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Center for Inquiry West

Center for Inquiry West The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inqu Please visit our website at http://www.cfiwest.org.

The Center for Inquiry West is an educational nonprofit organization that explores and advances critical thinking, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values through education, outreach, and social services.

Operating as usual

Kendrick Frazier, Longtime Editor of Skeptical Inquirer, Has Died at Age 80 | Center for Inquiry
11/07/2022
Kendrick Frazier, Longtime Editor of Skeptical Inquirer, Has Died at Age 80 | Center for Inquiry

Kendrick Frazier, Longtime Editor of Skeptical Inquirer, Has Died at Age 80 | Center for Inquiry

Kendrick Frazier, the acclaimed science writer and skeptic who has been the editor of Skeptical Inquirer for nearly all of its 46-year history, has died at age 80 following a brief illness. The entire Center for Inquiry community is shocked and heartbroken by the sudden passing of our beloved co ...

11/06/2022

We regret to announce that, due to unforeseen illness, we have been forced to postpone our November 6 show. We've made this difficult decision out of the utmost concern for the safety of our attendees.

We hope to announce a rescheduled date soon. Keep checking gofactyourpod.com/liveshows for updates. In the meantime, our newest episode is available for your enjoyment, on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.





11/03/2022

And Just Like That… you have Sunday plans! Journalist/And Just Like That writer/producer Keli Goff & comedian/The 40 Year Old Boy podcast host Mike Schmidt tackle a trove of trivia teasers tailored to them! And you'll want to be there in person, because it's sure to be Never Not Funny!!



LIVE tapings of GO FACT YOURSELF are BACK… TO BACK!!! Join J. Keith van Straaten and Helen Hong for 2 shows this Sunday at 4pm! Get your tickets at the door — Admission is Pay-What-You-Wish!

Please attend only if fully vaccinated and boosted!



Center for Inquiry West - 2535 W Temple St. Los Angeles, CA 90026

gofactyourpod.com/liveshow/nov6/





04/17/2022
04/17/2022
04/15/2022

Mural Honoring Courageous Freethinkers Unveiled Sunday in Los Angeles

A diverse cross-section of history’s great scientists, writers, and thinkers who courageously challenged the orthodoxies of their day are honored on a new mural being unveiled Sunday at the headquarters of the Center for Inquiry West in Los Angeles. In what may be the largest artwork dedicated specifically to freethinkers, artists Guy Giguère and Josh “Painted Prophet” McCadney celebrate humanity’s efforts to shed the shackles of religion and superstition.

The mural depicts 23 exceptional individuals who through their words and actions shined the light of science and reason on their own societies and those to follow. Some, such as Galileo and Giordano Bruno, paid heavy prices for speaking the truth about the nature of the universe. Others, such as James Baldwin, Charles Darwin, Lorraine Hansberry, and Thomas Paine, risked their careers and public opprobrium for expressing their views. All are beacons of human thought and achievement who illuminated the darkness brought by ignorance, misinformation, fear, dogma, and tribalism.

"We see public images of celebrities, athletes and politicians everywhere,” said CFI West Executive Director Jim Underdown. “The folks at the Center for Inquiry West thought it was about time that some freethinkers got some recognition. The remarkable luminaries depicted on our mural represent thinkers, artists, and scientists who challenged the dogmas of their day, and moved the needle of science and humanity a little bit in the right direction."

The unveiling and dedication will take place on Sunday, April 17th at 11:00 a.m. PT at CFI West, 2535 W. Temple, Los Angeles, CA 90026. LEARN MORE

The event is open to the public, which will also be livestreamed on the CFI West page. Underdown will preside over the ceremony, which will include remarks from CFI Board Chair Eddie Tabash and messages from some of the living descendants of some of the figures on the mural.

Dinner with Jesus?Hell yes!
02/22/2022
My Dinner With Jesus | Center for Inquiry

Dinner with Jesus?

Hell yes!

IF Jesus was a real person who actually lived 2000 years ago, AND he really was the son of God (I know, I know, the assumptions are already out of control), Jesus would be an excellent dinner companion. You know, if he got cleaned up, spoke English, and promised not to smite any atheists at the ...

