April 1, 2020
All of us are struggling to adapt to the coronavirus era, trying to normalize our lives while fending off an invisible enemy. These are ideal conditions for those who reject reason and science to grind their ideological axes and heedlessly swing them around.
This week we’ll look at how Christian nationalists are making it harder to get the pandemic under control, their denial and defiance fueled by an eager anticipation of the End Times and a belief that President Trump is destined to lead them there. But declaring the coronavirus to be an anti-Trump hoax doesn’t make it so—a lesson that Jerry Falwell Jr. is learning the hard way, as students come down with the disease at the university he refused to keep closed.
Just last week, President Trump pushed the idea that by Easter, churches ought to be packed with people, and some states are exempting religious groups from abiding by social-distancing strictures. Both cases make the false and calamitous assumption that the coronavirus cannot survive within church walls.
Throughout this crisis, we at the Center for Inquiry and the Richard Dawkins Foundation will be leveraging the full strength of our programs and platforms to confront the unprecedented challenges posed by the coronavirus and the accompanying plague of misinformation. We have just launched a new Coronavirus Resource Center to highlight trustworthy information and root out falsehoods, while our Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science has produced free guided homeschool lessons in evolution and is making a strong pivot to online workshops.
Reality-based outlets and organizations like ours are scrambling to alert the public to the dangers of scam treatments, many of which are offered by practitioners of so-called alternative medicine. In a new video from CSICon, Jann Bellamy shows how the alt-med industry has mastered “legislative alchemy,” achieving levels of legitimacy and incorporating their pseudoscientific practices into law.
Though everyday life is changing on this planet, we never stop seeking answers about life on other planets. While a longshot candidate for harboring life, scientists have raised tantalizing questions about the mysteries of the planet Mercury.
We are very proud of the work all our staff, contributors, volunteers, and supporters are doing to keep the light of reason shining in dark times. We hope that you’ll join us in this monumental effort and that we all stay safe and healthy.
Robyn E. Blumner,
CEO and President, Center for Inquiry
Executive Director, Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science