All Episodes


July 29, 2014

Josh Zepps

How do we rationally assess risk? Following a terrible series of horrifying air travel disasters, reasonable people begin to question what we consider to be “safe.” But should we? To answer this question, our host Josh Zepps is joined by David Ropeik, an international consultant and expert on the subject of risk perception and communication, …

July 21, 2014

Lindsay Beyerstein

On March 15, 2000, over a dozen whales beached themselves in the Bahamas in one of the largest multi-species strandings in history. Suspicion turned to U.S. Navy sonar, but at first there was no proof. This revelation brings us into the detective story told in War of the Whales: A True Story. Point of Inquiry welcomes the author, Joshua Horwitz. We discuss …

July 14, 2014

DJ Grothe

Point of Inquiry is taking a week off and filling in with a classic episode from March 27, 2009. After Saudi Arabia recently tried to silence the Center For Inquiry’s UN representative, Josephine Macintosh, as she delivered a statement critical of their repeated assaults on freedom of religion, belief and expression, we felt that our Austin Dacey episode was …

July 07, 2014

Lindsay Beyerstein

To discuss last week’s Supreme Court decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Point of Inquiry welcomes Dr. Brian Leiter, law professor and philosopher at the University of Chicago. He’s the author of several books including Why Tolerate Religion?. He blogs at Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog. Leiter and host Lindsay Beyerstein discuss what the Hobby Lobby decision means for …

July 02, 2014

Josh Zepps

Best known for his 17 years as a talk show host, Montel Williams is now bringing his name and dynamic personality to activism on behalf of U.S. servicemen and women. Raised during the height of the Civil Rights Movement and into the tumultuous sixties, he joined the Marines as a young man and enrolled at …

June 23, 2014

Lindsay Beyerstein

We evolved to eat berries rather than bagels, to live in caves rather than condos, to sprint barefoot rather than wear sneakers—or did we? These, along with many other questions about what is or is not “natural” for humans from an evolutionary perspective are the subject of the new book by biologist, Dr. Marlene Zuk, Paleofantasies: What Evolution Really Tells …

June 16, 2014

Josh Zepps

Few intra-party political battles have been as astonishing and unexpected as last week’s primary loss by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to religious-conservative challenger David Brat, who was quickly embraced by the Tea Party after his victory. To discuss what this means for the future of the GOP, and how religion has waxed and waned …

June 09, 2014

Lindsay Beyerstein

This week POI welcomes bestselling author and trans rights activist, Janet Mock. Janet is the author of the new memoir Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love and So Much More, which recounts her emotional and physical transition from an infant sexed male at birth in Hawaii in 1983, to a young woman in New …

June 03, 2014

Josh Zepps

This week, we welcome Negin Farsad, a groundbreaking Iranian American comedian. A TED speaker and TED Fellow, she was named one of the Huffington Post‘s 50 Funniest Women. She’s been seen on Comedy Central, MTV, CNN, MSNBC, and in her movie The Muslims are Coming!, a documentary following some of the funniest Muslim comedians as they travel America’s Red States, …

May 27, 2014

Lindsay Beyerstein

This week, Point of Inquiry welcomes Dahlia Lithwick, Senior Editor and Legal Correspondent for Slate, where she writes the “Supreme Court Dispatches” and “Jurisprudence” columns. Her legal commentary won her a National Magazine Award in 2013. She is a graduate of Stanford Law School and she joins Lindsay Beyerstein to talk about the crisis facing capital punishment in …