Yours Truly Didn’t Disappear—Khashoggi-like—at Turin Shroud Conference
August 23, 2019 ·


The 2019 International Conference “Science, Theology and the Turin Shroud” was held August 14–17 at Redeemer University College in Canada. Despised by some Shroud zealots as the author of Inquest on the Shroud of Turin (1983, updated 1998), I was billed as a presenter, but fears of a possible tragic outcome were whispered in skeptical …

An Equal Among Gods
August 23, 2019 ·


Is Donald Trump’s penchant for saying mind-blowingly awful/offensive/dangerous/ridiculous/dishonest/stupid things actually part of a devious strategy to distract us from “what’s really going on”? Benjamin Radford considers this position, and roundly rejects it. In Free Inquiry, Mark Kolsen introduces us to 18th-century American poet Philip Freneau, a figure whose atheism, Kolsen says, has been ignored. For …

The Trump ‘Distraction’ Quasi-Conspiracy
August 22, 2019 · 1 


One common claim about Donald Trump is that he often says and does things not only for effect, but with the specific goal of distracting the public and news media from something else he wants to keep hidden. The claims have circulated for years, especially on social media; for example one Facebook post recently stated …

Searching for the Ghost in the Machine
August 22, 2019 ·


You have probably heard the phrases “mind over matter,” “it’s all in your head,” or “mind and body.” These phrases imply the separation of mind and body/brain. Notions of the mysterious mind being something other than physical or material have existed throughout time. Some brain scientists have suggested most people are naturally dualist; they believe …

A Fair Number of Crooks
August 22, 2019 ·


The latest episode of our podcast Point of Inquiry has Jim Underdown talking to comedian Jerry Minor, who has worked on shows like SNL and Mr. Show, about leaving the Jehovah’s Witnesses and how that life influenced his comedy. A guy going by the name of Moses the Street Artist likes to leave big cutouts …

Do Not Ingest the Walls and Pavement
August 21, 2019 ·


The Washington Post reports on the quashing of CFI’s lawsuit in Texas to allow Secular Celebrants to solemnize marriages (which we intend to un-quash), speaking to several legal scholars who all seem to agree that the judge blew it, and that this could be huge: “It’s obviously unconstitutional because it gives a benefit to religious …

Urgent Pressure to Burst Out
August 20, 2019 ·


Texas messed with us. Our lawsuit to get the Lonestar State to allow Secular Celebrants to solemnize marriages has been rejected by a federal court. We have feelings about it, and, yes, we intend to MESS RIGHT BACK: “This decision has clarified one issue, and very starkly,” said [CFI’s Nick] Little. “If we referred to …

Bite Their Smiling Heads Off
August 19, 2019 ·


Emma Green at The Atlantic explores how LGBTQ rights are in a total muddle five years after Obergefell, which seems to have convinced many Americans that this “fixed everything.” Also, Green interviews Ben Howe, an evangelical and former RedState blogger who has soured on Trump. She doesn’t just let him make his case, though. She …

Public Scatology and Sacrilege
August 16, 2019 · 1 


I’m feeling rather punchy this morning. Let’s begin with a little civic action to prevent the subluxation of health policy. Tell your congressmonster to quash the Chiropractic Medicare Coverage Modernization Act: H.R. 3654 would impose false hope on Medicare patients by legitimizing useless pseudomedicine. It would endanger patients who need treatments that have been proven …

No Sting Songs for You
August 15, 2019 · 2 


When federal contractors want to stomp all over the LGBTQ community, the Trump administration hands them metal cleats. BuzzFeed reports on the Labor Department’s draft rule: The Trump administration on Wednesday formally proposed a new rule to let businesses with federal contracts cite religious objections as a valid reason to discriminate against their workers on …