Equatorial Misinformation Misadventures
February 19, 2020

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Last month I was editing a piece by Rob Palmer (perhaps better known as “The Well-Known Skeptic”) on the subject of misinformation he encountered in the middle of the world. Or, put another way, bogus information on the equator in Ecuador (a country named after the equator). I had a particular interest in the topic, …

Recognized as a Heretic
February 19, 2020


Stephanie Mencimer at Mother Jones looks into the rather grotesque flimflammery of Paula White: The melding of White’s public and private jobs is nearly seamless, as she invokes her relationship with Trump in her sermons and fundraising pitches, even as she wields her spiritual authority to defend the president. But experts say the arrangement raises …

Mockingly, Rather Than Literally
February 18, 2020


I know what you’re wondering: What are Protestant pastors really concerned about?? Barna Group did a survey to find out: When presented with a list of possible challenges facing their church today, half of Protestant pastors note that “reaching a younger audience” (51%) is a major issue for their ministry. Just over one-third of pastors …

Not a Stunning Image
February 14, 2020


A few days ago, the temperature in Antarctica was a pleasant 70 degrees. Good lord. It’s probably the hottest temperature ever recorded there. The Post reports: The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the fastest-warming parts of the world. Most of the glaciers in that region are retreating rapidly. According to a 2018 study, ice-shelf collapse …

Finger-Pointing and Facial Expressions
February 13, 2020


So, about 15,000 new cases of the Wuhan coronavirus were added by Chinese officials…in one day…in one province. This isn’t because there are suddenly a tidal wave of new infections, but because they are now changing diagnostic criteria to determine whether one is infected. Roni Caryn Rabin at NYT reports: A change in diagnosis may …

All the Monsters Live in Ohio
February 12, 2020


Benjamin Radford takes on the myths and misinformation about the Wuhan coronavirus, and there’s a lot of important stuff here worth sharing with folks: When people are frightened by diseases, they cling to any information and often distrust official information. These fears are amplified by the fact that the virus is of course invisible to …

Coronavirus Myths, Misinformation, and Conspiracies
February 11, 2020


As the world enters its second full month dealing with the deadly coronavirus that has dominated headlines, killed hundreds, and sickened thousands, misinformation is running rampant. For many, the medical and epidemiological aspects of the outbreak are the most important and salient elements, but there are other prisms through which we can examine this public …

The Seepage
February 11, 2020


According to Gallup, on the question of which groups Americans would or would not vote for in a presidential election, atheists are totally kicking socialists’ butts! 60 percent would vote for an atheist compared to 45 percent for a socialist. Atheists are still getting edged out by Muslims at 66 percent. Tolerance for an atheist …

Scientific Mindware
February 10, 2020


It is common for popular science articles and books to misrepresent science, a practice that isn’t limited to popular publications. Textbooks, peer reviewed publications, and college courses sometimes promote misinformation. To avoid being bamboozled, think for yourself or go to the source and evaluate the evidence for yourself. Science is hard; methods and statistics used …

Unimaginably Strange Things
February 7, 2020


There’s a new member of the Center for Inquiry Expanded Universe, as we welcome our new fundraising superhero, Director of Development Connie Skingel. So, otherwise, how are things? Not so good, right? Right. On our podcast Point of Inquiry, CFI’s board chair, the great Eddie Tabash, levels with us about the state of church-state separation. …