Witches in 2022?
02/16/2022
Locke, and Loaded? | Center for Inquiry

Witches in 2022?

What I want to do is to offer you a way to convert the beasts from within your church into serious cash. The Center for Inquiry Investigations Group is prepared to pay $250.000 to anyone who can cast an actual spell on someone that has observable, independent effects on that person. Alternately, ...

Bobbie Kirkhart, Former Atheists United President, has Died — Atheists United
11/03/2021
Bobbie Kirkhart, Former Atheists United President, has Died — Atheists United

Bobbie Kirkhart, Former Atheists United President, has Died — Atheists United

Los Angeles — Bobbie Kirkhart died on October 31, 2021, in her home in Los Angeles, CA. She was 78 years old and is survived by her daughter Monica Waggoner, son-in-law Matthew Waggoner, grandsons Donovan and Raphael Waggoner, sister Marjorie Hohnbaum, and a plethora of nieces, nephews, and chosen...

What goes around comes around...https://centerforinquiry.org/blog/one-less-fool-to-refute-another-pastor-bites-the-dust/
09/14/2021
One Less Fool To Refute: Another Pastor Bites The Dust | Center for Inquiry

What goes around comes around...

https://centerforinquiry.org/blog/one-less-fool-to-refute-another-pastor-bites-the-dust/

I wish there was a way to get unscientific people to stop using the word science to try to convince people they know what they’re talking about. Real Science Radio, Christian Scientists, and Scientologists are practically the OPPOSITE of science! I've got shocking news for you: Believing CO ...

Are you a None?Have a listen!https://pointofinquiry.org/2021/07/the-rise-of-the-nones-with-ryan-burge/?utm_source=email&...
07/01/2021
The Rise of the Nones with Ryan Burge | Point of Inquiry

Are you a None?

Have a listen!

https://pointofinquiry.org/2021/07/the-rise-of-the-nones-with-ryan-burge/?utm_source=email&utm_campaign=poi-newsletter

A question on the minds of many theists and non-theists alike is why are so many Americans leaving religion and becoming religiously unaffiliated? What are the underlying factors causing this shift? In today's episode we dive into what the data shows about this movement with Ryan Burge, aut ...

A skeptic looks at UFOs...
06/29/2021
UFOs vs Aliens | Center for Inquiry

A skeptic looks at UFOs...

Pilots, astronauts, and tall people are as subject to human error as anyone else. I deal with smart individuals all the time who misinterpret what’s happening right in front of them as being paranormal, supernatural or otherwise extraordinary. The true explanations for these “astounding” event...

Today at 4pm PT!
02/18/2021
Skeptical Inquirer Presents | Skeptical Inquirer

Today at 4pm PT!

Flattening the Curve of the Infodemic Now more than ever, people need to hear from the voices of reason, science, and skepticism, but too often they are drowned out by the noise of misinformation, pseudoscience, and conspiracy theories, especially online.  That’s why Skeptical Inquirer, the ...

Should you be able to pass this test to hold public office?https://centerforinquiry.org/blog/mandatory-crank/
02/04/2021
Mandatory Crank ... | Center for Inquiry

Should you be able to pass this test to hold public office?

https://centerforinquiry.org/blog/mandatory-crank/

In light of people like Marjorie Taylor Greene slipping through whatever shoddy vetting process is in place to keep crackpots out of important positions, I propose that this questionnaire must be passed by anyone who is seeking to hold public office – whether elected or appointed. If you cannot .....

01/27/2021

CFI West Mural
Call for Entries!

We have received a grant from the DEW Foundation to create a large mural on the SE wall of CFI West on Temple St. We are calling for proposals to design and execute the mural to the following specifications:

- The mural will be approximately 20ft tall by 40ft long
- It will be painted on the stucco exterior of our building at 2535 W. Temple in Los Angeles
- It must somehow represent CFI themes, ideas, and/or images. That is, atheism, humanism, science, separation of church & state, skepticism, critical thinking, etc. See our main website at centerforinquiry.org

The designer and painter doesn't have to be the same person. If separated:
- The design award is $1500
- The ex*****on of the mural on the building pays $10,000
- There is also a small budget for materials and equipment rental

Please include the following with all entries/proposals:
- Artist contact info
- Artist C.V. or resume.
- Visuals (jpegs, drawings, sketches) outlining your idea
- Any other materials supporting the proposal (e.g. idea behind the design, history, etc.)
- Estimated start and completion dates
- Total estimated budget

Send entries to [email protected] by February 28th, 2021

NYT Numerology...
01/04/2021
Beware of 117 | Center for Inquiry

NYT Numerology...

