Xenu, Murder, and Declining Heaven
July 18, 2018


Is there anything positive in religion? Research shows that some dogmatic atheists are unable to see anything positive in religion. Aside from being a positively wonderful target for your devilish sense of humor, what do you find that is positive in religion? James Well “James” (if that’s your real name), I’m not sure what a …

Physicist Summits Everest for Girls in STEM
July 18, 2018


I interviewed physicist Dr. Melanie Windridge, author of Aurora: In Search of the Northern Lights, last year for a Special Report on the CFI website. No armchair-ridden ivory tower egghead, Windridge is a veteran of days-long treks and wilderness expeditions. Her website features photos of her summits, and her book contains many compelling first-person adventures in Iceland, …

My Funny Valetudo
July 18, 2018


Kavin Senapathy is back for part 2 of her extremely thorough dismantling of sketchy autism “cures,” including something called CEASE—Complete Elimination of Autistic Spectrum Expression—which of course is homeopathic. Of course. In her conclusion, Kavin writes: If I’ve learned one thing from doing a deep dive into the world of autism woo, it’s that it’s …

Chronicles of Lily Dale
July 17, 2018


Chronicles of Lily Dale (2017) is a compilation of material from early Spiritualist publications—mostly relating to Lily Dale (the world’s largest Spiritualist village), ca. 1861–1915. It was compiled by Spiritualists (but not mediums) Ron Nagy and the late Joyce LaJudice (both longtime friends of mine). From the Banner of Light (August 16, 1884), we learn …

Outrage Vampires versus Breastfeeding Moms
July 17, 2018


How Our Desire to Help Can Profit Hoaxers and Result in Harm A fury-inducing video announcing itself as a “social experiment” showed up on my feed recently, posted by a well-meaning skeptic who has always been on the right side of social justice causes. But far from being a touchstone that can help elevate society …

Our Existential Schlepp
July 17, 2018


Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee, those warm-hearted so-and-so’s, pass an amendment cutting federal adoption funding to states that don’t let religious agencies discriminate against same-sex couples. Wow. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules that Whole Woman’s Health cannot subpoena internal communications of the Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops in their discussions about their …

From Ancient Grudge Break to New Mutiny
July 16, 2018


Hey look! We have a brand-freaking-new column at the CFI website! Anthropologist and comedian Natalia Reagan presents She Sells Science, “uncovering myths about human behavior using science and comedy.” Her first article is titled, fantastically, “Womb Raider.” Somebody at HHS better have an illicit thumbdrive ready, because the Trump administration is eliminating Guideline.gov, a huge, valuable …

Not Very Aloha of You
July 13, 2018


Ben Radford investigates the claims about “Sarah Ann,” the ghost of a child said to haunt Fort George in Ontario: A closer look at the “ghost report” itself helps explain why it’s so fragmentary and contradictory. Instead of [author Jeff] Belanger doing any investigation himself, he simply relied on what other people told him about …

Womb Raider: Women’s Health vs. the First Amendment
July 13, 2018


The past few weeks have been brutal Though it may seem like a lifetime ago, it was a mere three years ago our country was celebrating the historic Ogerfell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision that declared all marriages, regardless of the couple’s genders, legal. Cut to 2018. Instead of continuing to move our nation forward, …

Sarah Ann, Fort George’s Most Famous Ghost
July 12, 2018


Located a short walk from the picturesque Canadian town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Fort George is an impressive hidden little gem of history. Comprising about a dozen wooden buildings scattered around a roughly coffin-shaped outer wall supported by six blocky bastions, the fort is a popular attraction for tourists and history buffs alike. Replica cannons appear …