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I Don’t Want No Scrubs

April 19, 2019

Heck yes, it’s a new Point of Inquiry episode! Kavin Senapathy’s got both Massimo Pigliucci and Susan Blackmore. That’s a heck of a lineup for one show.

Check out Skeptical Inquirer‘s own Kenny Biddle as he talks about the ghost-hunting “industry” with WGBH radio‘s The Curiosity Desk.

In 1999, when we were livin’ la vida loca and didn’t want no scrubs, 70 percent of Americans were members of a church. No surprise. Fast forward to today, when I have no idea what songs are popular, like none, and the number has dropped to 50 percent. Gallup explains that this is both due to the “rise of the nones” as well as a general decline in membership by religious folks.

At the New York Times, Sabrina Tavernise reports on how “newly confident red states are passing some of the strictest prohibitions the country has ever seen”:

In the first three months of this year, heartbeat bills, which had been at the fringes of the anti-abortion movement for years, have passed in four states — Kentucky, Mississippi, Georgia and Ohio. More are moving through the legislatures of 11 others.

Washington state’s senate passes a bill eliminating personal or philosophical exemptions from measles vaccines. Just barely.

Okay, so, they are bringing dead pig brain cells back to life. Sort of. So there’s that.

At Skeptical Inquirer, Annika Merkelbach interviews Dr. Alice Howarth of the Merseyside Skeptics Society and cohost of the podcast Skeptics with a K.

Ben Radford reviews Jordan Peele’s Us, but I haven’t read what he wrote because I’m ridiculous when it comes to potential spoilers. This is why I haven’t allowed myself to watch an Avengers: Endgame trailer.

Tennessee State Rep. Micah Van Huss (who cannot “find evil in the scenario” of a raped 15-year-old forced to give birth) sponsors a bill to amend the state constitution to include the words, “…liberties do not come from government, but from Almighty God.” It’s passed the state House.

Terry Gou recently stepped down as the head of the mega-manufacturer Foxconn is running for president of Taiwan. Who cares, you might ask. Well, here’s why he’s running. You see, he spoke to a sea goddess in a dream:

Today, Mazu told me I should be inspired by her to do good things for people who are suffering, to give young people hope, to support cross-strait peace. I came to ask Mazu and she told me to come forward. … Mazu said the economy would improve following peace and prosperity.

You know what? I’ve heard worse reasons.

Given the strict separation of church and state in France, it turns out that the restoration of Notre Dame is not a clear-cut enterprise. The Post reports:

…day-to-day maintenance of churches and cathedrals in France often falls to cultural and religious associations. And just because the state is responsible for funding large infrastructure projects does not necessarily mean it has the money to do it.

Safa Kabir, an actor in Bangladesh, apologizes for seeming to imply that she’s an atheist. Whatever she believes, considering what happens to other atheists in Bangladesh, it’s hard to fault her.

The New York Times asks all of the declared presidential candidates what they plan to do about climate change.

Excerpted from her book Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power, Anna Merlan digs into the intra-conspiracy conflicts among UFO enthusiasts.

In case you’re curious, Donald Trump did not say he was an atheist in The Art of the Deal. Even if he had, it’s not like he wrote it anyway.

James Croft writes about what the candidacy of Pete Buttigieg means to him, and why it’s all roses:

The familiarity I feel toward Pete Buttigieg – a man I’ve never met – is both magical and dangerous. Magical, because it is truly miraculous to see an openly gay man run for president, and to receive any support at all. The incredible feeling of validation that gay men like me are feeling due to Buttigieg’s candidacy is good in itself, just as it is good that the presence of this effective, convincing gay leader on the national stage will help change many people’s attitudes toward gay men. Dangerous, because when a political figure resonates so deeply with our soul, it can be exceedingly difficult to hold them to the same standards as other candidates, and we can lose sight of the communities they fail to represent.

Quote of the Day

A social media genius for the Ark Encounter asks folks what they’ve learned from the theme-park-of-derp, and Hemant rounds up some responses. I like this one, from @IwearCrocsAlot:

The price of gullibility is $42 per adult plus parking.

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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.