Well Played, Lions

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 21, 2015

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

Michael De Dora was a guest on NPR's To the Point with Warren Olney yesterday, discussing the FDA hearings on homeopathy in which he gave testimony. The Washington Examiner notes Michael's efforts, and The Guardian checks in with CFI-L.A.'s Jim Underdown for comment.

Meanwhile, CFI-Michigan's Jennifer Beahan weighs in on a controversy over the Bible verse at an Ottawa County park, at The Detroit News.

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Don’t Worry: Be Unhappy

by David R. Koepsell
April 20, 2015

The modern cult of happiness worships positive thinking as the means to a fulfilled life, and has spawned entire industries ranging from pharmaceuticals to self-help empires. Recent science purported to support the notion that happiness, or the number of positive thoughts we have, is somehow tightly linked to empirically measurable success in life. This science has been shown to be flawed, and the entire thesis that suggests that happiness is vital to the good life is philosophically suspect.

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There Are Lots of Quacks Out There

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 20, 2015

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

What'd you miss the last couple weeks? Probably lots, 'cause we're so crazy busy. Here's the latest Cause & Effect newsletter

CFI's Michael De Dora testified this morning at the FDA's hearings on the regulation and marketing of homeopathic products (original announcement here), and really was an all-too-rare voice of reason and science in a room full of pseudoscience promoters. He totally knocked it out of the park, like BAM! BAM! You know? Anyway, here's Michael's written testimony. Hemant gives us kudos. NPR previews the hearings with input from CSI Fellow Steven Novella

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An Otherwise Ambiguous Practice

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 17, 2015

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

The FDA is going to hold public hearings on homeopathy and guess who's been invited to be the voice of reason? Us!

Michael De Dora took part in a discussion on religious freedom at the Newseum last night, and I think it's supposed to be viewable here, but it's not loading for me, so I dunno.

Theologian Milt Hankins opines at the Herald-Dispatch about changing moral standards, and cites with some astonishment Ron Lindsay's book The Necessity of Secularism.

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Unpalatable Conclusions

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 16, 2015

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

Canada's Supreme Court shows up their U.S. counterpart by ruling against prayer at government assemblies

At The Week, Peter Weber looks to an America 35 years from now in which the unaffiliated make up one quarter of the population. 

The oldest tools ever discovered are found in Kenya, dating back 3.3 million years -- 700,000 years earlier than the previous oldest-known tools. 

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Seven Whooping Coughs for Seven Brothers

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 15, 2015

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

Our boss Ron Lindsay addresses the practice of evaluating teacher performance based on students' test scores, "a policy not based on science, but rather politics and deceptive intuitions." 

Also at the Free Thinking blog, CFI-UK director Stephen Law does a deep dive into concepts of happiness and how (or whether) it motivates our behavior. Me, I'm mostly motivated by anxiety. But you should also read Jennifer Michael Hecht's The Happiness Myth. I need to read it again, because it's gangbusters.

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We Should Not Evaluate Teachers Based on Student Test Scores

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
April 15, 2015

We at the Center for Inquiry don’t typically address how best to evaluate teacher performance, but we are an educational institution. Moreover, we’re an institution that is committed to basing public policy on sound science. Using student test scores to determine teacher pay or whether a teacher should retain a job is a policy not based on science, but rather politics and deceptive intuitions.

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Is Feeling Good Always What Motivates Us?

The Outer Limits with Stephen Law
April 14, 2015

Here’s an introduction to some of the most fascinating philosophical issues about happiness. We look at three key questions:

 

Is happiness just about feeling good, or is there more to it than that?

 

Is feeling good always what motivates us? And:

 

Is increasing happiness always morally the right thing to do?

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Walter Peck, Forgotten Hero

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 14, 2015

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

A very different and fun episode of Point of Inquiry is out, where Josh Zepps interviews both Bassem Youssef ("the Egyptian Jon Stewart") and comedian Ahmed Ahmed together. 

Speaking of Point of Inquiry, we've now got two special episodes up relating to the Reason for Change conference in June, with Phil Zuckerman and Leighann Lord. I assume you're making your plans? Register now! 

The Curiosity rover discovers that Mars is briny. There is honest to goodness liquid water beneath the surface!

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Now a Second “Human Torch” Baby

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
April 13, 2015

A bizarre case has become even more bizarre as burns from alleged “spontaneous human combustion” (SHC)—inflicted on a baby boy from rural India in 2013—have now been followed by similar burns on his newly born brother!

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