Neurobabble and Psychobabble
January 31, 2019


Prepare for your head to explode, thanks to reliable cranial combustor Sarah Huckabee Sanders: I think God calls all of us to fill different roles at different times, and I think that he wanted Donald Trump to become president and that’s why he’s there. God responds: Leave Me out of it, alright? See, this is exactly …

Berating the Bishops
January 30, 2019


The chief medical officer of health for Nova Scotia retweets a dismissal of chronic Lyme disease as the pseudoscience of some Lyme disease cult. (This is the first I’m hearing of this, but I’m having trouble understanding the appeal of a cult based on the idea that Lyme disease can be really bad. Might as …

Flat-Out Consternated
January 29, 2019


Alex Moshakis at The Guardian profiles the UK’s skeptical movement from the QED conference, and naturally brings up the American skeptics, which is, naturally, us: The American skeptical movement, which emerged in the 1970s and later spawned a UK counterpart, involves several large organisations, including the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, which promotes “the use of …

Screw the Epoch
January 28, 2019


YouTube says it will act to curtail the algorithmic recommendation of conspiracy theory videos. Via NYT: YouTube provided only three examples of the types of videos that it would stop recommending: those promoting a phony miracle cure for a serious illness, ones claiming the earth is flat or content making blatantly false claims about historic …

Fear of an Unproven Hell
January 25, 2019


Behold, the first Underdownian Point of Inquiry episode, interviewing the personal hero of just about everyone at CFI, TIES director Bertha Vazquez! Hey, you know the new Congress is in session (sort of, shutdown and all). Why not let them know you exist, “you” being part of the secular constituency. James McGough at the LA …

Dropping Deuces with Divine Healing Powers
January 24, 2019


The Supreme Court declined to hear the case of a high school football coach who really, really, really insisted that there be public praying on the football field. That’s good, but then Justice Alito wrote this spooky statement that Ian Millhiser says indicates that the conservative justices are “eager to immunize Christian conservatives from much …

A Substance We Have Never Seen
January 22, 2019


India says it wants to curb fake news and misinformation online, but to do that, its IT Act may be amended so that major platforms will be required to take down any content the government doesn’t like. And that will affect more than just people in India. Egyptian TV personality Mohammed al-Gheiti is sentenced to a …

Rig it Like Jesus
January 18, 2019


Substitute Attorney General and probable moonlighting bouncer Matthew Whitaker says secular Americans have “changed their minds” about supporting religious freedom. Nnnnoooooo… Our own Jason Lemieux put out a response, saying, in part: Acting Attorney General Whitaker’s remarks are a classic case of projection – it’s the religious right who has warped the meaning of religious …

Tell Your Children Not to Hear My Words, What They Mean, What They Say
January 17, 2019


It’s Religious Freedom Day, celebrating a concept that has pretty much been contorted beyond all recognition, from a categorical right to believe as one wishes to, now, the freedom for one particular sect to be exempt from the law and impose their beliefs on others. Anyhow, the great Kelsey Dallas looks at new research showing …

Sacrifice Human Beings to the Sun
January 16, 2019


Ohio’s new Republican governor, Mike DeWine, signs an executive order prohibiting discrimination by any state agency, board or commission on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, national origin, and so on. In stark contrast, Oklahoma’s anti-vax governor-bro Kevin Stitt just wants to do whatever God tells him: This is something, I pray …