Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A Glance at Some Atheist Podcasts

I'm a big fan of the podcast concept, and I currently have, let's see...99 casts from 22 casters on my computer (only 7 are subscribed, the rest are on a trial basis). So this week I thought, oh hey! I bet there are atheist podcasts out there too! And yes, there are. Here are a few I downloaded and tried out:

  • Atheist Nation - From what I can tell, it's a couple of high school kids doing their very best to sound intelligent. I'm sure it's thought provoking for high school kids, but it's not for me. The reviews on iTunes say the same.
  • Atheist Viewpoint from American Atheists - Can I just say I can't STAND podcasts that take forever to get started?? On the cast I heard (#592), these guys had a full 67 seconds of music before leadoff. These guys talk atheist and religious news. It was okay, better than Atheist Nation, but still not for me. Very long and drawn out, not terribly well put together, iffy production values, and did I say rambling?
  • The Better Atheist - This podcast gets RIGHT to the point, and I love that. The casts seem okay, but I haven't made it through one yet. Plus, there are only four out that I can see, two from early last year.
  • Ex-Christian Monologues - This is put out by Dave, the webmaster of http://exchristian.net I'll take a closer look at this site later. This show has high ratings, and on brief inspection seems to be the kind of show I'd like. I'll stick with it.
  • Godless Heathen - I haven't been able to download it, I keep getting an error. I like their website (http://www.modernatheist.com/) slogan "A gathering place for those immune to the religious disease". Sounds very promising, eh?
  • Humanist Network News - Oh sure, it doesn't SAY "atheist", but here: "The Institute for Humanist Studies (IHS) promotes humanism, a nonreligious philosophy based on reason and compassion." What I heard sounds pretty promising. Intelligent conversation, done up like radio (in segments). Website is http://www.humaniststudies.org/
  • Scientific Atheism - The episode I heard (#2) starts with a commercial, which is fine by me, then a looong intro (1 min, apparently caged from The Hulk). THEN a long clip from Fight Club, which would be fine, but you just spent 2 1/2 minutes on random crap. This guy has a voice distorter, which is also fine. But OH MY GOD WITH THE "UM"S. You can't Um your way through a podcast, you just can't. I skipped ahead to the middle, and the background music and the pauses and Ums continued to kill me. I can't give it a fair shake. In my defense, this also got horrible reviews.

So there you go, three out of seven ain't bad.

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