Copy
View this email in your browser

29th November 2020

As liberals in the US respond to the pandemic by evicting an elderly, financially troubled Covid survivor and his family from inner-city public housing, not to mention taking away his socialized medicine, the question remains, what went wrong? Why has a country with some of the best pandemic response expertise and resources in the world racked up the most cases and deaths?

Thursday’s SITP Online guest Noah Lugeons thinks we can’t just lay the blame at the white-washed door of that orange-tinted Covid survivor, but must also look to the religious movement that helped put him behind that door. Evangelical Christianity may not have caused the Covid-19 pandemic but it has been, Lugeon’s argues, a significant means through which it has spread across the US.

In other news, we are saddened to hear of the death of our dear friend Sean Ellis. A regular attendee at our events since the group’s inception, he was always ready with a helping hand, a carefully thought-through position and an intelligent question. In the words of our co-founder Chris Gerrard, “Sean was great, unassuming company,” and, “he will be missed.”

Cambridge Skeptics

A Crisis of Faith:
How Religion Ruined America's Pandemic Response
with Noah Lugeons
Thursday, 3rd December 2020 at 7:00pm
 
When the COVID-19 crisis reached America, the US had more resources and expertise at its disposal to confront the threat than any nation on the planet, and yet the American response was homicidally inefficient. Why?

Noah Lugeons argues that the root of the problem is America’s religiosity. A crisis that only science could meet threatened to expose the impotence of religious claims, and religious leaders and institutions went on the attack. Any hope of a rational, scientifically informed response was crippled by a presidential administration elected by religious zealots, staffed by religious zealots, and beholden to religious zealots. But their malfeasance was not limited to the political arena.

From churches ignoring state lock downs, to televangelists declaring the disease miraculously eradicated, to pastors suing their governors for enforcing public safety measures, religion was at the forefront of virtually every misguided step towards catastrophe that the nation took.

When science eventually solves this problem, religions will be quick to thank their gods for the scientist’s labor and forgive themselves their trespasses. We cannot afford to give them such easy absolution. Their disastrous contributions to our national pandemic response are a potent reminder that a nation in the twenty-first century can ill afford to let anyone compete with science in the realm of truth.

Noah Lugeons is the author of Outbreak: A Crisis of Faith - How Religion Ruined Our Global Pandemic, in which he explores the themes of this talk in depth. As the Podcast Award winning host of The Scathing Atheist, Noah has spent almost a decade reporting on the most terrifying trends in American religiosity.

Useful Links:
scathingatheist.com

GET THE BOOK
 
Why did America do so badly?

Noah Lugeons goes beyond bad leadership to discuss the root of the problem: Religion.

When a crisis arose that required a scientific solution, religion’s response ranged from useless to detrimental.

From churches ignoring state lockdowns, to televangelists declaring the disease miraculously eradicated, to pastors suing their governors for enforcing public safety measures, religion was at the forefront of virtually every misguided step towards catastrophe the United States took.

 

SEE ALSO
 
Channel 4's archaeology show Time Team's quiet destruction of a would-be hoaxer was a glorious illustration of the power of calm, patient expertise, writes Paul Duncan McGarrity for The Skeptic.
Three COVID-19 Vaccines have shown some very promising results, and we should rightly feel optimistic, but we aren't at the finish line yet, writes Alice Howarth for The Skeptic.
There's a lot of blame to be apportioned when it comes to America's Coronavirus response - and religion needs to take its share - writes Noah Lugeons for The Skeptic.
Even a skeptic's sense of what is real can be less black and white than we think - and can lead to some surprisingly uncomfortable analysis - writes Aaron Rabinowitz for The Skeptic.
The peer review process is vital, but it is riddled with errors and issues; the quality of future science depends on trying to improve it, writes Edzard Ernst for The Skeptic.
Sean Ellis, skeptical activist, has passed-away after a short illness. Clio Bellenis of The Skeptic remembers the life of a much-loved skeptic.
CATCH UP
 
