Point of Inquiry

Center for Inquiry

Religion & Spirituality, Science & Medicine, Social Sciences, Society & Culture, Philosophy

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Science & Medicine 78

Point of Inquiry is the Center for Inquiry's flagship podcast, where the brightest minds of our time sound off on all the things you're not supposed to talk about at the dinner table: science, religion, and politics. Guests have included Brian Greene, Susan Jacoby, Richard Dawkins, Ann Druyan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Eugenie Scott, Adam Savage, Bill Nye, and Francis Collins. Point of Inquiry is produced at the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, N.Y.


The Odds of Life’s Oddities, with Mathematician John Allen Paulos

March 21st, 2016

Episode 510 of 565 episodes

John Allen Paulos is an award winning mathematician and best selling author. A professor in mathematics at Temple University, he has written for The Guardian,CFI’s Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and his monthly column for ABCNews.com, “Who’s Counting?” His new book is called A Numerate Life: A Mathematician Explores the Vagaries of Life, His Own and Probably Yours. Paulos uses basic mathematic principles to lend a fresh perspective to everyday life, and the results can be fascinating. He sheds light on everything from the mathematical science behind romantic crushes to the astronomical consequences of the butterfly effect. Some of the harsher mathematical realities can be troubling, like the inevitable probability of becoming more jaded as we age. But Paulos’s mathematical message also has plenty to take solace in, like knowing that dimensional geography suggests that every single one of us is far more peculiar than we may be willing to admit. That’s right, you are not the only weirdo you know; in reality we’re all a bunch of weirdos.

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