Staying on the bad luck theme, prohibition began on 1-17 (1920) when the Volstead Act took effect. January 17th was also the day when the 6.7 Mw  Northridge earthquake shook the Greater Los Angeles Area, killed 57 people, and injured more than 8,700 Ben Franklin, Al Capone, Muhammed Ali, and Mic ....

A pe*****le priest named Father Woody, and the upside of church attendance...
12/04/2020
Father Woody and the Human Du***ss Gene | Center for Inquiry

A pe*****le priest named Father Woody, and the upside of church attendance...

PH: How is going to church and getting sick or dying pro-evolution? AT: Every organism over the last 3 billion + years that failed to adapt to a major change – like a pandemic or global warming, e.g. – actually helped its own species by removing one more sequence of “Du***ss DNA” from their ...

TODAY! 4PM PST/ 7PM ESTHow Nonprofits Can Engage in GOTV ActivitiesJoin Secular America Votes in conversation with Ameri...
09/01/2020
Welcome! You are invited to join a meeting: Secular America Votes: How Nonprofits Can Engage in GOTV Activities. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the meeting.

TODAY! 4PM PST/ 7PM EST
How Nonprofits Can Engage in GOTV Activities
Join Secular America Votes in conversation with American Atheists for a skill-building and practical session on what you can do leading up to the election.

In 2018, the secular movement started building the foundation for a long-term, voter registration operation that will demonstrate to the political establishment, candidates, and elected officials that secular voters care about our democracy and are an important voting bloc that is an essential eleme...

09/01/2020

Calling Out “Viral BS” on the Next SKEPTICAL INQUIRER PRESENTS with Seema Yasmin

bit.ly/SIP-ViralBS

Thursday, September 10 at 7PM ET, on the next SKEPTICAL INQUIRER PRESENTS live online event, Emmy Award-winning journalist and author Seema Yasmin will help us get a grip on what she calls “viral BS.”

Free registration is required to watch this live Zoom event, so sign up right now at bit.ly/SIP-ViralBS

Listen to CFI West Executive Director James Underdown on the Skeptic Zone podcast: https://skepticzone.libsyn.com/-the-s...
07/07/2020
The Skeptic Zone: The Skeptic Zone #612 - 5.July.2020

Listen to CFI West Executive Director James Underdown on the Skeptic Zone podcast: https://skepticzone.libsyn.com/-the-skeptic-zone-612-5july2020

0:00:00 Introduction Richard Saunders 0:04:07 Interview with James Underdown from the CFIIG Can you demonstrate paranormal ability? Are you interested in earning $250,000 dollars? The Center for Inquiry Investigations Group (CFIIG) at the Center for Inquiry-Los Angeles offers a $250,000 prize to any...

Extended run in the Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan Theater at CFI West! Don't miss it!
03/10/2020
The Press -

Extended run in the Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan Theater at CFI West! Don't miss it!

NPR’s Weekend Edition – Listen Above! LA Weekly – Read here! Artillery – Read here! The Compton Herald – Read here! Stage Raw – Read here! LAist – Read here! Mark Olmstead – Read here! Metropolitan Magazine – Read here! Listen to Julien Nitzberg interviewed on the World Famous KROQ...

LA Weekly review of For the Love of a Glove, now showing in the Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan Theater at CFI West!
01/27/2020
A Theatrical Take on Michael Jackson’s Life That's Beyond Off The Wall - LA Weekly

LA Weekly review of For the Love of a Glove, now showing in the Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan Theater at CFI West!

Today’s doublespeak world can be perplexing. Quentin Tarantino rewrites the tragedy of the Manson murders into a cheerful award-winning finale, our president tells tall and twisted tales daily, and social media spins everything into multiple layers of distracting dogma and “fake news” (a term ...