Join astrobiologist Dr. Jennifer Wadsworth for a contaminant free exploration of the importance of planetary protection in space and here on Earth. This event, which was streamed live on 26th November 2020, is now available for catch up on the SitP Online YouTube channel.
Join nutritonist Pixie Turner for a talk on food and social media and Michael Marshall for the Ockham Awards 2020 in an SITP Online extrazaganza. This event, which was streamed live on 19th November 2020, is now available for catch up on the SitP Online YouTube channel.
Join physicist Dr. Steve Barrett to discuss if there are any UFO images that require an extraterrestrial explanation. This talk, which was streamed live on 12th November 2020, is now available for catch up on the SitP Online YouTube channel.
Join Undercover Economist and host of BBC Radio 4’s More or Less podcast Tim Harford to learn his ten rules for thinking differently about numbers. This talk, which was streamed live on 5th November 2020, is now available for catch up on the SitP Online YouTube channel.
Join psychology professors Richard Wiseman and Chris French for a Halloween discussion on apparitional experiences. This talk, which was streamed live on 31st October 2020, is now available for catch up on the SitP Online YouTube channel.
Join naturopath turned critic Britt Hermes for this Halloween-themed talk on the horrors and spooky practices of her former profession. This talk, which was streamed live on 29th October 2020, is now available for catch up on the SitP Online YouTube channel.
JOIN OUR TEAM
Cambridge Skeptics is a not-for-profit community organisation run by volunteers. To support our online presence during the pandemic, we are currently looking for:
  • Blog / Newsletter Contributors
  • Social Media Posters
  • Online Events Co-ordinators
Please get in touch if you'd like to get involved. 
info@cambridgeskeptics.org.uk

www.cambridgeskeptics.org.uk

FACEBOOK
TWITTER
YOUTUBE
Email
GROUPS WE COLLABORATE WITH
We are a coalition of UK-based Skeptics groups. Formed as the COVID-19 pandemic brought our country to a standstill, we are working to deliver high-quality online events focusing on Science, reason, and critical thinking. Every Thursday at 7 pm BST, you will find us presenting live-streamed talks, all for free – you don’t even need to create an account. Simply open up twitch.tv/sitp. Take a look at our events, past and future, we’re sure you’ll see a lot of content you will find interesting.
The Good Thinking Society is a nonprofit organisation promoting scientific scepticism established by Simon Singh in September 2012. ​The society aims to raise awareness of and fund sceptical projects. The goal of the society is 'to encourage curiosity and promote rational thinking'. In partnership with its advisory board the organisation has run several successful campaigns promoting public awareness of such issues. To find out more about The Good Thinking Society, please visit www.goodthinkingsociety.org.

The Cambridge Humanist Group is a welcoming and diverse community of atheists and secularists. We are committed to good company and a good life without religion. We stand up for the right of non-believers to be free from imposition by religious views and organisations. We run Sunday coffee mornings at CB2 Bistro, hold a pub social at a central Cambridge venue on most 1st Thursdays of the month, hold discussions and various social events throughout the year.

The Cambridge Alehouse Philosophers are a group of people who enjoy talking about ideas, and who are philosophically inclined or would like to find out more about philosophy. Once per month, one of our members will prepare a short talk for the evening and discussions will start to spin off from that; we also have organised debates; otherwise, we simply meet up for a sociable chat. Everyone is welcome, we have absolute beginners to philosophy as well as people who been involved in the subject for some time.

The effective altruism community is a global community of people who care deeply about the world, make benefiting others a significant part of their lives, and use evidence and reason to figure out how best to do so. In Cambridge, our local effective altruism community runs plenty of events each week, including lectures, workshops, discussion groups, socials and trips away.
THE LEGAL BITS
Cambridge Skeptics is a not-for-profit community organisation run by volunteers. The organisation aims to promote science, positive skepticism and critical thinking skills via public engagement.

Copyright © 2020 Cambridge Skeptics, All rights reserved.


Would you like to update how you recieve these emails?
You may update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list at any time.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp