The Atheist Experience
The Atheist Experience is a live, call-in, public-access TV program sponsored by the Atheist Community of Austin (ACA). It airs on Sundays from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. Central Time (22:30 to 24:00 UTC) on Time Warner Cable Channel 16 in Austin, Texas, and streams live at Ustream (see specific link below). Past episodes of the show have begun to air in other cities, as well, and are available online at Google Video; shorter clips can also be found at YouTube.
Intended mainly as an effort towards community outreach and education, the show is geared toward a general audience of both atheists and non-atheists. The ACA also sponsors an internet audio program called The Non-Prophets which is geared more toward an atheist audience.
Format of the show
The show is hosted each week by either ACA president Matt Dillahunty or Russell Glasser, along with a cohost who usually comes prepared to talk about a specific topic. The rotating lineup of cohosts currently includes Don Baker, Tracie Harris, Jen Peeples, Martin Wagner, and — rejoining the show in 2009 after a long hiatus — Jeff Dee.
After regular announcements of ACA information and events by the host, the cohost usually talks about his or her topic for about half an hour, then calls are taken from viewers. The calls need not stick to that show's topic, allowing the discussion to wander into many different areas, including what atheism is and what atheists "believe in" (a question usually asked by Christian callers), the difference between atheism and agnosticism, the possibility of secular morality, the scientific viewpoint (especially the validity of evolution and the Big Bang), and the possibility of life after death.
Recent official topics (autumn 2008) have included Objectivism, Dominionism and Reconstructionism, the meaning of the phrase "God exists", religious "scamlets", explaining and justifying personal beliefs, religion-inspired child abuse, and moral panics.
Because of the increasing popularity of the show beyond the Austin area, some recent shows have been entirely devoted to taking calls from viewers.
Upcoming and past episodes
A list of upcoming episodes of The Atheist Experience, including scheduled cohosts, can be found at the official website. The site also contains an archive of past episodes in several different audio formats, including MP3 and Ogg/Vorbis. An ITunes podcast and audio and video RSS feeds are also available. DVD copies of the show can be purchased at the website.