The King of Wishful Thinking
September 16, 2020


Scientific American endorses a presidential candidate for the first time in its 175-year history. Notice you didn’t need me to tell you which one. “The evidence and the science show that Donald Trump has badly damaged the U.S. and its people—because he rejects evidence and science.” Oh come on, SciAm, that’s harsh, isn’t it? Let’s …

Buckets of Disillusionment
September 15, 2020


Okay, there might be something alive on Venus. WHO SAW THAT COMING? Well, Carl Sagan did! The Times writes, “Many planetary scientists, including Carl Sagan and Harold Morowitz, who proposed the idea 53 years ago, have hypothesized life may exist there.” Well let’s have a look! Nature, September 16, 1967: While the surface conditions of …

Apocalypse Always
September 14, 2020


We have filed our appeal against the dismissal of our case against Walmart and their deceptive sale of homeopathic snake oil: “Walmart knows homeopathy doesn’t work,” said Little. “The confusion it causes consumers is intentional. The potential for harm is obvious. And we will be happy to make that very clear when this case finally …

The Absurd Logical Conclusion
September 11, 2020


The researchers who conducted the study showing discrimination against Muslims and atheists by school principals have an op-ed in the Post timed for the anniversary of 9/11: We found this discrimination against Muslims to be widespread and systematic across the United States, just as likely to occur in urban areas as in rural areas. The …

Walk Around in Circles
September 10, 2020


Tonight! New Skeptical Inquirer Presents! Seema Yasmin! Viral BS! 7pm ET! Exclamation points! Register for it! There’s a new episode of Point of Inquiry: Host Jim Underdown talks to Dr. Raymond Hall, the guy behind the popular Psysicsfun Instagram account, who says “physics is the real magic of the universe.” Skeptical Inquirer‘s Benjamin Radford will …

Exacerbating Outpartisans
September 9, 2020


A court in Pakistan has sentenced Asif Pervaiz to death for “blasphemous” text messages sent in 2013. We have a new Secular Rescue success story we can share with you: “Jana,” an ex-Muslim who we helped find safety fleeing oppression in Iraq. In the latest Skeptical Inquirer, Scott O. Lilienfeld and colleagues call for a …

Crowbars and Horseshoe Crabs
September 8, 2020


WSJ: Here’s why SARS-CoV-2 is such a tough nut for scientists to crack. “The coronavirus pries the cells open with a molecular structure called a spike protein that it uses like a crowbar to force entry.” Big Pharma has concluded that Trump’s vaccine promises are not good for consumer confidence, and therefore not good for …

Legislating Sanity
September 4, 2020


The AP reports on the horrors endured by Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other minorities in China’s Xinjiang region as the government enforces not only draconian “lockdown” measures, but forced pseudoscientific medication. Hard to read without needing to lie down. Peter Hamblin at The Atlantic: The administration’s reliance on herd immunity is “a contradiction in terms” and …

Traditionally Mask-uline (Get It?)
September 3, 2020


Carl Zimmer and Katie Thomas at NYT round up what is known about the CDC’s claim that states need to get ready for a COVID-19 vaccine by next month. The timing, of course, feels suspicious. The CDC is being flooded with angry calls from folks who believe a QAnon lie, boosted by the president, that …

Awkward, Contradictory, and Self-Defeating
September 2, 2020


Let’s just open with this glorious, shining gem of a lede from Newsweek: Two flat-Earthers were forced to quarantine after trying to reach “the end of the world” during Italy’s lockdown. Wait, wait, it gets better: Salvatore Zichichi, a doctor of the maritime health office of the Ministry of Health who helped the pair after …