Posted by mattusmaximus on November 26, 2012
I have posted before on the emergence of a more secular demographic within the United States and what appears to be a concurrent decline in religious fundamentalism. However, I listened to a recent Point of Inquiry podcast which got me to look at the question in a different manner, and there appears to be much more work advancing a secular worldview to be done. I especially agree with the idea that atheists should be attempting to find common ground with moderate religious believers and building broader political coalitions, as opposed to alienating those believers simply because we have differences on belief(s) in God. I encourage you to give it a listen…
November 12, 2012
Host: Chris Mooney
On this show, we often debate the state of American secularism—covering topics like the rise of the so-called “nones,” or the unending battle to rescue the country from the pernicious influence of Christian right.
Our guest this week, Jacques Berlinerblau, has a provocative thesis about all this. He says that American secularism has clearly and distinctly lost major ground. And to recover from that loss, well… he’s got some suggestions that might not go down well—but it’s important to hear them.
Even if, you know, you’re not quite ready for a political allegiance with religious moderates.
Jacques Berlinerblau is author of the new book How to be Secular: A Call to Arms for Religious Freedom. He’s an associate professor at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown, where he directs the Program for Jewish Civilization.
Posted in politics, religion, skeptical community | Tagged: agnostic, atheism, atheist, belief, conservative, demographics, evangelical, fundamentalism, fundamentalist, God, How to be Secular, Jacques Berlinerblau, moderate, no-religious, non-religious, none, Pew Poll, Pew Research Center, podcast, Point of Inquiry, poll, Protestant, religion, religious, religious right, research, right, right wing, secular, secularism, survey, unaffiliated, white | Leave a Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on January 16, 2012
I recently listened to an episode of the Point of Inquiry podcast titled “The Debunking Handbook” which dealt with the question of how to most effectively go about “debunking” various myths, pseudosciences, and misconceptions. The general thrust of the episode, which I highly recommend, is that most of us who call ourselves skeptics don’t really do that good of a job of communicating our debunking in a successful manner. In fact, many skeptics actually make the problem worse by inadvertently reinforcing the bunk they are trying to debunk!
Needless to say, this kind of thing is right up my alley, and I think it is well worth your while to take heed of the advice given in “The Debunking Handbook”…
Posted on 27 November 2011 by John Cook, Stephan Lewandowsky
The Debunking Handbook, a guide to debunking misinformation, is now freely available to download. Although there is a great deal of psychological research on misinformation, there’s no summary of the literature that offers practical guidelines on the most effective ways of reducing the influence of myths. The Debunking Handbook boils the research down into a short, simple summary, intended as a guide for communicators in all areas (not just climate) who encounter misinformation.
The Handbook explores the surprising fact that debunking myths can sometimes reinforce the myth in peoples’ minds. Communicators need to be aware of the various backfire effects and how to avoid them, such as:
Posted in psychology, skeptical community | Tagged: AGW, anthropogenic, anthropogenic global warming, backfire effect, bunk, climate change, debunk, debunker, debunking, Debunking Handbook, denial, deniers, global warming, GW, John Cook, misconception, misinformation, myths, podcast, Point of Inquiry, pseudoscience, psychology, science, skeptic, skeptical, Skeptical Science | Leave a Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on December 26, 2010
I was listening recently to a Point of Inquiry podcast, where host Chris Mooney interviews John Abraham & Scott Mandia concerning the a new initiative called the Climate Rapid Response Team. I felt it worth passing along, so here ’tis…
November 19, 2010
Host: Chris Mooney
For the community of scientists who study the Earth’s climate, these are bewildering times.
They’ve seen wave upon wave of political attacks. They’re getting accustomed to a public that grows more skeptical of their conclusions even as scientists grow more confident in them.
No wonder there’s much frustration out there in the climate science world—and now, a group of researchers have organized to do something about it. Their initiative is called the Climate Science Rapid Response Team, and it pledges to organize dozens of researchers to help set the record straight. …
Posted in global warming denial | Tagged: AGW, anthropogenic, anthropogenic global warming, Chris Mooney, climate, climate change, Climate Change Rapid Response, denial, denialism, environment, global warming, GW, John Abraham, media, outreach, podcast, Point of Inquiry, public, scientists, Scott Mandia, skeptic, skepticism, weather | Leave a Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on May 14, 2009
In the spirit of promoting both skepticism & good education, I wanted to give a quick shout out to a group of folks who are working hard at instilling both in young people: the fine folks at Camp Inquiry.
Briefly, Camp Inquiry is a summer camp for youth which helps foster humanistic, scientific, and critical thinking skills in the children who attend. The goal of the Camp is not “secular indoctrination”, but the promotion & development of critical inquiry among the kids. Campers at Camp Inquiry come from many different backgrounds, including religious backgrounds. There are also various kinds of activities teacher-counselors and children engage in at Camp Inquiry, including magic, games, science experiments, workshops, skeptical investigations and secular ethical inquiry.
For more information on Camp Inquiry, visit their website, or listen to a recent Point Of Inquiry podcast interview with Camp Director Angie McQuaig. And if you know anyone who might be interested (parents or kids), pass the info along to them :)
Posted in education, skeptical community | Tagged: Angie McQuaig, Camp Inquiry, critical thinking, education, podcast, Point of Inquiry, science, skepticism, summer camp, teaching, youth camp | Leave a Comment »