‘This Is America’ and the Ambiguity of Memes
July 2, 2020 by

Misleading memes are a dime a dozen, to use a phrase originating in the 1800s (though today they’re not only free but available by the tens of thousands). People who spend time on social media interact with them constantly, usually in the context of reading, endorsing, and sharing them. Less often they’re refuted or mocked, …

Can I Oppose Waterboarding If I’ve Never Been Waterboarded?
June 30, 2020 by

I have never been waterboarded; yet, despite my undeniable lack of direct experience, I oppose it as a form of torture. The same can be said for Barack Obama, who issued an executive order banning waterboarding along with other coercive interrogation practices. The same can be said for the overwhelming majority of those who oppose …

A New Urgency for ‘Cosmos’: Ann Druyan’s Possible Worlds in ‘Skeptical Inquirer’
June 17, 2020 by

The third season of the landmark television series Cosmos is set to debut this fall, an ode to “the twin engines of skepticism and wonder” that comes not a moment too soon. The soul of Cosmos: Possible Worlds is cocreator, writer, and director Ann Druyan, who brings her wisdom and insight to the latest issue of Skeptical Inquirer. “I was …

John de Lancie to Secular Graduates: VOTE! The World Needs You to Shape the Future
June 16, 2020 by

“Being secular is not a lapel pin. It’s a mission.” The class of 2020 is about to take its place in a turbulent world at a turning point of history, when the values of reason, science, and compassion are needed more than ever. For those graduating students who are secular—atheists, agnostics, humanists, and Nones—these trying …

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Where Racism, Anti-Vaccination, and COVID-19 Conspiracy Meet
June 10, 2020 by

This is the sixth in a series of original articles on the COVID-19 pandemic by the Center for Inquiry as part of its Coronavirus Resource Center, created to help the public address the crisis with evidence-based information. Please check back periodically for updates and new information.  The twin plagues of COVID-19 and racism have come …

Writer, Poet, Lyricist, and Atheist Activist Javed Akhtar Wins Richard Dawkins Award
June 9, 2020 by

For half a century, India’s Javed Akhtar has been a powerful force for secularism, reason, and human rights, challenging superstition and intolerance through his work in poetry, screenwriting, and political activism. To honor his decades of work on behalf of these crucial values, Akhtar is the 2020 recipient of the Richard Dawkins Award. Akhtar will …

trust covid
COVID-19 Pseudoauthorities
May 13, 2020 by

This is the fifth in a series of original articles on the COVID-19 pandemic by the Center for Inquiry as part of its Coronavirus Resource Center, which was created to help the public address the crisis with evidence-based information. Please check back periodically for updates and new information.  As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, so does …

empty hospital beds
The COVID-19 ‘Empty Hospital’ Conspiracies
April 29, 2020 by

This is the fourth in a series of original articles on the COVID-19 pandemic by the Center for Inquiry as part of its Coronavirus Resource Center, created to help the public address the crisis with evidence-based information. Please check back periodically for updates and new information.  There are countless coronavirus conspiracy claims circulating, ranging from …

The Democratic Left, Biden, and Rational Choices
April 13, 2020 by

Voting for a political candidate is not always the result of a careful, well-informed consideration of the various pros and cons of having this candidate hold elective office. (Yes, I’m known for my understatement.) Ignorance, bias, and emotion influence voter choice. The role of ignorance and bias is lamentable, but can’t do much about these …

Coronavirus-Misinformation-Celestia Ward
Fear Itself: COVID-19, Media Literacy, and Social Media Distancing
March 25, 2020 by

This is the first in a series of original articles on the COVID-19 pandemic by the Center for Inquiry as part of its COVID-19 Resource Center, created to help the public address the crisis with evidence-based information. Please check back periodically for updates and new information.  There’s a natural—almost Pavlovian—tendency to follow the news closely, …