Experience. 
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "The Atheist Experience Show Archive"
  30. ^ "Dogma Debate with David Smalley"
  31. ^ "The Atheist Experience #708 of May 8, 2011, with Russell Glasser and Don Baker. Topic: "Greg Paul and Atheist Civil Rights." Russell and Don talk with sociologist/evolutionist Greg Paul about atheist civil rights and healthy societies.", Youtube [3]
  32. ^ "Matt Dillahunty and Russell Glasser with guest Ray Comfort. Interview with Ray Comfort. Matt and Russell have a conversation "across the divide" with professional apologist Ray Comfort." [4]
  33. ^ "Atheist Experience #701 20 Mar 11", Youtube
  34. ^ "AronRa (L. Aron Nelson) is a YouTube atheist and activist."
  35. ^ "AronRa - 1st appearance on the Atheist Experience, ep #648 [..] 2nd appearance on the Atheist Experience, ep #668 [..] 3rd appearance on the Atheist Experience, ep #703" [5]
  36. ^ The Atheist Experience TV Show #648: Interview with AronRa, Host: Matt Dillahunty, Guest: AronRa, YouTube Celebrity, 2010-03-14 [6]
  37. ^ "Vic explains the scientific case against God's existence". 
  38. ^ "Oct, 29 Thu Austin TX, 6:30 pm, Threadgill’s Old Number One (Longhorn room), 6416 North Lamar, Austin, TX. Atheist Community of Austin. http://www.atheist-community.org/. Don Rhoades. The Atheist Experience. Interview with Don Baker. On web." [7]
  39. ^ D'Addario, Daniel (9 August 2014). "I spent a day watching AtheistTV — and it was horrifying". Salon. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  40. ^ Cline, Austin (2012). "Readers' Choice Awards, 2012". About.com Guide. 
  41. ^ "Best of Austin 2012: Best Public Access TV Show: The Atheist Experience". The Austin Chronicle. November 9, 2012. 
  42. ^ "Best of Austin 2011: Best Public Access TV Show: The Atheist Experience". The Austin Chronicle. October 14, 2011. 
  43. ^ Cline, Austin (2011). "Readers' Choice Awards, 2011". About.com Guide. 
  44. ^ "Best of Austin 2010: Best Public-Access TV Show: 'The Atheist Experience'". The Austin Chronicle. September 3, 2010. 

External links[edit]