Good Friday for Atheists
April 19, 2019 ·

Just because I don’t share religious beliefs with someone doesn’t mean I think that they should be harmed in any way. Quite to the contrary. If you feel the need to kill people because of a difference of opinion, you’ve lost the argument. Validity of beliefs should rest on the merits of the arguments, not the size of the spear.

I Don’t Want No Scrubs
April 19, 2019 ·

Heck yes, it’s a new Point of Inquiry episode! Kavin Senapathy’s got both Massimo Pigliucci and Susan Blackmore. That’s a heck of a lineup for one show. Check out Skeptical Inquirer‘s own Kenny Biddle as he talks about the ghost-hunting “industry” with WGBH radio‘s The Curiosity Desk. In 1999, when we were livin’ la vida …

Something Wiccan This Way Comes
April 19, 2019 ·

“The New Age? It’s just the old age stuck in a microwave oven for fifteen seconds.” – James Randi I was struck the other day seeing yet another sign on the street for Tarot readings and various psychic services. Folk belief is a hard thing to displace, but I still have to shake my head that …

Magical Thinking and Conspiracy in Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’
April 17, 2019 ·

The new horror film Us begins in 1986 as a little girl named Adelaide visits a Santa Cruz boardwalk theme park at night with her parents. She wanders off toward the beach (carrying a curiously un-nibbled candied apple) and eventually finds a spooky house of mirrors. Nobody’s around—a teenager presumably supposed to charge admission is …

Paradigmatic Profane Past Participle
April 17, 2019 · 1 

CSICon 2019 is happening. I don’t mean right this minute, I mean in October, at the Flamingo in Las Vegas. Q will be there. And the string theory guy. And she who is Goop-bane. Even the guy who made the PalmPilot. I feel like I’m not selling this very well. Just…just trust me, it’s great. …

Misconduct and Inattention
April 16, 2019 ·

The Notre-Dame cathedral is still standing, mostly, after a huge fire churned through its insides. The cause of the fire seems to be essentially accidental, related to ongoing renovations of the cathedral. President Macron has vowed that what has been destroyed will be rebuilt. Tonya Guerrero, writing for the Philippines’ ABS-CBN, tells of the social …

Reconsider Your Priorities in Life
April 15, 2019 ·

Sorry for the two-day absence last week, folks. I was devoting my energies to the production of Chicago I directed. You know, that show about about a time and place notable for new forms of expression as well as an obsession with celebrity and artifice that swamps civic institutions? I know, not relevant at all …

‘Malling While Muslim’: Man Falsely Accused of Child Abduction
April 11, 2019 · 1 

Social and news media have unfortunately seen a rise in two distinct toxic phenomena over the past year or so. The first is a steady stream of white women calling police on minorities minding their own business in public spaces, in dozens of cases including a Starbucks, a public park, swimming pools, streetcorners, and the …

This is Not a Serious Conversation
April 10, 2019 ·

This morning, astronomers revealed the first-ever image of an honest-to-goodness black hole, 55 million light-years away at the center of the Messier 87 galaxy. NYT’s Dennis Overbye writes: The image…resembled the Eye of Sauron, a reminder yet again of the power and malevolence of nature. It is a smoke ring framing a one-way portal to …

Very Expensive, Deeply Researched, Top-Secret ­Baloney
April 9, 2019 · 1 

There is a lot of weird today. The number of U.S. measles cases has now reached 465, with 78 new cases in the first week of April alone. Can you guess why? Via the Post: “More bad news,” Peter Hotez, an infectious-disease expert at the Baylor College of Medicine, said in a Twitter post about …