Point of Inquiry

Center for Inquiry

Religion & Spirituality, Science & Medicine, Social Sciences, Society & Culture, Philosophy

Chart Positions

Science & Medicine 38
Social Sciences 7

Point of Inquiry is the Center for Inquiry's flagship podcast, where the brightest minds of our time sound off on all the things you're not supposed to talk about at the dinner table: science, religion, and politics. Guests have included Brian Greene, Susan Jacoby, Richard Dawkins, Ann Druyan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Eugenie Scott, Adam Savage, Bill Nye, and Francis Collins. Point of Inquiry is produced at the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, N.Y.


Robert McCauley - Why Religion is Natural (And Science is Not)

December 5th, 2011

Episode 310 of 537 episodes

Host: Chris Mooney Over the last decade, there have been many calls in the secular community for increased criticism of religion, and increased activism to help loosen its grip on the public. But what if the human brain itself is aligned against that endeavor? That's the argument made by cognitive scientist Robert McCauley in his new book, Why Religion is Natural and Science is Not. In it, he lays out a cognitive theory about why our minds, from a very early state of development, seem predisposed toward religious belief—and not predisposed towards the difficult explanations and understandings that science offers. If McCauley is right, spreading secularism and critical thinking may always be a difficult battle—although one no less worthy of undertaking. Dr. McCauley is University Professor and Director of the Center for Mind, Brain, and Culture at Emory University. He is also the author of Rethinking Religion and Bringing Ritual to Mind.