A Judicial Giant Has Died
July 17, 2019 ·


The Center for Inquiry, as should all people of goodwill, mourns the July 16th passing of retired United States Supreme Court Justice, John Paul Stevens, at the age of 99. He was appointed to the Court by Republican President Ford in 1975, upon the retirement of Justice William O. Douglas. Back then, the political climate …

Can Evolutionary Psychology Explain Climate Change Indifference?
July 17, 2019 ·


Forty years ago, chemist James Lovelock put forward the Gaia hypothesis, which proposed that living organisms interact with their surroundings on Earth to form a synergistic and self-regulating, complex system. The synchronization of the various elements, Lovelock argued, helps to maintain and perpetuate the conditions for life on the planet. Lovelock named the idea after Gaia, the primordial goddess who personified the Earth in Greek mythology.  Though the …

Do I Have to Pay Attention to That?
July 12, 2019 ·


Now it can be told: Ricky Gervais is the 2019 recipient of the Richard Dawkins Award, which he’ll accept at an event with Dawkins in London on September 3. The two will then have a live, unscripted chat moderated by Richard Wiseman. CFI members at the Planet level and above can get 10 percent off …

Shaking the Heavenlies
July 11, 2019 · 1 


It’s like a skeptic-superhero crossover event, a team-up to stop pseudoscience from destroying the multiverse…or, at least to stop people from being ripped off in this universe. CFI’s legal efforts against Walmart and CVS over their sale and marketing of homeopathic fake medicine are getting a big boost in resources and brainpower from the Stiefel …

I Left My Heart in South Dakota
July 10, 2019 ·


Former CFI president and CEO Ron Lindsay returns to the blog to weigh in on Mike Pompeo’s newly announced commission that will look at human rights through the lens of “natural law”: This is entirely the wrong approach. Before the commission has even met, it has prejudged the basis on which we can argue for …

A Natural Mistake
July 10, 2019 ·


“That some persons are free and others slaves by nature … and that for these slavery is both advantageous and just, is evident.” So said Aristotle, one of the first advocates of the “natural law” approach to ethics. (See his Politics, Book I, ch. 5.) The State Department has just established a Commission on Unalienable …

Everyone Else is Expendable
July 9, 2019 ·


The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research puts out poll numbers showing that 49 percent of Americans never consult clergy or religious leaders for advice on major decisions, 26 percent “rarely” do, and only 24 percent do so “often” or “sometimes.” Obviously, the unaffiliated do so the least (84 percent “never,” …

An Ethical and Moral Wreck
July 8, 2019 ·


Susan Jacoby writes in the New York Times to take down the myth that politics has become our “new religion,” filling the vacuum left by rampant secularism: … the concept of secularism as a breeding ground for aggrieved politics is a delusion, rooted in contempt for the beliefs of nonreligious Americans and ignorance of or …

‘Bring Back Our Girls’ At 5: Boko Haram’s Forgotten Captives
July 3, 2019 ·


It was a bold and brash attack on innocent girls that outraged the world and spawned unprecedented online activism: Boko Haram, an extremist Muslim group in Nigeria, abducted about 276 schoolgirls from a rural secondary school in the town of Chibok on April 14, 2014. Since that time about half have been recovered, and over …

I Have Never Felt the Earth Move
July 3, 2019 ·


There’s a scholarship to go to CSICon! How cool is that? If you’re a student over 21, check out this great opportunity from the Wadsworth-Sheng Endowment. Daniela Hernandez and Robert McMillan at the Wall Street Journal report on the flood of false health information, particularly about cancer, that exists on Facebook and YouTube, which prompts …