Contributions

Playing Gracefully with Ideas: Stephen Fry, Evolution, and Da Vinci at CSICon 2018
October 20, 2018


Massimo Polidoro described a certain someone as “a precious jewel” of a person, someone whose company and insights were sought by the wisest of leaders. This person “swam upstream,” eschewing fads and seeking to discover the truths and communicate those truths to others. This incredible human being exemplifies the term “Renaissance person.” Now, Polidoro was …

It’s Always Been a Matter of Trust: Tokens of Efficacy at CSICon 2018
October 20, 2018


Who do you trust? I suppose the default response of a skeptic could be “no one,” at least until particular claims can be verified. I may go without saying, however, that the answer “no one” also applies to conspiracy theorists and others who buy into various forms of pseudoscience. They also probably think that they …

Improving the Narrative: Enlightenment and Illusions at CSICon 2018
October 20, 2018


I want to believe. Not in UFOs (okay, I want to believe in them a little), but in the power of enlightenment and the better angels of our nature. I want to believe that humans have the power to overcome the limitations of our narrowly focused senses and use our squishy little brains to bring …

False Beliefs Handled with Care at CSICon 2018
October 19, 2018


As the Friday morning presentations came to a close at CSICon 2018, our ebullient emcee George Hrab commented, “I love that the theme today is understanding.” I had been thinking the same thing. This is a thing with me, it’s like some lobe in my brain is triggered to deliver squirts of dopamine whenever its …

Outside-the-Box Skepticism: Welcome to CSICon 2018
October 19, 2018


CSICon is always a big deal. We wouldn’t crow about it so much if it wasn’t. We call it things like “the premier skeptics’ event” and whatnot because it happens to be true! So even given the cascade of well-earned superlatives we (okay, I) use to describe CSICon year after year, it’s already obvious that …

Thank the Motherland!
October 16, 2018


Let’s rip this band-aid off: I will no longer be hosting Point of Inquiry; I voluntarily stepped aside because I simply couldn’t make the time for it to do the show justice. But I am very glad about who will be hosting it: Kavin Senapathy and James Underdown. The show is in excellent hands. Kavin …

For the Love of Joy: An Inspiring Update from CFI Kenya
October 15, 2018

News

This summer, we told you about Joy, a little girl in Kenya who faced not just stigma, but real mortal danger. In parts of Africa where superstitions are deeply ingrained, albinos are considered “bad luck” and are sometimes even sold to witch doctors (or killed and sold) because of the belief that their body parts …

More Like a Smooth Criminal
October 15, 2018


At The Atlantic, Emma Green reports on a new survey that shows that not only are the religiously unaffiliated really jazzed up about political participation, but that this participation itself makes them less none-y: Religiously unaffiliated voters, who may or may not be associated with other civic institutions, seem most excited about supporting or donating …

Flail Uselessly through Something Like Vapor
October 12, 2018


Rights activist Gulalai Ismail, who has spoken at CFI’s Women in Secularism conference, was detained by Pakistan authorities at Islamabad International Airport, and later released on bail. She’s apparently on the government’s “Exit Control List.” CFI’s own Barry Karr is a guest on the Phil Ferguson Show to talk about CSICon 2018 WHICH OMG IS …

CFI Urges IRS to Stop the Tax Profiteering by Donors to Religious Schools
October 11, 2018

Press Releases

Donors to private religious schools should not be profiting from their contributions at taxpayers’ expense, says the Center for Inquiry, urging the Internal Revenue Service to close a regulatory loophole that robs public schools of badly needed funds, subsidizes religious indoctrination, and awards private school donors a double-helping of tax credits that exceed their original …