There’s nothing quite like a global pandemic for shattering illusions and revealing hard truths. To navigate the COVID-19 crisis, we must rely on science and evidence. There’s no other way through. The virus, utterly disinterested in prayers or gross domestic product, will have it no other way.
It is the obviousness of that simple truth, the disease’s absolute disregard for magical thinking, that makes the defiance of religious hardliners so bewildering. This week we’ll look at the apocalyptic beliefs that fuel much of the brazen disregard for public health guidelines among the most fervently faithful.
But there’s good news. Just as this crisis reveals the absurdity of science denial, it also shines a light on science’s champions. We’ll get a closer look at the work of the Congressional Freethought Caucus, a small group of lawmakers with big plans to represent the reality-based community.
That’s a more powerful constituency than you might think. Buried within all the survey data about the “rise of the Nones,” we’ll see how self-described atheists and agnostics, whose percentage of the population once competed with the margin of error, are now among the most politically active of any belief group … and their numbers are growing.
Speaking of politically engaged freethinkers, we’ll look at how the Center for Inquiry, home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation, is pressing federal regulators to hold the makers of fake medicine accountable, not just for the coronavirus but for all the absurd claims of homeopathy.
Finally, we’ll take a look at how we arrived at this strange moment in history with the debut of a new cohost for CFI’s podcast Point of Inquiry and her enlightening conversation with the authority on America’s fantasyland.
We hope you’re staying hopeful and healthy. Remember to check in with CFI’s Coronavirus Resource Center for reliable news and information. And don’t forget to wash those hands.
Robyn E. Blumner,
CEO and President, Center for Inquiry
Executive Director, Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science