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Alien Salvation

July 27, 2020

Tomorrow, we kick off our new online discussion series CFI Insider, with special guest Leighann Lord, and then on Thursday we start the Leighann-hosted Skeptical Inquirer Presents! We are so busy.

CFI West and CFIIG director Jim Underdown was the guest on The Sharin’ Hour podcast talking about the $250,000 paranormal challenge.

Jim also has put out a brand new episode of Point of Inquiry with guest Steven Hassan, discussing cults, their control over followers’ minds, and the cult of Trump.

The Freethought Trail declares that it might actually be mostly complete, now boasting 173 historic sites; 141 historical events; 35 activists and organizations; and 32 locations. And! And! There’s a new curated trail for Woman Suffrage Conventions.


Sinclair Broadcasting, the right-wing conglomerate that owns most U.S. TV affiliates, was all set to air a softball interview with the disgraced doctor at the center of the Plandemic pseudo-documentary, Judy Mikovits, who accuses Anthony Fauci of creating the coronavirus. After an outcry, Sinclair said it was going to “delay” the interview. Except it already has aired in some markets.

According to Pew, 71 percent of Americans have been exposed to COVID-19 conspiracy theories claiming that the virus was intentionally created to get us, and a whopping 25 percent think it’s definitely or probably true. Breaking the numbers down further will only make you more disappointed.

There’s a fake CDC bulletin going around social media telling folks that the agency doesn’t actually want people to wear masks.

BuzzFeed News: Stanford University scientist John Ioannidis tried to convince the Trump administration not to do any lockdowns over the coronavirus all the way back in March.

Betsy DeVos thinks kids are COVID-19 “stoppers.” Washington Post‘s fact-checker gives this claim four Pinocchios, but it should be four dead Pinocchios.

The publicly-accessible medical study database PubMed I guess wants to be like Facebook by including pseudoscientific garbage about COVID-19 and 5G.

Reality-based medical professionals have had it with actual-Facebook promoting dangerous pseudoscience and conspiracy theories, using the zippy “Zuck off” tagline.

Nidra Poller at Quillette wonders why the hell her conservative friends have all gone off the deep end with COVID-19 pseudoscience, calling it “a crisis of ideology—an abstract, electronic-media-driven phenomenon by which conservatives prioritized partisanship and wishful thinking over saving lives.”

Don’t wear your face mask under your chin, for pete’s sake.

Tom Nichols in USA Today declares Trump devotees to be part a “death cult,” and that “they are doing so because they see endangering others as empowerment.” Peter Laarman then introduces me to the term “necropolitics” to help explain our anti-mask, anti-science moment.

The Supreme Court, which flirts with being a death cult all its own, made the uncharacteristically wise call to rule against a Nevada church that challenged restrictions on public gatherings.


The Alaska Supreme Court rules against a woman who wants to care for her sick mother exclusively with prayer. “While religious liberty is a fundamental right under the Alaska Constitution, the state’s actions in this case are justified by a compelling interest.”

RNS reports on how teachers at Catholic schools are now worried about losing their rights after the recent “ministerial exception” Supreme Court decision. They are right to be worried, since they have in fact lost their rights.

Special Rapporteurs of the UN Human Rights Council call on Nigeria to release humanist leader Mubarak Bala, who was imprisoned in May without any real charges other than allegations of “blasphemy.”

Chrissy Stroop says hand-wringing anti-Trump evangelicals are “willing to try anything but a long, hard look in the mirror.”

Ex-cardinal McCarrick didn’t just abuse kids, he helped other priests do it too, according to a new lawsuit.


This is me priming you to think that you decided all on your own to look at this piece by Jennifer Ouellette on what psychologists are learning about how magicians prime their audiences.

The U.S. Navy’s Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force will make some of its findings public after being nudged by lawmakers. Can’t wait to hear all the uninformed punditry that comes out of it.

I don’t have to wait. Texas State Rep. Jonathan Stickland: “IF aliens are real, salvation through Jesus Christ is the only way they enter Heaven.”

Meanwhile, Madeleine O’Keefe at Ars Technica looks at the actual science that goes into looking for aliens. And Becky Ferreira at the New York Times looks at some of the best guesses about Mars’s past and present habitability.

Whatever. The Borg are already here. Our biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to theirs, and not a moment too soon.


We’re keeping track of COVID-19 pseudoscience, snake oil, fake cures, and more at CFI’s Coronavirus Resource Center. Separate fact from fiction and inoculate yourself from misinformation at centerforinquiry.org/coronavirus.


Linking to a story or webpage does not imply endorsement by Paul or CFI. Not every use of quotation marks is ironic or sarcastic, but it often is.



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