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Verifiably False Claims about Actual Human Beings

August 18, 2020

The Society for Science-Based Medicine is now part of the Center for Inquiry family. I’m guessing it’ll bunk with Quackwatch while going through orientation run by Skeptical Inquirer.

The Democratic National Convention (sort of) started last night, where Michelle Obama said a president needs to have a “devotion to facts and history” and touted Biden’s trust in science.

Bernie Sanders said of Trump, “by rejecting science, he has put our lives and health in jeopardy.

John Kasich, the Republican former governor of Ohio who spoke last night, told CNN: “I swear to you, if I’d come out and said I was an atheist, it would get a lot less attention than it does when I am gonna say that I’m gonna say some good things about a Democrat at a Democrat convention.” I wonder if he’s still mad at Harry Potter.

John Stoehr delivers a gut-punch of an explanation of white evangelicals’ perceptions of Trump and how things are supposed to be:

Outsiders do not generally accept a worldview in which power is ordered. First God, then man, then woman, then child. White over nonwhite. Heterosexual over LGBTQ. Christian over non-Christian. When you believe with your whole being that power is ordered according to God’s will, “giving freedoms to gay people and members of minority groups” is not political equality, as outsiders often see it. It’s knocking you out of the order of power. It’s taking something away. Equality is literally theft. … Their bond [with Trump] is far from a contradiction. It’s an alignment of political interests in which sadism is the point.

Citing the recent Supreme Court ruling against LGBTQ discrimination, a federal judge halts Trump’s rollback of protections for transgender patients.

I like how Harriet Hall shamelessly heaps on the puns sometimes. FOR EXAMPLE, in her Skeptical Inquirer piece on hydration, she says, “‘Eau’ dear! ‘Water’ you thinking? You may have been ‘flooded’ with a tsunami of misinformation.” DON’T STOP!

Hall also looks at “Christian weight loss” plans, specifically the “Hallelujah Diet.” With a nice image of a few measures of Leonard Cohen’s song, she captions, “Great music, but not a great diet.”

Former Christianity Today editor Katelyn Beaty on QAnon: “It’s a spiritual worldview that co-opts many Christian-sounding ideas to promote verifiably false claims about actual human beings.”

Lee McIntyre on talking COVID-19 deniers back into reality: “It’s truly ironic that the best way to change a science denier’s mind is through a face to face encounter, but that is the one thing we cannot do these days.”

Vidya Krishnan at The Atlantic worries over India’s “troubling official tolerance of pseudoscience, as well as a growing politicization of health care.” Yes that sounds awful.

Here’s a waste of £105,000 (approximately $138,500 US): Backing an anti-5G crowdfunding campaign.

Meet Father Sergey, “a COVID-denying conspiracy-spewing Russian monk.” Or, rather, don’t.

Viruses: How do they work? Steven Salzberg reminds us how weird they are. They’re like wrenches thrown into very complicated machines.

This dude TikTok’d from the highest point in Canada to show that Earth is indeed a sphere, and yeah, it totally is.

A car-sized asteroid came within 1830 miles of Earth and we didn’t even notice. Maybe it was actually Lone Starr’s Winnebago.

Murder hornets, meet fire tornadoes.

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.