Thursday, July 2, 2009

30 Great YouTube Channels for Freethought

The Atheist Blogroll provides a wonderful service for those who wish to participate in the freethought blogging community, and it's also a great resource for those who wish to learn more information about atheism and agnosticism. However, blogging is not the only way in which people can access information about freethought.

As many of you may know by now, YouTube is also a great place to inform one's self about these issues. Disconcertingly, there is no compendium or guide in which to index all of the highlights of the skeptical community's contributions on YouTube.

Therefore, I have composed an informal list of 30 YouTube channels about atheism or freethought that I really enjoy. I am subscribed to all of them. I did not rank the channels which fell out of the top ten in my rankings; those are listed in alphabetical order below my top ten.

Please realize that my preferences are entirely subjective, and I am sure that there are probably one or two channels I have listed which are bigger than the ones I mentioned in my top ten; there are likely some tremendous, outstanding channels out there which I have the misfortune of not having seen before, so if anyone can think of any good additions to my list, I'd be greatly indebted to you for it.

(Also, in the interests of full disclosure: two of the accounts which are included on this list [DefenderOfReason and theowarner] are subscribed to my personal YouTube channel; eight of the accounts included are "friends" of my channel on YouTube [FFreeThinker, AndromedasWake, cdk007, Thunderf00t, NonStampCollector, nathanforst, FactVsReligion, and DefenderOfReason].)

Lastly, I am including a small blurb of information about each channel with every listing.

The Top 10

1) Thunderf00t: A True Master. The PWN'er of creationists everywhere, and an unyielding champion of logic and reason. His "Why Do People Laugh At Creationists?" series is quintessentially fantastic. You will laugh, you will cry, and then you will write letters to YouTube about vote-botting five or six times.
2) EdwardCurrent: This is satire. Even commentators as wise as yours truly have mistaken Edward Current's uproarious brand of "Christianity" for the real item. Must-see list includes: "What If God Disappeared?", "What If Jesus Ran For President?", and "God's Cool Designs".
3) ProfMTH: Possibly the most intelligent, insightful, and thorough presenter of atheism/freethought on all of YouTube. No one has better arguments against Christianity, if that's your thing. Must-sees include: "Jesus Was Wrong" series and "Jesus Was Not The Messiah" series.
4) NonStampCollector: I have a weakness for animation, which explains why three animators are in my top ten list. NSC has created the most succinct and hilarious atheist counter-points to any claims about the morality or inspiration of the Bible, if that's your interest. Very funny takes on free will, Jesus, and the origins of religious thought.
5) TheoreticalBullshit: Yes, he's a professional actor, and it shows. The ladies will be all over him. But TB also happens to be one of the most brilliant debaters in the YouTube atheosphere. His videos are both highly informative and entertaining. Just watch all of them.
6) Nykytyne2: Nykytyne2 has one of the best voices on YouTube, though there are several others in this list who can match him. He's got an amazingly comprehensive series explaining the deficiencies of the main theological arguments called "Doubt 101" which is on-going. Watch all of those, and then watch "Greater Than Us".
7) DefenderOfReason: A rising star. I watch all of her videos. She is succinct, hilarious, engaging, and thoughtful. Her comedies and sci-fi videos are both funny and mind-bending. Be sure to catch "Crimes Against Humanity".
8) theowarner: Please don't get mad at me for this pick. Okay, you may not "get" theowarner's style at first, but once you appreciate his sensibility as an artist (and he is quite the artist), you will never regret the add. A good introductory video is "The Theology of Kodachrome".
9) 43alley: Again, my clear weakness for animation rears its head. I just eat up 43alley's "An Atheist Reads The Bible" series, which combines excerpts from the King Jame's Bible with cheesy 1970s style cartoons. His channel also features animations to accompany selections from Christopher Hitchens and Eddie Izzard.
10) azsuperman01: This is a sentimental pick: azsuperman's channel was one of the first places I found on YouTube. His account of his experience deconverting from Christianity is highly compelling, and it encouraged me as I was traveling down a similar path. Try his "Questions for Christians" series.

Honorable Mention

: "Welcome to the Universe" series. All that needs to be said - it will blow your mind.

AtheistExperience: Matt Dillahunty, host of the call-in show "The Atheist Experience", kicks ass. Some have compared his style to Christopher Hitchens on crack. They're right.

