Nearly everyone wonders about what, if anything, comes after death. In Science Salon # 110 Michael Shermer speaks with Bart Ehrman about his book Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife in which Ehrman investigates the powerful instincts that...
In countries around the world, the pandemic is giving leaders an excuse to entrench themselves. And the public is going along with it.
Michael Shermer"At times when people fear death, they go along with measures that they believe will save them—even if that means a loss of freedom. Liberals, libertarians, democrats, & freedom-lovers of all kinds should not fool themselves: They will be popular now too."
The poll also found Biden with a 16-percentage-point advantage (55%-39%) over Sanders among registered Democrats and independents who lean Democratic.
Michael ShermerLiberals wonder why they keep losing elections. Republicans who detested Trump voted for him anyway ("holding my nose and pulling the handle" was the meme). Politics is a team sport. Vote your principles like libertarians do and guess what? You lose.
Trump’s response to the pandemic has been haunted by the science denialism of his ultraconservative religious allies.
Michael Shermer“Do you believe God would bring his people to his house to be contagious with the virus? Of course not"
—Miami Megachurch "apostle" Guillermo Maldonado
Disturbing OpEd by @kathsstewart
Hosting her on my podcast about her new book The Power Worshippers
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the administration’s most outspoken advocate of emergency virus measures, has become the target of claims that he is mobilizing to undermine the president.
Michael Shermer“Sorry liberals but we don’t trust Dr. Anthony Fauci.”
Research shows conspiracism flourishes in uncertain environments. In addition to conspiracy theories about the origin of coronavirus, Anthony Fauci is targeted by Far Right as a deep-state operative
Silencing whistleblowers, strong-arming the WHO, spreading propaganda, and threatening to withhold medications from the West are acts of arson, not ‘soft power.’
Michael Shermer"Chinese consumers eat bats & pangolins for superstitious reasons. Just one year after a SARS outbreak that panicked East Asia, China reopened these markets despite many warnings from scientists & health authorities that they were a public-health menace."
THE coronavirus has seen surge in demand for doomsday bunkers while the super-rich seek to isolate themselves in panic rooms, it has been reported. As the number of people with the deadly virus hit…
Michael ShermerWith gun/ammo sales up it wasn't long before doomsday prepper companies got in on the action. Amazing how fast people go from best of times to the worst of times: weeks. Six months from now: "can I get a refund on my bomb shelter deposit of $35,000?"
Current estimates about the Covid-19 fatality rate may be too high by orders of magnitude.
Michael ShermerCould it be that the denominator (number of real COVID-19 cases) is an order of magnitude (10x) higher than thought (people don't know they have it, think they have the flu, can't get tested...) so death rate is 10x lower? Isolation good but don't panic.
Barry Latzer on the question: Is America the "incarceration nation"?
Michael Shermer"Is the United States the incarceration nation? Compared to Europe, Canada & Australia the honest answer is 'yes—but with good reason'.” Those 3 reasons are "recidivism, guns, and murder"
Data-driven analysis comparing US to other countries reveals causes
In Science Salon # 109 Michael Shermer speaks with Neil Shubin about his new book Some Assembly Required: Decoding Four Billion Years of Life, from Ancient Fossils to DNA — a lively and accessible account of the great transformations in the history...
Michael ShermerHow (and why) different cultures respond differently to COVID-19 suggests how (and why) we individualistic Westerners might emulate more collectivist societies for a brief period. Good analysis by @GadSaad
Michael ShermerI agree with @slsatel , especially her point that calling it the Chinese virus "needlessly plays into the Chinese Communist Party’s attempts to divide us and deflect our attention from their bad actions." But what about:
Limited evidence that the common lupus drug might combat Covid-19 is rapidly driving up demand, leaving many lupus patients in a lurch.
Michael ShermerMore evidence (or lack thereof) on hydroxychloroquine has led me to adjust my priors about its effectiveness, plus the implications of a run on it that could harm people who really need it led me to change my credence and quit taking the drug.
Jesse Wegman’s “Let the People Pick the President” is a readable account of how the Electoral College distorts our political system.
Michael ShermerArguments for the Electoral College are stronger than this review reveals, but I have to agree: "The Electoral College as we have it now should go." "If it didn’t exist, no one today would consider creating it."
We should vote for presidents not electors.