Episode Archive for May 2015

Michael Specter on the Gluten-Free Fad

May 26, 2015

This week on Point of Inquiry, Lindsay Beyerstein is joined by renowned journalist Michael Specter, a staff writer for The New Yorker, to talk about the subject of his award-winning story, “Against the Grain: Should You Go Gluten-Free?”

The trend of gluten-rejection is growing despite the fact that foregoing gluten has zero health benefits, unless you’re among the 1% of the population with celiac disease. Specter explains how the misinformation about gluten has gotten to this point, and what a healthy diet should actually look like. 

Michael Specter will also be speaking at CFI’s…

Alex Garland: Ex Machina and the Question of Consciousness

May 18, 2015

Ex Machina, a new film that tells the story of a billionaire programmer who creates an artificially intelligent female robot, is in theaters now, and its writer and director, Alex Garland, is our special guest on Point of Inquiry this week. Although this is Garland’s debut as a director he has also written hit novels such as The Beach as well as written and produced screen plays such as 28 Days Later.

As the power of computers and the software that runs them rapidly advances year by year, the representation of artificial intelligence in sci-fi films like…

Clearing Up the Calorie: The Science of Nutrition, with Marion Nestle

May 11, 2015

When over one-third of American adults are obese, it’s no wonder that our culture is deluged with fad diets and alleged miracle supplements. Everyone is looking for the easiest way to obtain and maintain health but it’s no small task in the midst of a whirlwind of conflicting information. And what the heck is a calorie anyway? It may be that the easiest fix is to look at what science tells us about the kinds of foods best fuel our bodies.

This week on Point of Inquiry, Lindsay Beyerstein takes a closer look at what science tells…

Advice for the Teenage Atheist, with David Seidman

May 04, 2015

There are dozens of bestselling books on spirituality for teens (and many more not on the bestseller list), and many books on atheism as well. But, surprisingly, books about atheism and agnosticism specifically for young people are rare indeed. David Seidman was perplexed by this lack of material for teenagers questioning faith, and that led him to write What If I’m an Atheist? A Teen’s Guide to Exploring a Life Without Religion.

In his conversation with Point of Inquiry’s Lindsay Beyerstein, Seidman discusses several techniques for young nonbelievers as to how best to come out to religious…