Recent Entries by Paul Fidalgo, Communications Director

Explaining Our Mission - Ron Lindsay on Montana Public Radio

April 22, 2014

Here in the thick of the secular and skeptic movements, it can be easy to forget that not everyone really knows what it is we're fighting for. Even the politically plugged-in may only have a tangential awareness that there is a vibrant movement of secularists, humanists, atheists, skeptics, and others who are working every day to advance reason, science, and secular values. More importantly, there is often a misunderstanding as to why we do what we do. We're not here just to be gadflies or score technical points on First Amendment squabbles. We want to protect and advance fundamental humanistic values like freedom of expression, the value of critical thinking, and the freedom to be who you are regardless of what someone else's religion says about it.

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Have You Been Saved? - Special Earth Day Audio Essay

April 22, 2014

Around the time of Earth Day in 2006, Bill Nye was the guest on CFI's flagship podcast Point of Inquiry, at the time hosted by DJ Grothe. Before the interview, the show aired an essay written and read by Lauren Becker (now of course our director of marketing), "Have You Been Saved?" 

As a special treat for Earth Day 2014, we wanted to share it with you. 

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Edwin Kagin: 1940-2014

March 31, 2014

Edwin Kagin, American Atheists' national legal director and a founder of Camp Quest, has died at the age of 73. Tom Flynn, Executive Director of the Council for Secular Humanism and editor of Free Inquiry, shares these thoughts on behalf of the Center for Inquiry:

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To call Edwin Kagin bombastic or colorful is to concede the inadequacy of language...

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Using Humanism to Help the Less Fortunate in Africa

March 26, 2014

This is a special guest post by George Ongere of CFI-Kenya

When I first embraced a humanistic life stance, I believed that it was only a personal matter and that it would not compel me to trouble myself to engage in activities of social justice. Most people who have embraced a secular life stance, and mostly atheists, believe that having abandoned religion, and then trying to involve themselves with activities like helping the poor, assisting orphans and helping homeless widows, is like trying to mimic religion. Hence when one abandons the belief in God, gods, Satan, etc., it does not compel them to be involved in matters of social justice. However, secular humanism allows one to adhere to certain kinds of principles, and as such, going to the extent of working for social justice is not a problem with those who embrace secular humanism.

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Edwina Rogers on Secularism’s Big Year in Washington and the Tough Road Ahead

September 19, 2013

Edwina Rogers is a veteran DC lobbyist who surprised nearly everyone when she became the executive director of the Secular Coalition for America in 2012. (The Council for Secular Humanism, an affiliate organization of CFI, is a member organization of SCA.) Not only was it not common knowledge that Rogers was nontheistic, or even sympathetic to secularist causes, but she’s also a Republican. This, of course, raised all manner of questions (some politely asked, some not) about what role she might play in a movement made up mostly of people who consider themselves progressives.

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Eugenie Scott on Choosing Skepticism’s Battles, Differentiating from Atheism

September 16, 2013

It’s been one year since I last interviewed science education advocate Eugenie Scott, and the struggle to save science from being supplanted by religious ideology in public education has not ceased. But, as you’ll see in our new interview on the heels of the upcoming CFI Summit, much has been learned. Dr. Scott and I talk about what’s changing in this struggle, what’s staying the same, and go deeper into questions about what issues groups like the NCSE and its allies should prioritize.

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CFI Interview: Zack Kopplin Will Save Louisiana Because He Loves It

September 09, 2013

Zack will be one of the speakers at the upcoming CFI Summit in Tacoma, Washington, October 24-27, and he talked to me about what motivates his activism (which includes a cameo from a particular Cajun political operative), how he actually manages to get things done, and what other pursuits he might decide to train his laser focus on.

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How to Get Blocked (and Not Blocked) by a CFI Twitter Account

January 17, 2013

As there is a lot of heated back-and-forth going on within the skepto-atheosphere, Twitter has become perhaps the prime arena for arguments and debates. Not all of it is constructive, of course, and some of it is downright abusive, and it can be hard to know what crosses the line from criticism (well-meaning or otherwise) to raw hectoring or simply being hurtful.

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Helping the Truth Get its Shoes On: Sharon Hill and the Long Slog of Skepticism

September 13, 2012

Sharon Hill has been helping folks discern flim-flam from fact for going on two decades now, exposing “sciencey” sounding nonsense in all manner of formats. She’s a regular contributor to Skeptical Inquirer and the CSI website, she’s the impresario of Doubtful News, a one-stop shop for clarity in a very polluted media landscape, and she’s on the panel of the new Virtual Skeptics video podcast.

Inspired by her upcoming presentation at CSICon 2 in Nashville next month, CFI’s Paul Fidalgo talked to Sharon about what makes her tick, how we can process the implausible claims made in the modern news media, and how to talk about it with friends and family when they seem to be buying the hype.

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Anthony Pratkanis Has a Bridge in Brooklyn He’d Like to Stop You from Buying

August 29, 2012

His students have known him as “Master of the Noosphere,” but we know him as Anthony Pratkanis, a world-renowned expert on persuasion and influence and a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Prof. Pratkanis will be among the incredible team of speakers at CSICon in Nashville this October, and CFI’s Paul Fidalgo talked to him about what led him to the main topic of his presentation at CSICon: how and why we get bamboozled by con artists.

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