They Can Be Dunked in Raw Sewage
April 2, 2020


First things first: The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster officially declares personal protective equipment such as N95 face masks to be “acceptable alternative religious garb.” Praised be: Some dispute whether the mask should go under or over the eye-patch. I would think under, but I am not a doctor nor do I wear an …

We Should All Be Embarrassed
April 1, 2020


Let’s start with something nice. Rob Palmer at Skeptical Inquirer gets to talk to the great Ann Druyan about the latest Cosmos series: Palmer: I loved it when, during the first episode I think, Tyson said “Our ship of the imagination is propelled by twin engines of skepticism and wonder.” Druyan: I’m very proud of …

Can Naturopathic Doctors Combat COVID-19?
March 31, 2020


Last week, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) announced that it urges government officials coordinating the national COVID-19 pandemic response to utilize all licensed healthcare professionals, including naturopathic doctors (NDs) “to support other medical professionals in changing the trajectory of this public health crisis.”  Yes, we’re facing shortages of health care workers to respond …

Let’s Make Things Worse
March 31, 2020


First thing: The Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science is holding more online workshops (I hate saying “webinar”): Today at 8pm it’s “The Evolution of the Coronavirus” and April 2 it’s “The Evolution of the Human Brain.” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says coronavirus misinformation is the “common enemy” of all nations. ABC reports: To overcome the …

Dean Koontz Predicts Coronavirus in 1981, or Did He?
March 30, 2020


Dean Koontz in his book The Eyes of Darkness wrote about a virus called “Wuhan-400” (in the 1989 rewrite, the virus name was changed from its original Gorki-400) that was created as a biological weapon. Many are sharing this “prediction” through social media today, and there are some interesting parallels to these stories. Did Koontz …

Consign Them All to Eternal Destruction
March 27, 2020


Boris Johnson has the coronavirus. We are telling Michigan’s governor, Gretchen Whitmer, that exempting churches from restrictions on social gatherings is simply not gonna fly: This pandemic is in the process of overwhelming every aspect of American life. The only hope we have of enduring this crisis is to slow the disease’s spread by staying …

Lydia Maria Child Sentiments
March 26, 2020


Hanging in my office at the Center for Inquiry is a pair of sentiments from Lydia Maria Child. Lydia Maria Child (February 11, 1802–October 20, 1880) is considered one of the most influential woman writers of the nineteenth century. You probably know one of her poems, yet very few remember her today. Child converted to …

Beat Back the Chaos
March 26, 2020


We are still helping! Yesterday we launched the CFI Coronavirus Resource Center: Inoculation Against Misinformation. It’s our effort to collect, curate, and communicate the most relevant and useful science and reality-based resources for information regarding the coronavirus pandemic, focusing on what we do best, separating facts and science from misinformation and pseudoscience. Go check it …

The Dumbest Debate
March 25, 2020


Benjamin Radford offers some guidance on dealing with coronavirus news and information; not just about telling the real from the fake stuff, but also the useful from the trivial. Just as importantly, he reminds us not only to be careful of what we believe, but what we share online, recommending some types of “social media …

Fear Itself: Covid-19, Media Literacy, and Social Media Distancing
March 25, 2020


This is the first in a series of original articles on the covid-19 pandemic by the Center for Inquiry as part of its Covid Resource Center, created to help the public address the crisis with evidence-based information. Please check back periodically for updates and new information.  There’s a natural—almost Pavlovian—tendency to follow the news closely, …