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Hear what the brightest minds think about about the complex issues surrounding the intersection of religion, ethics, science, and society. Tune in to Point of Inquiry, the Podcast of the Center for Inquiry, a nonprofit organization dedicated to defending science and critical thinking in examining religion.

Hear what the brightest minds think about about the complex issues surrounding the intersection of religion, ethics, science, and society. Tune in to Point of Inquiry, the Podcast of the Center for Inquiry, a nonprofit organization dedicated to defending science and critical thinking in examining religion.
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Location:

Virginia Beach, VA

Description:

Hear what the brightest minds think about about the complex issues surrounding the intersection of religion, ethics, science, and society. Tune in to Point of Inquiry, the Podcast of the Center for Inquiry, a nonprofit organization dedicated to defending science and critical thinking in examining religion.

Language:

English

Contact:

7166364869


Episodes

Jerry Minor - From Jehovah’s Witness to Comedian

8/22/2019
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This week, Point of Inquiry welcomes actor, comedian, and former Jehovah's Witness, Jerry Minor. Minor has been a cast member and writer on Saturday Night Live and appeared on HBO's Mr. Show and various other television and film spots throughout his career. He joins Jim Underdown to dive into his life during and after being a Jehovah’s Witness. They also get into how the Jehovah's Witness religion drove Minor to attempt suicide, the different Christianity sects and how Minor views them as...

Duration:01:18:12

Clearing Up the Concept of Risk Assessment

8/8/2019
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How well do you think you can assess risk? The evidence is clear that humans are innately poor at assessing risk in our personal lives, in part due to how our brains are wired, and that can make it challenging to make informed decisions about everything from vaccines and medicines to diet and children’s safety. Errors in risk perception can be a problem when we worry more than the evidence says we need to, or less than the evidence says we should. On this week’s episode, Kavin Senapathy...

Duration:00:43:59

Julia Sweeney on Atheism, Saturday Night Live, and Me Too

7/25/2019
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This week, Point of Inquiry welcomes comedian, monologist, and atheist, Julia Sweeney. Many may know Sweeney from her time on Saturday Night Live, her appearances on NPR's Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!, and from her current roles on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Hulu's Shrill. Jim Underdown sat down with Sweeney at CFI West to discuss her time working on SNL, dealing with her catholic faith after the passing of her brother to cancer, how Carl Sagan, Michael Shermer, and CFI helped her become an...

Duration:00:48:17

Why Do People Love Umami but Fear MSG?

7/11/2019
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Why do people love the taste of Umami but avoid monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is the purest form of Umami on Earth? In this episode of Point of Inquiry, Kavin Senapathy speaks with experts on MSG— which was first isolated by Japanese chemist Dr. Kikunae Ikeda— to explore this culinary and scientific disconnect. Tia Rains, PhD, is currently Senior Director of Public Relations at Ajinomoto Health & Nutrition (Ajinomoto was founded in 1907 to manufacture and sell Ikeda’s MSG). She has over...

Duration:01:11:09

Diving into the Lawsuit Against Walmart and Fraudulent Homeopathic Medicines

6/27/2019
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The Center for Inquiry has filed a lawsuit against Walmart for deceiving its customers with marketing, labeling, and product placement that present homeopathic medicines as equivalent and effective alternatives to science-based medicines with tested active ingredients. The lawsuit argues that this is not only consumer fraud, but also endangers the health of the people who purchase homeopathic remedies thinking that they contain actual medicine. The suit against Walmarts comes just a few...

Duration:00:36:27

Meet Science for the People

6/13/2019
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Science for the People began as a group in 1969 that grew out of the anti-war movement and lasted until 1989. SftP has been rebirthed for a new generation of SftP members to explore the history of radical science and to rebuild the movement for today. In this week's episode of Point of Inquiry, Kavin Senapathy speaks with two SftP members, biologist, Ben Allen and neuroscientist, Katherine Bryant. If science is a form of knowledge production and the knowledge being produced only focuses...

Duration:00:48:54

Matt Walsh On The Road To Hollywood, His Secular Wedding, and More

5/30/2019
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On this week's episode of Point of Inquiry, Jim Underdown speaks with longtime friend, actor, writer, and comedian Matt Walsh. This episode may be different from what you're used to as we take a break from examining science, culture, and religion and instead give you the chance to get to know one of Point of Inquiry's new hosts. Underdown has been close friends with Matt Walsh for over 30 years. Many may know Walsh from his role as Mike McLintock on the show Veep, which recently aired its...

Duration:00:54:09

Dr. Jenny Yip on OCD, Anxiety, and Mental Health

5/16/2019
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On this week's episode of Point of Inquiry, Dr. Jenny Yip discusses OCD and anxiety and the widespread impact these can have on our lives as well as how they're exhibited in different people. Kavin Senapathy and Dr. Yip share their own experiences with OCD and anxiety disorders and Dr. Yip shares her insight into effective and ineffective treatments for OCD and anxiety. You can find out more about Dr. Yip's work by listening to her podcast, The Stress-Less Life. You can also follow her on...

Duration:00:54:05

Carol Tavris And Avrum Bluming On The Myth That Estrogen Causes Breast Cancer

5/2/2019
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This week’s episode of Point of Inquiry Jim Underdown speaks with Carol Tavris, social psychologist and author of Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me) and Avrum Bluming, hematologist, medical oncologist, and emeritus clinical professor at USC about the common myth in the medical field surrounding the link between breast cancer and estrogen. The talk centers around their recent book, Estrogen Matters which examines the practice of administering estrogen to women suffering from symptoms of...

