Tales of Depravity and Horror
October 30, 2019


On the latest episode of our podcast Point of Inquiry, Kavin Senapathy goes to the European Skeptics Congress in Ghent, Belgium and talks to Claire Klingenberg, president of the European Council of Skeptical Organisations (ECSO). Action alert time! Congress is considering a bill to reauthorize DC’s school voucher program, which not even the DC council …

Borrow the Librarian’s Broadsword
October 30, 2019


Pastafarian Richard Moser III of Ohio is getting help from the American Humanist Association as he fights for his right to don a colander for his driver’s license photo. The AHA wrote to the Ohio Bureau of Moter Vehicles, saying: The BMV is not at liberty to decide which religions may be afforded this privilege …

One Resident Goes Insane Every Year
October 29, 2019


The New York Times profiles what they call a “shadow diplomat” for the White House, Trump’s Bible teacher who runs Bible study sessions for the most powerful people in Washington (and around the world), Ralph Drollinger. Dig this: Drollinger, 65, is around seven feet tall. HOLY CRAP. Okay, for someone like me who’s 5-foot-5, that’s …

Prepare to be Disappointed
October 28, 2019


Nick Little, CFI’s legal director who heads a legal department with a budget of $0 trillion, writes ominously about the delight taken by some evangelicals over Pastor Greg Locke’s video in which he burns Andrew Seidel’s book The Founding Myth, putting the phenomena of book burning in a grim historical context: It is impossible to …

Burning Books with God’s Wrath
October 25, 2019


Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen. Where they burn books, they will, in the end, burn human beings.– Heinrich Heine, Almansor Fire, and its destructive capacity, has a special place in human psychology. It represents both a tool that when harnessed properly played a critical role in the development of civilization, …

We’re Creating a Micro-Trauma
October 25, 2019


The FDA is getting increasingly twitchy about homeopathy. Yesterday it released a statement on new steps its taking to, in their words, “protect Americans from potentially harmful products that are labeled as homeopathic”: The draft guidance details a risk-based enforcement policy prioritizing certain categories of homeopathic products that could pose a higher risk to public …

That’s a Pretty Big “If”
October 24, 2019


It’s over, folks. Edward Snowden checked, and no, the government is not aware of, nor is it covering up, evidence of extraterrestrial life or alien contact with Earth. Also just in: In case you were wondering: Yes, man really did land on the moon. Climate change is real. Chemtrails are not a thing. Sounds like …

My Psychic Scam Letter to CSICon: Presenting the Balles Prize for Critical Thinking
October 23, 2019


On Friday night at CSICon 2019 in Las Vegas, I presented the Balles Prize in Critical Thinking to reporters Blake Ellis and Melanie Hicken for their book A Deal with the Devil, which was about the infamous “Maria Duval scam,” in which a fake psychic scammed people out of millions of dollars through very personal-seeming …

Can Brain Imaging Read the Mind?
October 23, 2019


Brain imaging or brain scanning methods are used to observe and manipulate the brain and its activities. Imaging is also useful for locating brain injury. There are various brain-imaging methods, including electrical recordings, brain stimulation, X-ray imaging, and dynamic imaging (Kolb and Whishaw 2009). Brain imaging has led to important psychological and behavioral discoveries and …

This Duck Stuff
October 23, 2019


Homeopathy’s place in the health-care retail space is the subject of a big piece at Vox by Stephie Grob Plante, and our lawsuits against Walmart and CVS, as well as our recent survey on consumer attitudes toward homeopathy (finally!), are featured: Consumers are beginning to feel “scammed and cheated,” the nonprofit Center for Inquiry argued, …