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Publisher's Summary

In this hour, Steve Paulson reports on a growing movement among secular scientists and philosophers, E.O. Wilson, Ursula Goodenough, Joel Primack, George Vaillant, Jane Goodall and Stuart Kauffman. They believe the natural world around us is full of marvels and mysteries, but they typically don't believe in God. Neither do they like the term "atheist." Some prefer "Religious Naturalist." Steve fills us in on "the awe and wonder crowd."

Next, Diana Beresford-Kroeger is a botanist and medical biochemist. Her new essay collection is called "The Global Forest." She tells Anne Strainchamps that the lives of trees and human beings are inter-related all the way down to the molecular level.

Then, Arthur Zajonc (rhymes with science) is a physicist at Amherst College, and a long time meditator. He's talked on various occasions with the Dalai Lama about physics and the contemplative life. He tells Jim Fleming that Einstein's idea of god is common to many top scientists. We also hear from orangutan researcher Birute Galdikas.

Finally, David Abram is an environmental philosopher and author of Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology. He's something of an animist who finds a living presence in just about everything. Abrams tells Steve Paulson about his beliefs and recounts a remarkable story about a shaman who could turn himself into a raven. [Broadcast Date: December 22, 2010]

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