Duration:01:09:24

Massimo Pigliucci and Susan Blackmore on Scientism and Subjectivity

4/18/2019
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This week's episode of Point of Inquiry is our final episode recorded from CSICon 2018. We're closing this series of interviews with Professor Massimo Pigliucci who discusses his ideas on scientism and how it's used by people like Sam Harris, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Richard Dawkins with host Kavin Senapathy. Also featured on this episode is Professor Susan Blackmore who discusses her out of body experiences and whose research has centered around consciousness, memes, and...

Duration:00:42:01

The Secret Sting Operation to Expose Celeb Psychics with Susan Gerbic

4/4/2019
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On this week's episode of Point of Inquiry, we are thrilled to have friend of the Center for Inquiry, Susan Gerbic to talk about the recent New York Times featured story that detailed Gerbic and her team's work exposing celebrity psychics. Kavin Senapathy and Gerbic also explore why exposing fake psychics and mediums is important, the methodologies Gerbic and her team employ in these kinds of sting operations, how psychics performed hot reads before the days of the internet (and exactly...

Duration:00:43:23

Mark Boslough on the Dangers of Climate Change and Destructive Asteroids

3/21/2019
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Mark Boslough is a Caltech-trained physicist and CSI Fellow who spent 34 years at Sandia National Laboratories doing research on hypervelocity impacts, energetic materials, explosions, and global risk from asteroid impacts and climate change. He has participated in many science documentaries with field expeditions to airburst locations including the Libyan Desert of Egypt in 2006, Tunguska in 2008, Chelyabinsk in 2013, and the Nevada Test Site in 2017. Underdown sits down with Boslough to...

Duration:01:10:24

Carl Zimmer and Paul Offit on Genetics, Race, and Vaccinations at CSICon 2018

3/7/2019
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We find ourselves in the information age among many who, although have the access to proper and accurate scientific information, choose not to believe it. What causes the parents of a newborn to avoid vaccines? Where do the misconceptions of genetics originate? Today on Point of Inquiry, Kavin Senapathy talks with Carl Zimmer and Dr. Paul A Offit while at CSICon 2018 about their research into vaccinations, science denial, and how some groups in the US have tried to use genes and heredity to...

Duration:00:33:25

The New Stars of Skeptical Investigation

2/21/2019
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The world of skeptical investigation is full of interesting personalities full of stories about their run-ins with ghost chasers, debunking charlatans, and dealing with "magic". Today on Point of Inquiry, Jim Underdown talks with Massimo Polidoro and Kenny Biddle while at CSICon 2018 about what they've been through as two of the top investigators in the skeptic movement. In this episode, Massimo speaks about the fascinating details around the life of genius, Leonardo da Vinci and about his...

Duration:01:04:18

Twitter’s Resident Gynecologist And The Crusher Of The Gender Binary

2/7/2019
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Dr. Jen Gunter is an OB/GYN, pain medicine physician, and Twitter's resident gynecologist. She blogs and also writes The Cycle, a column on the intersection sex, science, and society, for the New York Times. One day she hopes to ask Gwyneth Paltrow for the physics equation that explains how a jade egg can be recharged with lunar energy. Abby Hafer is an author, scientist, educator, and public speaker. Her scientific career includes a doctorate in zoology from Oxford University and teaching...

Duration:00:39:26

The Battle for Young Minds - Bertha Vazquez on Teaching Evolution in Schools

1/24/2019
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As science standards across the country improve to include middle school standards on evolution, more and more teachers are teaching evolution for the first time and the battle to teach sound science moves into the individual classrooms themselves. The Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science (TIES) is a program of the Center for Inquiry. TIES seeks to helps teachers teach evolution by providing them with the content and resources to do so effectively. In just three and a half years, TIES...

Duration:00:38:06

Adam Conover and Tim Caulified on The Algorithm, Gwyneth Paltrow, Netflix and more

1/10/2019
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Adam Conover is the creator and host of Adam Ruins Everything, an informational comedy show that debunks common misconceptions and encourages critical thinking. The New York Times calls it “one of history’s most entertaining shows dedicated to the art of debunking” and refers to Adam as a “genial provocateur”. He is a founding member of the sketch group Olde English, who performed at HBO’s Comedy Fest in Aspen and was named “Best Sketch Group on the Web” by Cracked.com. As a standup...

Duration:00:38:08

The Odyssey of the Plutophiles: Alan Stern and David Grinspoon on the Voyage of New Horizons

5/17/2018
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In July of 2015, a spacecraft called New Horizons gave humankind its first close-up view of a small, misunderstood world called Pluto. It took almost 10 years for New Horizons to soar across more than 3 billion miles of space and give us our first meeting with Pluto and its family of moons. But that journey is just a small part of a much bigger and more harrowing story of how New Horizons came to be. It was a mission that was decades in the making, an endeavor that endured several...

Duration:00:50:34

Trying to Throw Science at Them: Yvette d'Entremont and Kavin Senapathy on Food, Fads, and Fear

12/29/2017
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We are living in a land of confusion, as the band Genesis warned us back in 1986, but even they could not have predicted just how much more confusing things would get 31 years later. With a storm of misinformation engulfing almost every field of human endeavor, 2017 was ripe with confusion. And one of the most bewildering subjects is also one of the most personal: our health. With celebrity gurus pitching pseudoscientific nonsense, conflicting news stories about what will and won't kill...

Duration:00:59:47

Margaret Sullivan: Reckoning and Redemption for the Reality-Based Press

12/6/2017
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In the post-truth world, the mainstream media is beset on all sides. Peddlers of propaganda, misinformation, and conspiracy theories seek to strip the media of its authority by creating parallel realities and fomenting anger and mistrust. At the same time, poor editorial judgments and a toxic culture of sexism have landed countless self-inflected wounds. How can a reality-based press ever hope to fulfill its mission to seek the truth, hold power accountable, and leave the public more...

Duration:00:42:07