Coming in January to the Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan Theater at CFI West!
11/27/2019
Julien Nitzberg Announces His New Musical FOR THE LOVE OF A GLOVE, An Unauthorized Musical Fable About The Life Of Michael Jackson As Told By His Glove

Coming in January to the Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan Theater at CFI West!

Local playwright/filmmaker Julien Nitzberg announced here today that his new work for the theater, FOR THE LOVE OF A GLOVE, AN UNAUTHORIZED MUSICAL FABLE ABOUT THE LIFE OF MICHAEL JACKSON AS TOLD BY HIS GLOVE, will open Friday, January 25, 2020. FOR THE LOVE OF A GLOVE is the inaugural prodution of....

CFI West Executive Director  James Underdown interviews former SNL cast member Jerry Minor for Point of Inquiry
08/23/2019
Jerry Minor - From Jehovah’s Witness to Comedian | Point of Inquiry

CFI West Executive Director James Underdown interviews former SNL cast member Jerry Minor for Point of Inquiry

This week, Point of Inquiry welcomes actor, comedian, and former Jehovah's Witness, Jerry Minor. Minor has been a cast member and writer on Saturday Night Live and appeared on HBO's Mr. Show and various other television and film spots throughout his career. He joins Jim Underdown to di ...

Julia Sweeney is back in Los Angeles! Have a listen...
07/25/2019
Julia Sweeney on Atheism, Saturday Night Live, and Me Too | Point of Inquiry

Julia Sweeney is back in Los Angeles! Have a listen...

Julia Sweeney joins the show to discuss SNL, her catholic faith after the passing of her brother, how CFI and Carl Sagan helped her become an atheist, and her conflicting opinions surrounding The Me Too movement after her good friend, Al Franken was accused of misconduct.

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Comments

Some of you may remember the conspiracy theorist Zan Overall, the loyal opposition who made endless protest signs, posters and flyers, and often showed up outside CFI West's events. When I first met him in 2003, he was still talking about the moon landing "hoax" and JFK assassination, but quickly moved full-time to 9/11 "truth" and anti-Israel talking points. I thought about him recently, and found an article saying that he died in June 2020 at the age of 94. I will share links in the comments.
In honor of Black History month, please enjoy this powerful performance from 2 years ago by musical artist, Sandra Booker.

Black History Month is a good time to get back to work defeating the corporate duopoly that made Trump and his poor deluded desperate cultists not only possible but inevitable. We started our YouTube channel When Humanists Attack to celebrate amazing human beings. These people all champion humanist values such as respect for human beings, critical thinking, rationality, freedom to create their life in pursuit of happiness. Make your life happen. And while you’re doing that volunteer; be political; be courageous, be kind, be generous and make the world happen. Happen better.

WHEN HUMANISTS ATTACK we do it with debate, discussion, art, ideas and EXAMPLE
https://www.facebook.com/whenhumanistsattack

Mandisa Thomas founder of Black Nonbelievers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgBhvLcN61c

We interviewed Dr. Jeanette Hill Porter PhD about mental health issues in the African America community.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5_J23MQYtM&t=9s

Interview of Robert Anthony Gibbons Poet, Activist, Boardmember of BSEC
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvBBQSj_wEM&t=1s
What if the Trumpists mount a coup d'etat? Growing numbers of believers in democracy are preparing. Please read this. Share it with your friends. Form your own action group. Tens of thousands of groups of friends are ready to act together in November. We can do this. We will do this.
This footage is unedited, but the conversation was lively and fun...
Hey Jim and Alice! Maybe CFI folks would be interested in the Big Debate over Michael Moore's new doc, Planet of the Humans at
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1703133273251795/permalink/2744085375823241/
New Tweet: Agree? Richard Dawkins


· 13h
It’s one thing to deplore eugenics on ideological, political, moral grounds. It’s quite another to conclude that it wouldn’t work in practice. Of course it would. It works for cows, horses, pigs, dogs & roses. Why on earth wouldn’t it work for humans? Facts ignore ideology.
Where are the Neanderthals? Wm Barr, Att Gen USA, says: "Scholarship suggests that religion has been integral to the development and thriving of Homo sapiens since we emerged roughly 50,000 years ago." https://youtu.be/IM87WMsrCWM?t=1608

Of course, Barr is relying on the "scholarship" of the experts at the The Creation Museum, in Petersburg, Kentucky, where photographs of Homer Simpson riding dinosaurs prove Barr's case beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Most Vital 773 Words Ever Written ?

