Lunar Power Battery
December 7, 2018


Former CFI chief Ron Lindsay returns to the blog to comment on the misuse of science, in this case astronomy, in the service of lending credence to fictions like the Star of Bethlehem. Ron says, “At best, it’s silliness; at worst, it’s the prostitution of science in service of religious myths.” At Rewire News, Frederick …

Stop Misusing Science To Bolster Religious Fables
December 6, 2018


Christmas season is upon us. (I recognize I’m late in noting this. For retailers it started immediately after Halloween.) This season brings forth many familiar experiences—familiar because they recur every year: festive decorations, foraging for parking spots, Tom Flynn at work on Christmas Day, and an essay in a newspaper/on the internet attempting to explain …

There’s Only One God, Ma’am, and I’m Pretty Sure He Doesn’t Dress Like That.
December 6, 2018


No! Not okay! Bad! BAD MINISTRY! BAD PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT!!! An evangelical ministry in Georgia is being let into public school assemblies to proselytize, and the worst part is that they are doing so DRESSED AS MARVEL CHARACTERS. Aaaaauuuuuugh! NO! STOP IT! Paul smash! If we can’t protect secularism you can be damned well sure we’ll …

The ‘Growing’ and ‘Common’ Threat of Something We Have Little Data On
December 5, 2018


In a recent article in The New York Times, Sharon Otterman describes cyber flashing, in which objectionable images are shared anonymously to random available mobile devices using the AirDrop platform, as “a growing trend of technology-enabled sexual harassment,” though she later notes that “Danielle Citron, a professor of law at the University of Maryland and …

Shaky Scaremongering
December 5, 2018


Apparently a paper by NASA researcher Silvano Colombano has caused some excitement by suggesting the possibility that aliens might have visited Earth, but of course that’s not quite what he was saying. Speculating about the wide variety of forms extraterrestrial life might take, he wrote, “I simply want to point out the fact that the intelligence …

Less Than Stellar
December 4, 2018


Sir David Attenborough addresses the UN climate change summit in Poland with a stark warning: If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon. … The world’s people have spoken. Time is running out. They want you, the decision-makers, to act now. …

Shining Light on Reality
December 3, 2018


We are bombarded with information on a daily basis.  It is often said we live in the information age, but we also live in the misinformation age. How do we decide what qualifies as knowledge and what qualifies as nonsense? Maybe there are no wrong or right answers but just opinions. Those promoting a multiplist …

A Real Caricature
December 3, 2018


As you know, former president George H.W. Bush died this past Friday. Hemant Mehta takes the opportunity to evaluate the claim of the late Rob Sherman that Bush had said that atheists should not be considered U.S. citizens. It is as iffy now as it ever was. Mark Silk, meanwhile, looks at how Bush had …

Seeing Clearly Now: Death of Psychic Bernice Golden
November 30, 2018


“International psychic Bernice Golden dies,” reported radio station WKBW of Buffalo on the date of her death, October 8, 2018 (Mason 2018). Although she did promote herself as an “International Psychic,” the label is overblown. Nevertheless, she certainly became, in her day, “Buffalo’s best known psychic” (Evans 2016). On a few occasions, she did get …

A Massive Airburst and a Bubbling Brine
November 30, 2018


This surprised me a little: According to a new study, people who pray after disasters and tragic events are less likely to actually do something substantive to help. I think I hoped that as much as we know prayers don’t fix anything, that at least they put someone in a generous state of mind. I …