We Are Just a Bunch of Suckers
November 19, 2019 · 2 


Snopes pushes back on secular and progressive groups who are upset about the Ohio Student Religious Liberties Act, saying that the bill doesn’t explicitly say that wrong answers get a pass as along as their based on a religious belief, which is what we and many others have been warning: What HB 164 might ultimately …

The Emperor is Transformed
November 18, 2019 ·


Behold, a sign we are rapidly approaching rock bottom: The Ohio Student Religious Liberties Act, passed by the state House, will clear the way for students to answer questions in school that correspond to their religious beliefs, whether or not they are correct, and teachers can do nothing about it. In our initial social media …

Deal With All These Lies
November 14, 2019 ·


Lucky Tran at The Guardian looks at anti-vaxxers’ use of “firehosing” as a propaganda strategy, and they’re hardly alone in using it: Firehosing relies on pushing out as many lies as possible as frequently as possible. That’s typical for propaganda, but the aspect that makes firehosing a unique strategy is that it doesn’t require the …

A Small Hiccup
November 13, 2019 ·


Humanists International releases its latest Freedom of Thought Report, “a unique worldwide survey of discrimination and persecution against humanists, atheists and the non-religious.” You want to support freedom of scientific thought here at home? Tell your congress-folks to back the Preserve Science in Policymaking Act, which is also a really good way to honor Carl …

A Fresh Set of Organs
November 12, 2019 ·


The Daily Beast ran a test, creating some made-up anti-vaxxer ads making false claims, and those ads were accepted by Google and Twitter, and rejected by YouTube, Snap, Instagram, and Facebook: Google approved the two advertisements with blatant language—“Don’t get vaccinated” and “Vaccines aren’t safe”—and even sent multiple prompts via email to optimize them. … …

Such Deeply Stupid Questions
November 11, 2019 ·


At the New York Times, Eugene Linden looks at how scientists’ predictions about the severity of climate change has become more dire over time: Had a scientist in the early 1990s suggested that within 25 years a single heat wave would measurably raise sea levels, at an estimated two one-hundredths of an inch, bake the …

Harry Potter and the Precarious Economy
November 7, 2019 ·


Sam Cowie at The Guardian reports on the rise of Flat-Eartherism in Brazil, where 11 million people now claim to reject the fact that they live on a sphere: Critics attribute Brazil’s most recent flat Earth craze to poor public education, copycatting from abroad and to the increase in social media use. “The internet gives …

Stone-Cold, Motherless Last
November 6, 2019 ·


11,258 scientists sign on to a study titled “World scientists’ warning of a climate emergency”: “Despite 40 years of global climate negotiations, with few exceptions, we have generally conducted business as usual and have largely failed to address this predicament,” the study states. The paper bases its conclusions on a set of easy-to-understand indicators that …

Bright Blue Faces
November 5, 2019 ·


Aaaaand we’re out. Of the Paris climate agreement. Which we knew was going to happen. And now it is. (I did a Point of Inquiry about it at the time with The New Yorker‘s Elizabeth Kolbert.) Google employees, meanwhile, insist that their company must do much more about climate change. Via The Verge: Google workers …

Zealots, Kooks, Extremists, Impostors, and Spies
November 4, 2019 ·


Undercover reporters from UK’s The Telegraph get video of homeopaths telling patients not to get their kids vaccinated, claiming that the vaccines will cause learning difficulties, autism, mood changes, and loss of speech. It’s jaw-dropping. Facebook says it doesn’t tolerate the bullying and abuse of those expressing support for vaccinations. CNN begs to differ: Our …