The Purpose of Life …is Life

The sole purpose of life, and therefore our only human purpose may simply be, life itself. That, upon reflection, would appear to be enough. The life force does have its urges though, lots of them, it would appear. After countless eons of self-replication along came sexual reproduction, life had apparently gotten to be in somewhat more of a hurry. Life then pursued bigger and better forms of itself as mobility, size, vision etc. ensued over time.

Vision was unique and a promising end in itself, but life appeared to desire a different platform with which to fully employ this new sense. Many prototypes came and went, and eventually on the scene appeared humankind complete with a newly acquired awareness. Whence came then, this thing, this awareness, this brightness in the void, now so cherished by life our very species could be made forfeit to preserve it? Perhaps it was the animal curiosity of some lumbering hominids possessed of sufficient cranial matter that chanced upon a source. The menu of vegetable suspects is quite large. The plants, cacti, mushrooms and vines that possess the chemical soups that have the ability, and perhaps desire to exert themselves aggressively when combined with suitable host brain, is legion. We currently regard these substances as “mind altering” but could they perhaps have been “mind creating” at some remote point in time?

Students of psychedelic phenomenon have reported a tendency among this family of substances to exhibit a strong urge to promote its own agenda over the host consciousness at times. Life, in this way, may have introduced the initial spark of awareness in receptive hominid brains with suitable vegetable matter containing psychedelic chemical ingredients. Imagine the wonder this revelation surely produced in a previously unconscious world. The binges and quest for more light shows that followed in the still only partially illuminated minds of these creatures must have been incredible.

Perhaps this initial visitation of consciousness onto a receptive human brain and the incredible awakening produced therein is responsible for the ongoing human quest for enlightenment. Our species has demonstrated a universal affinity for various visions, ecstasies and raptures and they have been zealously sought for millennia. Perhaps then, a racial memory of, and longing for a return to that original staggering event gives impetus to the universal spiritual quests we humans faithfully follow to this day

Eventually something went wrong between human beings and the life force. Life lives on by consuming itself but the feasting is benign. Humans often miss this subtlety. We know large portions of the recent history of our species and it's not very good. Considering our history, can we begin to significantly amend our ways if life demands a timely accounting? If and when life decides we have exhausted all possibility of further usefulness, and our excesses overwhelm life's other vital interests, do we then risk severance of the thread with life? Should we begin to tug ever more gently at this tether to lessen our risk? Does life even care about the fate of us, its creature? Probably not, countless other species have traveled along on life's quest, prospered to a degree and vanished. Will we join them?

Of course it is possible life may now be providing itself with a non-life fallback to the dilemma posed by our misuse of awareness and consciousness. If humankind becomes suspect of probable catastrophic losses to many of its other progeny, life then may seek to substitute Artificial Intelligence for flawed human intelligence. We, ourselves, may rapidly be creating the instruments for our future replacement with life's resigned encouragement. Life may value this tediously acquired awareness beyond all measure. More the pity for humankind.

These phenomena are unique on the planet; life, the life force and the awareness/consciousness of one primate species. What we regard as ultimate reality is simply the stories we tell ourselves and others combined with whatever actions humans are capable of accomplishing. Humanity must now learn to live with 5 Gigabit technology becoming a reality and should perhaps begin to wonder which future Gigabit number will be the one to provide the artificial intelligence and awareness deemed sufficient by the life force to render human beings redundant if it chooses to do so? Could we, perhaps, change our behavior?
Robert Magill [email protected]

Note: (I used logical simplicity a.la Einstein but could not include freedom since the life force on our planet appears to be a closed system. The premise is advanced without a prior model and with the near certainty of rejection because worldwide left hemispheric lateralisation resists right brain grounding.)
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