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MONEY RULES: The Role of the Federal Reserve

with Michael J. Boskin, Janet Yellenvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, January 9, 2002

Interest Rate adjustments by the Federal Reserve are among the most closely watched and anticipated of all economic policy decisions. Yet many economists believe the Fed no longer has the power it once did to regulate the economy. So just how powerful is the Fed today? What tools does the Fed have to regulate the economy, and how should they be used?

EDUCATING BY NUMBERS: Standards, Testing, and Accountability in Education

with Williamson M. Evers, Elliot Eisnervia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, January 9, 2002

Will standards-based testing and accountability improve our nation's education system? In January 2002, President Bush signed into law the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 2002. The act calls for a mandatory annual test in reading and math for every child in the nation in the third through eighth grades. Schools that fail to improve their students' scores may be held accountable, possibly losing some federal funding. Supporters of the act say that standards-based testing and accountability are the best ways to monitor and improve the nation's schools. Opponents say that such a regime is largely a political ploy that will do more harm than good. Who's right?

IN WHOSE IMAGE? Evolution and Spirituality

with William Dembski, Robert Russell, Eugenie Scottvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, December 7, 2001

Did life on earth unfold by chance or by design? According to the natural sciences and Darwin's theory of evolution, it was by chance. According to the Judeo-Christian tradition, it was by divine design. On this crucial question, science and religion appear to be irreconcilable. But are they? Does Darwinism encourage atheism? Must Christians be anti-Darwin?

DARWIN UNDER THE MICROSCOPE: Questioning Darwinism

with William Dembski, Eugenie Scottvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, December 7, 2001

More than 140 years after Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species, his theory of evolution is still generating controversy. Although Darwinism is championed by the majority of the scientific community, some have claimed that Darwin's theory is bad science and have put forward their own, even more controversial theories. What should we make of these arguments? Is one such theory, known as Intelligent Design, merely creationism by another name, or is it a legitimate scientific alternative to Darwinism?

FUTURE SHOCK: High Technology and the Human Prospect

with Bill Joy, Ray Kurzweilvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, December 7, 2001

Computers more intelligent than humans? Self-replicating molecular robots? Virtual immortality? These may sound like science fiction, but some reputable computer scientists are predicting they will happen within the next several decades. What will our world be like if and when our machines surpass us in intelligence? Do the advances in biotechnology, robotics, and nanotechnology, which make intelligent machines possible, pose dangers of their own? Should we embrace such a future or try to stop it?

DISORDER IN THE COURT: The Supreme Court and the 2000 Election

with Pamela S. Karlan, Richard A. Posnervia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, November 14, 2001

On December 12, 2000, the Supreme Court of the United States brought an end to thirty-six days of dramatic vote recounts and legal challenges in the state of Florida. The decision let stand the initial results of Florida's election, which gave the state's electoral votes, and thus the Presidency, to George W. Bush. What was the legal justification for the Supreme Court's decision? Should the Court have intervened in the first place? And what precedent did the Court create for future elections?

THE WAR ON BUGS: Bioterrorism

with Abraham D. Sofaer, Jonathan B. Tucker, Dean Wilkeningvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, November 14, 2001

With the arrival of anthrax letters in Washington, New York, and Florida in the fall of 2001, the often-ignored threat of bioterrorism became a very frightening reality, causing illness and death and costing billions of dollars. How has this attack changed our assessment of the threat of biological and chemical weapons? What can and should be done to detect and control these weapons and defend ourselves against future attacks?

THE RULES OF THE GAME: Just War Doctrine

with Rev. Robert Sirico, Rev. William McLennan, Rabbi Daniel Lapinvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Thou Shalt Not Kill—perhaps the most famous moral commandment in the western world. And yet Judeo-Christian religious leaders have also created a doctrine that can justify killing—commonly known as Just War Doctrine. What sort of military action does Just War Doctrine permit and what sort does it proscribe? Is America's campaign against terrorism a just war?

GOING FOR BROKE? Welfare Reform

with Eloise Anderson, Barbara Ehrenreichvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, October 23, 2001

In 1996, a Republican Congress passed, and President Bill Clinton signed, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, better known as welfare reform. The Act replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program (AFDC) with the Temporary Aid to Needy Families program (TANF). These changes effectively refocused welfare as job training and temporary assistance and moved millions of people off the welfare rolls. With TANF up for re-authorization by Congress in 2002, the debate over the first five years of welfare reform is heating up. Has welfare reform helped poor families and reduced child poverty? Does welfare reform itself need to be reformed?

A TALE OF TWO DECADES: The Eighties vs. the Nineties

with Haynes Johnson, P.J. O'Rourkevia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, October 23, 2001

We look back at America during the last two decades of the twentieth century. Each decade was dominated by a two-term President and marked by long economic booms. Do these parallels suggest that 1990s were merely a continuation of the 1980s? Or does each decade have a unique place in American history?

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