Absurdly Lopsided


July 26, 2020

Jamie Hale, at his “Rationality of Science” column for CFI, counts all your neurons. Actually, he looks at how a strong sense of skepticism by one scientist changed so much about what is known about the workings of the brain.

Stuart Vyse at Skeptical Inquirer looks at the efforts of skeptics in Brazil (specifically Instituto Questão de Ciência) to counter the glut of misinformation about COVID-19, which is a huge problem thanks to their science-denying president. Must be awful.

CFI’s president and CEO Robyn Blumner will be speaking to the Hartford Humanists on July 28 for an online talk.

CFI’s Tim Binga looks back at Martin Gardner’s 1957 book Fads and Fallacies and sees how far we’ve come and how little has changed.

Eddie Tabash, Chair of CFI’s Board, said to me, “We atheists are more eager to wear masks than are many religious fundamentalists because we know there is no life after death.” I was like, Well, yeah! So I made a social media about it.


Steven Novella says it is much more likely we are undercounting COVID-19 deaths than overcounting.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest wants the FDA and FTC to crack down on the false claims of Joseph Mercola about his products’ ability to treat COVID-19.

Anthony Fauci did not suggest that we vaccinate people before we know whether it works. Obviously.

The FBI raids a medical building in Detroit to get evidence about a guy selling intravenous Vitamin C to treat COVID-19, which it doesn’t. Or much of anything.


This is wild: College students’ affinity for conservatism, which usually ticks up in the first year, now drops like a rock in the era of Trump across almost all religious groups. (Atheists get really conservative-curious in that first year and then drop hard.) And look at the upward jolt in favor of liberal politics from evangelicals.

The EEOC is suing United Airlines for making a Buddhist pilot attend Christian-centric Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for substance abuse treatment. Don’t tell Bill Barr.

It’s way easier to “prove” religious discrimination versus racial discrimination, says Tyler Broker. “Any comparison of the religious discrimination standard with race reveals an absurdly lopsided doctrine in favor of religion.”

Looking at Pompeo’s Unalienable Right commission, Trudy Rubin at the Philadelphia Inquirer decries “that fake Pompeo piety” and “the current administration’s pretend concern for values it dishonors every day.”

A Malaysian court has sentenced a man to 26 months in prison for “insulting Islam” in a Facebook post that the judge said could “bring about the substantive evils” the law is meant to prevent. Just chilling.


Twitter has banned truckloads of QAnon accounts and is blocking its links from trending because of the conspiracy-inventing group’s “offline harm.”

Tara Isabella Burton says that the QAnon mindset is, “We are living at the end of history, this aesthetic goes, and that’s fundamentally exciting.”

Planned Parenthood of Greater New York is disavowing its building’s namesake, Margaret Sanger, for her “harmful connections to the eugenics movement.”

The Satanic Temple is offering a “Devil’s Advocate” scholarship, because of course they are, which can be used for “any educational pursuit.” Hmmmmm.


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 centerforinquiry.org/coronavirus.


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.

July 22, 2020

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