“The Lost City of Z”: A Nickell-odeon Review

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
April 28, 2017

The Lost City of Z is the story of an alleged indigenous city in Brazil’s Amazon, its name given by British soldier, surveyor, and explorer Col. Percy Fawcett who sought to prove its reality. To understand Fawcett’s quest, we must see it in the context of such myths generally, which—pursued from the fifteenth century—helped lead to the development of archaeology.

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Equivalent to Falling Back

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 28, 2017

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

Rep. Ted Lieu and Senators Patty Murray and Corey Booker introduce the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act of 2017, which would have the FTC classify gay-conversion therapy as the pseudoscientific bamboozle that it is.   

Speaking of conversions, here's a real one. Kelsey Osgood, wrting for Longreads and Atlas Obscura, profiles converts to the Amish-Mennonite faith and way of life

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A Worm-Like Creature

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 27, 2017

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

Pew Research looks at the connection between education levels and religious belief in the U.S. and finds that while higher levels of education are linked to lower levels of religious belief, it's not a blowout, and it doesn't even seem to apply to Christians.  

Does this count as a shark-jump? Pope Fluffy gives a TED Talk

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I Am Just a Little Fish

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 26, 2017

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

Here's a cool thing: In the latest Richard Dawkins Foundation newsletter just out this morning, we have an exclusive excerpt from Annabelle Gurwitch's new book Wherever You Go, There They Are, provided just for us by Gurwitch herself. Remember, she's chatting with Dawkins in Boulder on May 22

The creator of the misogynistic "Red Pill" men's rights Reddit forum, "pk_atheist," is revealed by Bonnie Bacarisse of The Daily Beast to be New Hampshire GOP state legislator Robert Fisher. In one example posting, Fisher says, "I'm going to say it- Rape isn't an absolute bad, because the rapist I think probably likes it a lot. I think he'd say it's quite good, really." 

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Nobody Cares about Polar Bears

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 25, 2017

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

The Morning Heresy now salutes Josh Zepps as we post his final episode hosting Point of Inquiry. He's got an awesome guest: SETI's Jill Tarter. WHAT'S GONNA HAPPEN TO POINT OF INQUIRY?!?!?! Sssshhhh. Patience. All will become clear in time. 

Our own Michael De Dora and Nick Little coauthor an op-ed running at Religion News Service making the case that America's true "first freedom" is not the free exercise of religion, but freedom from religion...

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Ghost “Orbs” at the Witch’s Barn

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
April 24, 2017

Many ghost hunters insist that “orbs”—strange balls of light that mysteriously appear in their photos—are a form of “spirit energy.” If so, they seem nowhere more evident than at a Rhode Island barn where, according to some sources, two persons were hanged, including a witch named Bathsheba. She was central to the horror film, The Conjuring, reportedly based on the case files of the infamous Ed and Lorraine Warren, self-styled “demonologist” and “clairvoyant” who made a career of scaring people with made-up demons.

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Homeopathic Parachute

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 24, 2017

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

Excellent marching, everyone. Seemed like the Marches for Science turned out to be a pretty big deal. Hey look! There's us! Here's CFI–Michigan's Jennifer Beahan in a Facebook video explaining why her group was taking part in the Lansing march. 

Science (the magazine) profiles some of the people behind the march and its organization. 

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A Thousand Separate Indignities

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 21, 2017

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

They actually did it. Russia bans Jehovah's Witnesses, deeming the sect to be "extremist," and confiscating its property.

PolitiFact now offers a list of known fake-news websites that you can check against. 

This is by no means a complete list of offenders. Nor does it mean every post on these websites is fake. But in most cases, these sites work hard to fool readers, and you should take that into consideration if should you see a link being shared from one.  

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If You Push Something

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 20, 2017

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

First off: Get your hot-off-the-servers edition of Cause & Effect: The CFI Newsletter

So Bill O'Reilly became too toxic for Fox News, and out he goes. But don't get too excited. Jesse Waters and Eric Bolling are getting promoted on the air, and O'Reilly's show will be taken over by the loathsome Tucker Carlson. Same as it ever was.

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So You’ve Been Transformed into a Paperclip

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 19, 2017

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

The world will not be destroyed today by the giant asteroid that's passing by the planet. So, I still have to do The Morning Heresy. #ThanksObama 

SCOTUS still intends to rule on the Trinity Luther Church case, even though Missouri's governor changed state policy to allow the church to apply for government funds. The ACLU and Americans United are calling on the Court to declare the case moot. 

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