MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR: Challenging Religious Claims

Last weekend I was in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which has become one of my favorite cities in the United States. I love it all: the history, the culture, and the food—oh, the spicy New Mexican food! I particularly enjoyed a visit to the Petroglyphs National Park, where our tour guide Luke talked about the history of the area and how the rock formations developed over 200,000 years ago. After the tour, I asked Luke if he ever encountered fundamentalist religious groups that challenge his 200,000-year-old claim. Not only did he say yes, but that because of his commitment to accurate scientific data, he’s no longer assigned to lead tours by such groups! We were lucky to have him.

Luke’s unwavering support for sound science inspired me to think of ways we can challenge anti-science claims in our own work. There’s never a need to be aggressive or mean when debating someone over religious or scientific claims, but I feel that standing up for the facts is what being a humanist is all about.

What are some ways you challenge fundamentalist religious claims? Do you have a story to share? Write to us at

Maggie Ardiente
Editor, HNN