Obama’s Exaflop

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
August 03, 2015

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

The 2015 CFI Leadership Conference has come and gone, and it was really great. It was my fourth such event, and I really sensed the generational shift in attitudes and priorities to a degree I never had before. One highlight for me was when Michael De Dora enjoined all attendees to get on their phones to call their U.S. Senators and ask them to oppose S.1881, the bill to defund Planned Parenthood. It was so cool to see an auditorium full of young leaders contacting their lawmakers to make change. Here's the group photo

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Your Beak is Too Short

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 31, 2015

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

The CFI Leadership Conference is underway, and I have been dubbed the Captain of the Merchandise Table (okay I dubbed myself that, but I think I need four rank insignia pips). 

We announced our support this morning of a House resolution by Rep. Tusli Gabbard urging Bangladesh to seriously address violent extremism, in the wake of the murders of atheist bloggers by Islamists. 

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Could a Machine Think?

The Outer Limits with Stephen Law
July 31, 2015

Here's a (long) animation script I wrote that introduces the philosophical puzzles of whether machines could think. The idea is it would be one of a series on the 'Big Questions'. Anyone interested in producing it, let me know...

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Caffeine and Pickled Vegetables

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

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

The CFI Leadership Conference kicks off this evening, and I'm currently in transit. (I mean, right now I'm sitting at my computer, but, like, today I'm mostly traveling is what I'm saying, not like I'm driving and typing at the same time.) The theme is "Moving Freethought Forward," and I think my job is to make sure that while we're moving it forward we don't bump it into walls or knock over anything expensive. 

With Berkeley, CA's new warning label law for cell phones, Carina Storrs at CNN looks at what the science actually says about radiation and phones...

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From N-rays to EM-drives: when does science become pseudoscience?

by David R. Koepsell
July 29, 2015

A fair amount of pseudo-science begins as blue-sky, basic scientific hypotheses and experiments. Hypotheses can challenge basic accepted notions, or begin with them, and may yet somehow go off the rails. How does this happen, and at what point do scientific inquiries become obsessive or pathological?

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“Mr. Holmes”: A Nickell-odeon Review

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
July 29, 2015

As Sherlockians know, one of the great detective’s earliest (pre-Watson) stories (“The Musgrave Ritual”) was set in Sussex, as were some later tales penned by his faithful sidekick (“The Sussex Vampire” for example). And in 1903 Holmes retired to Sussex Downs to enjoy life as a beekeeper, although mystery intervened: In “The Adventure of the Lion’s Mane,” Holmes must solve a case of strange horror, but he does so, not with his deductive genius but by his powerful memory (recalling a book he once read).

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A Crammed, Exotic Cocktail

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 29, 2015

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

A sobering and fascinating Point of Inquiry, as Harvard foreign relations expert Stephen M. Walt talks to Josh Zepps about what happens if and when the Islamic State stops being a crisis or a revolution, and just becomes, well, a state.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court says no to a rehearing of the case to keep the Ten Commandments monument at the State Capitol. Republicans threaten a constitutional amendment to clear the way for it.

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Ideal for Assassinations

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 28, 2015

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

The Boy Scouts of America ends its ban on openly gay adult leaders, but local units sponsored by churches can still opt to discriminate. The Mormon Church is so mad, they threaten to start their own scouts.

In USA Today, Tom Krattenmaker takes the next logical step to urging the BSA's welcoming of atheists:

Ultimately, it would be self-defeating for the Boy Scouts to forfeit the chance to spread Scouting skills and values among the population of people who identify as atheist, agnostic, or otherwise not religious. More and more youths are growing up in non-religious homes; why would the organization squander the opportunity to serve and influence these boys? 

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Render unto Caesar – Unless You’re the Greek Orthodox Church

by Bill Cooke
July 27, 2015

It’s long been known that Greece's wealthier citizens have evaded paying taxes on a massive scale. But, until recently, surprisingly little attention has been given to the Greek Orthodox Church which, despite being the largest land owner in Greece, pays laughably low amounts of tax.

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Chocolate Snakes (Alleged)

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 27, 2015

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

It's my daughter's third birthday today. I love her so damn much.

Catch up on the last fortnight of activity from the CFI community with Cause & Effect: The CFI Newsletter.

Greg Epstein calls Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me "the quintessential atheist and humanist text of my generation."

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