Religion


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 …

Robert McCauley – Why Religion is Natural (And Science is Not)
December 5, 2011

Over the last decade, there have been many calls in the secular community for increased criticism of religion, and increased activism to help loosen its grip on the public. But what if the human brain itself is aligned against that endeavor? That’s the argument made by cognitive scientist Robert McCauley in his new book, Why …

Richard C. Johnson – Religion: The Failed Narrative
October 17, 2011

Richard C. Johnson Ph.D. is a retired chemist and serves as Treasurer for Freethought Arizona. For some 25 years, the company he founded worked with scientists and researchers in chemical analysis. Through family ties, Richard had long been a kind of participant observer of religion and learned well its social bonding functions, though always remaining …

Scott Atran – Violent Extremism and Sacred Values
August 29, 2011

In less than two weeks, the ten year anniversary of the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil—9/11—will be upon us. In the past decade, there has been much debate and discussion about the root causes of terrorism and violent extremism. There has also been considerable scientific study of the matter. Fortunately, Point of Inquiry recently …

Dan Barker – U-Turn on the Road to Damascus
August 22, 2011

Host Robert M. Price felt uncannily as if he were talking to himself when he interviewed Dan Barker, the two share so much in common. But then their story is not so unusual, come to think of it. The same sort of thing seems to be happening to more and more Evangelicals these days!  For …

Jaco Gericke – Confessions of a Died-Again Christian
July 25, 2011

A couple of student hecklers once reproved Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus: “Faustus! Plumb the depths of that which you profess!” Many evangelical Christians have buckled down to study apologetics or biblical studies in just that spirit—and wound up not professing any more! Their stories are often eerily similar yet always fascinating! And such a delver was …

D.M. Murdock – The Christ Conspiracy
June 27, 2011

D.M. Murdock, who also goes by the pen name “Acharya S.,” is the author of The Christ Conspiracy, the most controversial of modern treatments of the Christ Myth theory. She has had to field flack from both apologists and atheists.  An independent scholar of comparative religion and mythology, Murdock was educated in Classics and Greek …

Rick Perlstein – Is There a Republican War on History?
June 20, 2011

Recently, we’ve seen a spate of news stories—and news incidents—involving conservative politicians and activists getting details wrong about American history. There was, most infamously, Sarah Palin saying that Paul Revere, on his famous midnight ride, rang bells and “warned the British.” There was Michele Bachman, claiming that the founding fathers “worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in …

Jean Mercer – Child Development: Myths and Misunderstandings
June 13, 2011

This week’s guest is Jean Mercer, a Developmental Psychologist and Professor Emerita at Richard Stockton College. She is the author of the new book Child Development: Myths and Misunderstandings. Jean writes the blog “Child Myths”, and along with Penn Jillette and Richard Dawkins, she is a co-author of Parenting Beyond Belief: On Raising Ethical, Caring …

Chris Mooney – Accommodationism and the Psychology of Belief
May 9, 2011

Special Guest Host: Ronald A. Lindsay  In this special episode, Chris Mooney changes places and becomes the interviewee—and then finds himself facing some probing questions from CFI president and CEO Ronald A. Lindsay. This frank interview is all substance and no fluff as Mooney is asked to defend accommodationism and his Templeton Foundation fellowship. The …