300 episodes

Point of Inquiry is the Center for Inquiry's flagship podcast, where the brightest minds of our time sound off on all the things you're not supposed to talk about at the dinner table: science, religion, and politics.

Guests have included Brian Greene, Susan Jacoby, Richard Dawkins, Ann Druyan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Eugenie Scott, Adam Savage, Bill Nye, and Francis Collins.

Point of Inquiry is produced at the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, N.Y.

Point of Inquiry Center for Inquiry

    • Philosophy

Point of Inquiry is the Center for Inquiry's flagship podcast, where the brightest minds of our time sound off on all the things you're not supposed to talk about at the dinner table: science, religion, and politics.

Guests have included Brian Greene, Susan Jacoby, Richard Dawkins, Ann Druyan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Eugenie Scott, Adam Savage, Bill Nye, and Francis Collins.

Point of Inquiry is produced at the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, N.Y.

    Is a Good God Logically Possible? | James Sterba

    Is a Good God Logically Possible? | James Sterba

    James Sterba is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, USA. His book, Is a Good God Logically Possible? deals with the Argument from Evil and whether a God who is all good and all powerful is logically compatible in a world where moral and natural evil exists.
    Sterba sits down with Underdown to discuss the arguments for and against the existence of God, how Sterba's history as a member of a religious order and later Professor of Philosophy led him to write his book, and the finer points of the argument.

    • 46 min
    Playwright and Actor Ian Ruskin on Thomas Paine

    Playwright and Actor Ian Ruskin on Thomas Paine

    Ian Ruskin is a producer, writer, actor and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. He has starred in theatre, television, and film in both the UK and the US. He has written and performed in various one man plays, From Wharf Rats to Lords of the Docks which details the life of Australian-born American union leader, Harry Bridges and To Begin the World Over Again: The Life of Thomas Paine. To learn more about or contact Ian Ruskin visit: www.ianruskin.org
    In this week's interview, Jim Underdown and Ruskin discuss the life of Thomas Paine, his influence on politics and religion, and what Ian learned about Paine in his work preparing for The Life of Thomas Paine.
     
     
    In 1775, a man who had lived 37 remarkably unremarkable years in England arrived in Philadelphia. He then proceeded to change the world. His pen ignited the American Revolution, defined the French Revolution and articulated the concept of Reason. For this he was nearly hanged in England, nearly guillotined in France and, by the end of his life, more hated than loved in America. He was one of the world’s greatest propagandists and worst politicians, a nearly fatal combination, and he is one of the most misunderstood men in American history. Yet his vision of true justice and equality for all human beings continues to inspire millions of people and his ideas, revolutionary in 1776, continue to be as revolutionary today.

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Dawkins on his new Book Outgrowing God

    Dawkins on his new Book Outgrowing God

    Richard Dawkins is the recipient of a number of awards for his writing on science, including the Royal Society of Literature Award and the LA Times Literary Prize, he has also been awarded the Royal Society Michael Faraday Award for the furtherance of the public understanding of science. He is the author of a number of critically acclaimed books, such as The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, Unweaving the Rainbow, The Devil’s Chaplain, and The Ancestor’s Tale.
    In this week's interview with Jim Underdown, Dawkins discusses his newest book, Outgrowing God, designed for young people. It is Dawkin's attempt to address the cyclical nature of growing up religious.

    • 45 min
    Professor Chris French - Anomalistic Psychology and Conspiracy Theories in Politics

    Professor Chris French - Anomalistic Psychology and Conspiracy Theories in Politics

    Chris French is a British psychologist and prominent skeptic focusing on the psychology of paranormal beliefs and experiences. He is currently Professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths College, University of London, is head of their Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit which he founded in 2000, and former Editor-in-Chief of The Skeptic (UK) magazine.
    Jim talks with Chris on the trajectory of the skeptics movement in the UK and US and how they both became involved, what it's like to run Skeptics in the Pub, and how skeptics have widened their focus from the paranormal to fake news and political conspiracy theories.

    • 33 min
    Richard Wiseman on the Skeptics Movement and Tricking People

    Richard Wiseman on the Skeptics Movement and Tricking People

    Richard Wiseman is Professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire in England. Richard began his career as a professional magician before pursuing a career in psychology, and developing a reputation for research into luck, deception, the paranormal, humor, and the science of self-help.
    Wiseman joins Jim Underdown in London where they both attended the presentation of the Richard Dawkins Award to Ricky Gervais. Wiseman was the interviewer of Dawkins and Gervais on stage at the event. Jim talks with Wiseman on his history in the skeptics movement and how he got started, his work performing psychology experiments on the people of Britain, debunking the myths of misconceptions around positive psychology, and why he continues to be involved in the movement.

    • 39 min
    ECSO President, Claire Klingenberg on the State of Skepticism

    ECSO President, Claire Klingenberg on the State of Skepticism

    The European Council of Skeptical Organisations (ECSO) is an umbrella of skeptical organizations throughout the EU that investigate claims of pseudoscience, and defend scientific integrity and practice in research, education, medicine, and public policy.
     
    Point of Inquiry co-host Kavin Senapathy attended the 2019 European Skeptics Congress in Ghent, Belgium, where she presented during the session on "Green Skepticism." While there, Senapathy had the opportunity to put her head together with some of the most respected skeptics in the world, including ECSO president Claire Klingenberg.
     
    In this episode, Kavin and Claire dive into the current state of the skeptics movement around the world, and what the future of skepticism may look like. Claire explains what she sees as the ideological difference between the American skeptical movement and the European skeptical movement and the interplay between politics and skepticism. They also break down how the social sciences fit into skepticism, how we define what it means to be a skeptic, and the dangers of following personalities deemed "logical" without scrutiny.

    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

GiantPlant ,

Used to be good

This used to be possibly the most interesting interview podcast on skepticism, ethics, religion and such on the entire sea of podcasts, now it is basically just add space for pseudo science and religious nonsense... this corresponds well with CFI's blogs about how mean atheists are etc. but it is pathetic for an organization that claims to be about rationality and inquiry.. it is.. absolutely... pathetic.

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