BionicDance: What can I say? Another animator, another sci-fi style video-maker. I like what I like, and BionicDance is freakin' sweet.

cdk007: If you want a good summary of complex biological concepts surrounding abiogenesis or evolution, this is where you should go. Still though, he really should get around to registering that PowerVideoMaker. ;)

DarkTheAtheist: This is another channel that, like theowarner, may not appeal to everyone. Dark's British, I think he's hilarious, and he has a killer video intro. If you like Monty Python, you will like DarkTheAtheist.

DrixDZanth: DrixDZanth, oh DrixDZanth, where have you been? He has not made any videos in months, but on his channel he promises that more will be coming soon - and this is a great thing, indeed. He's logical, he's entertaining, and he's pretty much a badass of science. (Well, that's the title of his video series, anyway.)

FactVsReligion: She is really a great film-maker. Most of these channels aren't in this list because it was someone smart or good-looking talking into a camera - there are usually some extra qualities which go into my selections. However, she does fit both of those descriptions quite well.

FFreeThinker: Does anyone know the YouTube atheist community as well as FFreeThinker? I think he friended me maybe five minutes after I made my first video? His "Best of Atheism" videos are well worth watching, as is the rest of his channel, which showcases quality videos from other channels in the atheist community on YouTube.

ghostofdayinperson: Unrepentantly zany. Her videos are beyond description - so why do I even bother? Her music, which she composes herself, is almost as good (and mind-shattering) as her videos.

hairyreasoner: His voice sounds so caressing that people deliberately send him things to read to them in his videos. Honestly, that's the only reason I'm subscribed to him, but trust me, it's a good enough reason.

healthyaddict: She's funny, she's intelligent, she's attractive - why aren't you watching her videos already?

KingHeathen: Hey heathens. I'd watch his videos just for the routine he does every time he has a video (and for the beer). But don't take my word for it, think for yourselves.

misterdeity: If you don't like Mr. Deity, please leave now. This show is a fabulously hilarious parody featuring the comedic trio of Deity, Larry, and Jesse. (But don't forget about Lucy!) And yeah, those readers who are attracted to men should watch this channel just for Jesse.

nathanforst: Nathan Forst is the poor man's next Carl Sagan, and he produced one of my all-time favorite YouTube videos, "Beauty Is Truth". It is one of the greatest tragedies of the Internet Age that "Beauty Is Truth" only has 2,000 views. It deserves your attention.

patcondell: Pat Condell is perhaps the most beloved and the most controversial YouTube atheist today. When I first joined YouTube, I devoured his videos as a parched desert traveler gulps water from an oasis. Now I can't really stand him. However, many of his videos are classics. Warning: if you are religious, you will be insulted.

PBBChannel: Dale McGowan runs this channel. Read his blog The Meming of Life. He provides excellent information on secular parenting. For those who would ordinarily skip over such advice, remember: if it wasn't entertaining, it wouldn't be on this list.

QualiaSoup: Watch "Open-Mindedness". Trust me, you don't have anything better to do, unless you're watching "Beauty Is Truth", NonStampCollector, or EdwardCurrent. "Open-Mindedness" could possibly be the best video on religious skepticism and freethought ever made. Even better, there are many other outstanding videos featured on this channel.

SchrodingersFinch: Have you ever heard of MST3K? The finches unrelentingly mock creationist and ID propaganda, and the results are comedic brilliance, along with a healthy dose of outright pwnage struck for science and freethought.

TheAmazingAtheist: I couldn't make a list of outstanding atheist YouTube channels without referencing TheAmazingAtheist. As long as you ignore the fact that he leads a veritable army of 15-year-old males, you won't regret subscribing to his channel. Most of his videos are quite entertaining, but occasionally he makes one or two that almost force me to unsubscribe to him. Blueberry Pie, anyone?

ZOMGitsCriss: I love her videos, but for some reason I discovered that I wasn't already subscribed to her when I began making this list. Now that that gross injustice has been remedied, I can finally tell you how awesome her videos really are. I won't go Hemant Mehta here, but her channel's definitely worth watching.

1 comment:

43alley said...

Yay, top ten!

A subscriber of mine sent me here. Thanks for watching.