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The Face-Crawling Gastropods

The Morning Heresy  with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 06, 2015

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.      

Gary M. Bakker at Skeptical Inquirer looks at the evolutionary and adaptive reasons why people believe in fictional things like gods and ghosts and conspiracies, and one key factor is "promiscuous teleological intuition."  

The New Republic posts its original review of L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics (Scientology's "founding text") from 1950 by Martin Gumpert:

This reviewer, in exploring the book, suffered a most painful "cellular engram"—to use the author's language. And he ardently wishes that something could be done to prohibit the activities of psychotherapists of this sort.  

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From Gwyneth to Pepsi

The Morning Heresy  with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 05, 2015

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.      

Our response to Al Qaeda's claim of responsibilty for the murder of our friend and ally Avijit Roy:

They were capable of such atrocities in part because of the hostile environment for free expression created and fostered by the governments of states such as Bangladesh and Pakistan. ... While whoever is ultimately responsible for these killings must face justice, so must governments make fundamental changes in their approach to Islamic extremism, and allow free expression to flourish. 

This would have been nice for me when I was in high school, back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth: Point of Inquiry hosts a conversation with David Seidman, who has a new book for young atheists figuring things out.

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I’d Like You to Know That I’m Particularly Smart

The Morning Heresy  with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 04, 2015

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.      

Shocking news to us at CFI. Claiming responsibility for the murder of our friend and ally Avijit Roy: Al Qaeda. We'll have more to say about this. 

Relatedly, Michael De Dora will be part of a congressional briefing with friends from the Hindu American Foundation on the Roy murder and religious extremism in Bangladesh on June 10.

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Impressively Slippery

The Morning Heresy  with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 30, 2015

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.      

No Morning Heresy tomorrow, folks. Please feel free to make your own dumb jokes about Dr. Oz and James Inhofe while I'm away. 

Skeptical Inquirer has just posted a really interesting magazine piece by Ryan Shaffer on the late fake-psychic Sylvia Browne, her claims to have done "detective work," and the very real criminal investigation of her activities:

In particular, the government was interested in Browne and an unknown person using “fraudulent documents, including income tax returns and financial statements to enhance her net worth in making these loan applications” (FBI Document 29A-SF-10056 1989). Browne then used the “loan proceeds to support an extravagant lifestyle.” 

Here comes the presidential candidacy of Sen. Bernie Sanders, the born-Jewish-raised-Catholic-not-really-all-that-religious socialist. 

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