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Lee Billings on the Search for Life in a Silent Universe
September 27, 2017

It’s a big cosmos out there. It wasn’t too long ago that we couldn’t be sure that any planets existed anywhere outside of our own solar system. But in just the past handful of years, we’ve learned that planets orbiting stars are the rule, not the exception, which suggests that there may be 200 billion …

Daniel Dennett: The Magic of Consciousness…Without the Magic
January 17, 2017

Daniel C. Dennett is one of the most influential philosophers of our time, perhaps best known in cognitive science for his multiple drafts (or “fame in the brain”) model of human consciousness, and to the secular community for his 2006 book Breaking the Spell. Author and co-author of two-dozen books, he’s the Austin B. Fletcher …

The Normalization of Hate: David Neiwert on Trump and the Rise of the Alt-Right
November 21, 2016

There’s no getting around the fact that the alt-right has come out of the shadows to fully embrace Trump as their candidate. From Steve Bannon to David Duke, controversial support did not wait long to rush to Trump’s side. It’s clear that for many “make America great again” may just mean to make America white …

Trump’s Victory and the Challenge to a Secular America, with Larry Decker
November 14, 2016

The religiously unaffiliated, also known as the “nones,” are currently the largest “faith” demographic in the country. Yet evangelicals beat them two to one in turnout at the polls. We live in an increasingly secular nation based on secular principles, but in government, the secular worldview is badly underrepresented. President-elect Donald Trump spoke to many …

Ta-Nehisi Coates: A Country Built on Black Bodies
August 3, 2015

This week on Point of Inquiry, our guest is Ta-Nehisi Coates, a renowned journalist and celebrated essayist on culture, history, and politics. He’s a senior editor at The Atlantic, where last year he ignited national introspection and heated debate with his cover feature, “The Case for Reparations.” He is also author of the new bestseller, …

Laci Green – Truth and Myths about Sex and Love
February 14, 2015

This week Point of Inquiry welcomes Laci Green for a special tell-all Valentine’s Day episode. Green is a popular YouTube video blogger, sex education activist, and feminist. In a time when sex pervades popular culture and marketing, and yet rarely discussed, her videos have managed to shed light on a plethora of minefield topics concerning …

Steven Pinker: Using Grammar as a Tool, Not as a Weapon
November 10, 2014

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 …

Carol Tavris – The Science of Sex and Gender
March 25, 2013

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. …

Daniel Dennett – The Scientific Study of Religion
December 12, 2011

Recently, the Center for Inquiry held a conference titled “Daniel Dennett and the Scientific Study of Religion: A Celebration of the Fifth Anniversary of Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon“. During that conference, John Shook, CFI’s Director of Education, sat down with Dennett for this interview. Shook and Dennett have a broad conversation …

Neil deGrasse Tyson – Communicating Science
February 28, 2011

Our guest this week needs little introduction—he may be our most famous public communicator of science. He’s Neil DeGrasse Tyson, renowned American astrophysicist, director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, and the host of PBS’s NOVA ScienceNow, which just completed a new six part season. Tyson is also the author …