All Episodes


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 …

February 25, 2013

Indre Viskontas

Even the hard-core skeptics believe in magic, says Matthew Hutson in his new book The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking: How Irrational Beliefs Keep us Happy, Healthy and Sane which has just been released in paperback. Most of us have some sentimental objects that would seem to lose their importance if replaced by an exact …

February 18, 2013

Note: You can watch this episode on Youtube. Since the horrendous massacre of children and teachers in Newtown, CT last year, gun control and the second amendment have been frequent topics of the national conversation. Point of Inquiry would be remiss if we didn’t add our signature long-form interview style to the discussion. To that end, …

February 11, 2013

Chris Mooney

Our guest this week is Susan Jacoby. She’s the bestselling author of a number of books about secularism and American culture, including Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism and The Age of American Unreason. Jacoby started her career at the Washington Post, and her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles …