What Is the Danger That Terrorists Will Attack the United States with a Nuclear or ‘Dirty’ Bomb?
A Review of Studies on the Moon and Human Behavior and Lunar Beliefs
We’re Here to Help
May 5, 2014
This recent Point of Inquiry interview with Ann Druyan has now been transcribed and is available to read.
April 16, 2014
This classic Point of Inquiry interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson has now been transcribed and is available to read.
Problems with Modern Medicine: Too Much Emphasis on Disease, Not Enough on Managing Risk
The Sacrifice of a Skeptic
Explanations and Meta-Ideas
A review of Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking by Daniel Dennett
The Unexplained Files—TV Mystery-Mongering
A review of The Unexplained Files on The Science Channel
The Future of High Energy Physics in the United States
Psychic Successes or Memory Failures?
How News about ESP Research Shapes Audience Beliefs
NCCAM Responds to ‘Nurturing Non-Science’ Article
Authors Reply to NCCAM Response
Acclaimed Harvard psychologist and best-selling author Steven Pinker was interviewed by Indre Viskontas and Chris Mooney in a rare live edition of Point of Inquiry, the flagship podcast of our Center for Inquiry. Here is the majority of that interview.
The ‘Psychology Is Science, Not Witchcraft’ Campaign
News and Comment
Do You Believe That? Poll Zeroes in on Conspiracy Beliefs/Goat Sacrificed for Chicago Cubs Curse/Sylvia Browne Blunders Again, Telling Mother of Kidnap Victim Amanda Barry She Was Dead/British Businessman Sentenced in Bogus ‘Bomb Detector’ Scam
Bringing Bayes into Predictions
A review of The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail—but Some Don’t by Nate Silver
Nurturing Non-Science: Startling Concepts in the Education of Physicians
Climate Change Denial in the Classroom
No News Is Good News, but Bad News Is Deadly
A review of The Martians Have Landed!: A History of Media-Driven Panics and Hoaxes by Robert E. Bartholomew and Benjamin Radford
The Elberfeld Horses
Understanding Believers’ Cognitive Dissonance
Closing the Book on ‘Open-Mindedness’
May 6, 2013
Every day in Indonesia you will hear or see psychics, paranormalists, parapsychologists, and pseudoscientists spreading, scaring, and scamming the nation with irrational beliefs and pseudoscience through the media. You will be able to see them planting thoughts into peoples’ heads so that they can offer solutions and take people's money.
Cognitive science research on belief in the 2012 “apocalypse” demonstrates that dissociative processes contribute directly to this belief through reduction of the “feature-intensive” cognitive processing that would engender appropriate skepticism.
Appeals to righteous indignation or sanctity—which attempt to shield ideas from contemplation, discussion, investigation, or criticism—are common, impede rational discourse, and should be recognized as logical fallacies.
Mystics, Mycobacterium, and the Gospel of Matthew
The Math Behind the Myths