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James Randi Educational Foundation
Point of Inquiry to Continue with New Hosts PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by D.J. Grothe   

Our friends at CFI have announced that Point of Inquiry will continue, which is good news — I would have been deeply saddened to see it cancelled due to my moving onto the JREF. We are also told that all of the previous 200+ episodes that I hosted will continue to be made available.

Point of Inquiry will proceed with three new hosts: Chris Mooney, Karen Stollznow, and Bob Price, all three friends and colleagues of mine in skepticism and humanism. While I had offered to continue hosting Point of Inquiry gratis, because I knew the value of the show for advancing CFI's important mission, CFI's management decided it wasn't the best business decision for them to have the President of a separate organization hosting the show.

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Jurassic Farce PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   

We've seen claims that people coexisted with dinosaurs. In fact, some say Jesus may have even ridden a dinosaur. And while anyone who is at all interested in science can laugh at such claims, some new evidence has just appeared on the scene. It's not evidence of humans and dinosaurs; it's even better. 

It's Jurassic Bigfoot.

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Hal Bidlack on CBS News Video PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   

halcbs

Monday night on CBS News with Katie Couric, Hal Bidlack discussed the recent arrest of Jim McCormick and "dowsing for bombs." Video is available here.

Click the image to watch the video.

 
Fault Line: Why Pat Robertson and his boosters are either ignorant, racist, or both. PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Brandon K. Thorp   

It was heartening to see the hand-wringing of the world’s religious apologists in response to the unfolding Haitian tragedy of the last two weeks: It meant that the believers still have the capacity to ask questions when the situation demands. More heartening still was the swiftness with which that behavior ceased. There were perhaps five or six days when it seemed every news organ in the universe felt compelled to address the role a deity might have played, or failed to play, in the earthquake and its aftermath. Then sleeves were rolled up, and the most bizarre plurality of people — basketball players, Reese Witherspoon, the hapless Pat Robertson — set about doing the good work no deity has yet attempted. (It has been suggested, here and there, that the human response was “God’s” work. If so, “God” isn’t very discriminating in choosing His implements.)

For the believers themselves, the hand-wringing may, in retrospect, prove at least a little embarrassing. Their sophistry had the look and feel of hasty improvisation. As Randi’s article about Bishop Sentamu of York demonstrated, serious tragedy has the ability to turn even the most erudite believers into little children. (Unless I am very much mistaken, Semantu’s argument was that the Christian god allows earthquakes to occur specifically so he may share in our suffering, thereby enjoying a bonding moment with his creatures. Counselors who work with battered women might have something to say about that relationship dynamic.) But that’s okay. Stress brings out the worst in plenty of people, and Bishop Semantu seems like an otherwise good guy. Perhaps the decent thing would be to let go of last week’s sillier theological questions and pious proclamations, and to write off Pat Robertson’s hateful early stance on the tragedy as a product of senile dementia. I’d like to — especially since I’m on vacation right now, and find thoughts of Pat Robertson inclement to the pursuit of R&R — but I can’t, quite, until someone points out two obvious facts. (Missed by both Robertson's critics and the small few who actually defended his stance.)

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FURTHER SUPPORT OF QUACKERY EXPRESSED! PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

Concerning the current ADE-651 dowsing-rod brouhaha in which the “inventor” and manufacturer James McCormick was arrested and then released on bail, BBC news has just quoted a senior Iraqi interior ministry official, Assistant Deputy Minister General Tareq al-Asl, as stating:

The reason the director of the company [James MCormick] was arrested was not because the device doesn't work, but because he refused to divulge the secret of how it works to the British authorities, and the Americans before them.

Well, I don’t think so.

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