Episode Archive for March 2012

David Morrison - Cosmic Impact Hazard

March 26, 2012

The end is nigh. 2012 is a banner year for doomsday prophecies, though there still seems to be debate concerning precisely how life as we know it will be snuffed out. Hollywood seems to prefer the ‘death from the skies’ scenario, with Lars von Trier’s latest film Melancholia exploring the psychological consequences of believing that another planet is on a collision course with ours. But would we know? How much warning would we receive if such a catastrophe were to occur?

There is no better source for this information than Dr. David Morrison, the founder of the…

Jonathan Haidt - The Righteous Mind

March 19, 2012

Why is it that some of us are religious, some of us not… some of us liberal, some of us not?

If you’ve been paying attention, then by now you might have noticed that this doesn’t really have a lot to do with the intellectual validity of religious, or irreligious, or liberal, or conservative ideas.

So what causes it? And why can’t we all get along?

To get at this, Point of Inquiry invited on a scholar and thinker who has become famous for his scientific approach to this question—Jonathan Haidt, author of…

Ari Rabin-Havt - The Fox Effect

March 12, 2012

If there’s one thing Point of Inquiry is concerned about, it’s ensuring a rational, sensible conversation in politics, in public life. And you simply can’t have such a conversation if the culture is awash in political, and politicized, misinformation.

What do we mean by “misinformation”? The denial of global warming. Claims about “death panels.” Assertions that the President of the United States wasn’t actually born here.

One thing all these falsehoods have in common is that if you watch Fox News, you’re more likely to believe them. Fox increases your risk, so to speak, of…

Sean Faircloth - Attack of the Theocrats

March 05, 2012

A common goal of freethinkers, humanists, skeptics, and atheists is to preserve Thomas Jefferson’s “wall of separation” between church and state. But we haven’t always been successful in this area—help from the courts notwithstanding—or at beating back the steady advances of the religious right.

How can we do better? Our guest this week has a new book on the topic, and just as important, a new way of thinking.

His name is Sean Faircloth, the director of strategy and policy for the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. Before that, Faircloth served five terms…