All Episodes


December 16, 2014

Josh Zepps

Fox News’ “War on Christmas” is already in full swing, as Bill O’Reilly wasted no time jumping into battle this year to defend the holiday from the great secular menace. However, it looks like Bill might be able to leave the trenches a little early this year; according to a new Pew survey, just over …

December 08, 2014

Lindsay Beyerstein

Despite the fact that the United States was founded as a secular state, government neutrality toward religion remains a tumultuous and controversial issue — a conversation-stopper in most public policy discussions. This week on the show, Lindsay Beyerstein welcomes Ronald A. Lindsay, president and CEO of the Center for Inquiry, the organization responsible for Point …

December 01, 2014

Josh Zepps

Alan Turing was a true visionary. Founding what we understand today as computer science, he was also a mathematician, a philosopher, and an early trailblazer for gay equality. Without his genius for codebreaking, the Second World War might have gone in a much darker direction. He saved millions of lives and potentially the world as we know …

November 24, 2014

Lindsay Beyerstein

As a nation, the U.S. prides itself on at least aspiring to the ideal of equality, even if it often falls short. The educational, health care, and legal systems, are plagued by institutional biases against racial minorities. The good news is that these disparities are likely not due to hateful intent, but caused by a …

November 19, 2014

Josh Zepps

As the threat posed by radical Islamists like those of ISIS grows in popular awareness, Islam itself becomes more of a target for criticism; some of it fair, and some of it based in ignorance or bigotry. Can efforts to defend Islam and Muslims from discrimination and racism go too far, and keep us from …

November 10, 2014

Lindsay Beyerstein

The English language is often treated as delicate and precious, and disagreements about what is “proper English” go back as far as the 18th century. Then as now, style manuals and grammar books placed innumerable restrictions on what is and isn’t “correct,” as “Language Mavens” continue to delight in pointing out the unforgivable errors of …

November 03, 2014

There’s no doubt that Ebola is an incredibly dangerous and genuinely lethal virus, but it’s also a highly manageable one, though you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise given the kind of hyperbolic coverage we’ve seen of the epidemic. In order to sort fact from fiction about the real threat posed by Ebola, and to better …

October 31, 2014

Nora Hurley

Harry Houdini, the most famous illusionist the world has ever known, spent the later part of his career fascinated with spiritualists and mediums. This led him to become a dedicated skeptic and investigator. In this special Halloween episode for 2014, Point of Inquiry’s new producer Nora Hurley chats with Joe Nickell, the world’s leading paranormal investigator, and …

October 22, 2014

Lindsay Beyerstein

Given the divisive nature of the debates over abortion, the subject is understandably not the best table-talk material. But despite the fact that abortion is normal and often necessary (one in three women will have an abortion before menopause), even those who are staunchly pro-choice feel compelled to hedge their support by making sounds about …

October 14, 2014

Josh Zepps

Our universe is made up of billions of galaxies. The cosmos is so mind-bogglingly vast, that it’s hard not to suppose that we aren’t alone, that life must exist somewhere else besides our own planet. Last month, some of the world’s leading scientists gathered at an Astrobiology Symposium run by NASA and the Library of Congress …