All Episodes


May 13, 2013

Chris Mooney

A few months back on this show, we heard from Bill McKibben, the celebrated environmental writer and, more recently, leader of a mass movement around preventing climate change that has focused on blocking the Keystone XL pipeline. McKibben makes a compelling case that our climate system is at dire risk. But many thinkers who fully accept …

May 06, 2013

Chris MooneyIndre Viskontas

Note: You can watch this episode on Youtube. In this special episode of Point of Inquiry, Chris and Indre speak with the Pulitzer Prize winning Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs, and Steel. Dr. Diamond is Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles and has traveled extensively to New Guinea for his research. …

April 29, 2013

Indre Viskontas

In the science section at your local bookstore, you’ll find plenty of books on everything from the brain, to the climate, to the cosmos. But how many books will you find that take you on a tour of the digestive tract—from our mouths, to our stomachs, to our intestines? Popular science writer Mary Roach’s new …

April 22, 2013

Chris Mooney

Back in the summer of 2011—just before the 10 year anniversary of 9/11—this show welcomed on Scott Atran, an anthropologist who is a leading expert on terrorism and violent extremism. Now, in the wake of the Boston bombings and the dramatic capture of suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, we called Atran back to discuss the first large …

April 15, 2013

Chris Mooney

We’ve all heard the claim: Academia is liberal. And it indoctrinates students. It kills their religious faith and basically—or at least, so the allegation goes—transforms them into unkempt, pot-smoking hippies. As it turns out, this claim is precisely half true. Yes, academia is really liberal. But no, this has virtually nothing at all to do …

April 08, 2013

Chris Mooney

Remember all the greatest hits of religious apologists—the ontological, cosmological, and teleological arguments for God’s existence? You may have learned how to refute them in college—but not, perhaps, with the zest and humor shown by renowned philosopher A.C. Grayling in his new book The God Argument: The Case Against Religion and For Humanism. But Grayling …

April 01, 2013

Chris Mooney

You hear it a lot from religious believers: Faith is about doing good works, bringing about good in the world, and showing compassion. In fact, some go further and argue that you can’t really be moral without religion. Well, says primatologist Frans de Waal, they really ought to take a look at our close cousin …

March 25, 2013

Indre Viskontas

Back in February, Yahoo! President and CEO Marissa Mayer made a decision that pushed gender issues and the work/life balance back into the headlines: she mandated that her employees can no longer work from home. It’s a decision that impacts families with children in a big way—and puts a focus on women in the workplace. …

March 18, 2013

Chris Mooney

Later this year, May 17 to 19 in Washington, D.C., the Center for Inquiry will convene its second “Women in Secularism” conference. There are a host of great speakers, many of whom we’ve had on this show before, like Susan Jacoby, Jennifer Michael Hecht, Greta Christina, and Rebecca Watson. And we’re going to be there …

March 04, 2013

Chris Mooney

I’m a big defender of the proposition that when it comes to abusing science, the political left and the political right are very different beasts. But that doesn’t make the left innocent of science abuses—and one man who knows that very well is Mark Lynas. He’s a British environmentalist and author, and he recently gained …