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Longing for Asteroids

August 25, 2020

Marci Hamilton at Verdict on the biggest obstacle to dealing with COVID-19:

Now is the time to consider what barriers other than science stand in the way of herd immunity against this pandemic. The short answer is that the law stands in the way. Religious liberty statutes and religious/philosophical exemptions to state vaccine requirements create a potential escape hatch for those who deny the science.

Also apparently an obstacle, Van Morrison, who calls social distancing requirements “pseudio-science.”

A federal judge rules against three Christian schools in Oregon that want to reopen in defiance of the governor’s orders.

Yes, a guy got reinfected with COVID-19, but that’s not as bad as it sounds. Vox: “The most important detail: The man was not symptomatic during his second infection, which shows that his immune system did respond to the virus.”

I know we share a lot of these but I do think they’re worth circulating when they come up: Business Insider debunks myths about face masks. (You can’t make yourself sicker by breathing in your own exhalations, for example.)

Jerry Falwell Jr. is now officially unemployed.

The Center for Freethought Equality releases its congressional scorecard for the House, and very little should surprise you. Being a member of the Congressional Freethought Caucus is a big plus, and being Louie Gohmert is not.

Reuters: No, Joe Biden doesn’t think schools should indoctrinate kids with Islam.

If you like revisiting recent traumas, check out RNS’s interactive timeline of the role of religion in Trump’s presidency so far.

Leo Igwe on Nigeria’s blasphemy law: “Laws are made to guarantee and not violate the rights of human beings. Incidentally, blasphemy laws are used to flagrantly deny basic human rights, including the rights to life, freedom of religion or belief, and freedom of expression.”

Jim Underdown has a really interesting post at the CFI Investigations Group site, recounting folks who applied to win the $250,000 Paranormal Challenge with supposed abilities that didn’t even really count as paranormal.

NYT reports on efforts to help senior citizens spot misinformation online.

Harriet Hall reviews the Netflix “documentary” series (Un)Well: “Rather than explaining science, they offer slick journalism, appeals to emotion, and unthinking gullibility.”

How telling is it that publications inform us that an asteroid poses no danger to us, and it’s kind of disappointing?

Reminders! Tomorrow: CFI Insider looks at the role of freethought and secularism in the women’s suffrage movement.

Thursday: Carol Tavris talks about cognitive dissonance in the pandemic era on Skeptical Inquirer Presents.

We’re keeping track of COVID-19 pseudoscience, snake oil, fake cures, and more at CFI’s Coronavirus Resource Center. Separate fact from fiction and inoculate yourself from misinformation at

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.