Science Moms: Fighting Fear with Facts and Empathy

Science Moms is a short but important documentary that provides a calm, measured, evidence-based response to the many irrational, anti-science narratives that try to sell fear to parents and which are perpetuated by groups like Moms Across America and by individuals like Zen Honeycutt and Vani Hari (aka the “Food Babe”). The brainchild of Natalie Newell, one of the hosts […]

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Spirit of Paranoia: A Critical Analysis of “Zeitgeist” (Part III)

The third and final part of Peter Joseph’s Zeitgeist is by far the most fascinating – and perhaps the most delusional and paranoid – of the film’s three sections. Part III, titled “Don’t Mind the Men behind the Curtain,” takes a decidedly darker and more sinister turn. In the film’s previous chapter, we were assaulted with a barrage of media […]

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Spirit of Paranoia: A Critical Analysis of “Zeitgeist” (Part II)

Part II of Peter Joseph’s Zeitgeist, titled “All the World’s a Stage,” describes the events of September 11, 2001 in a manner very similar to Dylan Avery’s 2005 conspiracy documentary Loose Change. In fact, many portions of Part II are pulled directly from Avery’s film. [1] In Joseph’s film, as in Loose Change, we are presented with the basic 9/11 conspiracy […]

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Spirit of Paranoia: A Critical Analysis of “Zeitgeist” (Part I)

The discussions on the origins of Christianity in Zeitgeist may sound very compelling to those “village atheists” who make a hobby of searching for that elusive single argument that destroys Christianity as a credible belief system in one fell swoop. But any such easy argument is bound to be an oversimplification of historical or philosophical complexities. The main thesis presented […]

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Spirit of Paranoia: A Critical Analysis of “Zeitgeist” (Introduction)

When you are studying any matter, or considering any philosophy, ask yourself only: ‘What are the facts and what is the truth that the facts bear out?’ Never let yourself be diverted either by what you wish to believe, or by what you think would have beneficent social effects if it were believed, but look only – and solely – […]

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The Tribeca Film Festival vs. Anti-Vax Propaganda

The tension between good science and conspiracy-happy fearmongering about some of the most important innovations in science has manifested itself in every aspect of social life, including and perhaps especially in popular culture. A recent instance of this tension can be seen in the kerfuffle that arose in this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. Robert De Niro, […]

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The Zika Virus: Debunking the Myths

In January 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the Zika virus is a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern.” They have been strongly recommending that people everywhere educate themselves on what the virus is and what it is capable of and have prescribed a few simple precautionary measures to properly protect themselves. [1] On February 2, the Centers for […]

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A Physicist Calculates the Viability of Conspiracies

For decades, science-based skeptics have been pointing out one of the most important flaws besetting grandiose conspiracy theories: the sheer number of people who must be involved in the execution of a large-scale conspiracy makes it extremely implausible that such plans would remain secret for long. Conspiracy theorists have never come up with an adequate or convincing counter-argument to answer […]

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Geocentrism at the Box Office

“He [the pseudo-scientist] has strong compulsions to focus his attacks on the greatest scientists and the best-established theories. When Newton was the outstanding name in physics, eccentric works in that science were violently anti-Newton. Today, with Einstein the father-symbol of authority, a crank theory of physics is likely to attack Einstein in the name of Newton. This same defiance can […]

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There Is No Martian Beacon

The art of hunting for anomalies in the thousands of photos released by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and then declaring any such supposed anomaly to be indicative of alien intelligence or UFOs has become a cottage industry enjoyed by people with far too much time on their hands. Such anomaly-hunting is premised on the easily-refutable notion, arrived […]

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