A Shattering Disaster

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 29, 2017

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

The editorial board of the Los Angeles Newspaper Group cites the Center for Inquiry in its piece on Pakistan's blasphemy crackdown:

In Pakistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif calls blasphemy an “unpardonable offense.” Here, the unpardonable offense would be failing to push back against such backward thing. Facebook and Twitter should help to lead the push.

Point of Inquiry this week has Phoebe Maltz Bovey, author of the book The Perils of “Privilege”: Why Injustice Can’t be Solved by Accusing Others of Advantage

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A Brief Biography of “Magnetic Healer” H.N. Wheelock

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
March 28, 2017

As presented elsewhere (Nickell 2017), I acquired for my collection a trade card of nineteenth-century “Magnetic Healer” H.N. Wheelock. To learn more about him, I researched various sources, including an authoritative Wheelock genealogy (Sullivan 2017). CFI Libraries Director Tim Binga greatly assisted with this project, tracking Wheelock through federal and state censuses and other records. Here is what we discovered.

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The Loch Ness Lindbergh Baby

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

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

First things first: Catch up with a very full fortnight of freethought with the latest Cause & Effect newsletter. There's a lot about Michael De Dora at the UN Human Rights Council, and Michael has even more on his adventures there in this update

Things are getting absolutely bonkers in Pakistan. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan seeks to assemble a coalition of Muslim nations to devise a global strategy for "dealing with" blasphemous content on social media. 

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Interview with Hemant Mehta, the Friendly Atheist: Guest Post by Susan Gerbic

by Paul Fidalgo, Communications Director
March 24, 2017

Guest Post by Susan Gerbic 

Hemant Mehta is best known for his blog on Patheos, Friendly Atheist; he also has a podcast of the same name and has written about selling his soul on eBay. He has two other books, The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide and The Friendly Atheist: Thoughts on the Role of Religion in Politics and Media.

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Rare Trade Card of “Magnetic Healer”

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
March 24, 2017

The Victorian trade card (a forerunner of the later business card), pictured here, is graced by the engraved portrait and facsimile signature of H.N. Wheelock. He is described on the reverse as a “Mental and Vital Magnetic Healer”—that is, one who treated both mind and body. “WILL THOU BE MADE WHOLE?” he asks.

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Subsequent Profuse Sweating

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

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

CFI's Michael De Dora is quoted in the Associated Press's piece on Pakistan's request to Facebook for the personal information of those they consider to be blasphemers. 

Pakistan arrests two men for posting "blasphemous" content to WhatsApp (that's right, not Facebook or Twitter but WhatsApp, which Facebook owns). Islamabad High Court Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddqui seems to be sick of all this heresy, and says social media could be banned in Pakistan altogether. "It will not make any difference if selfies and pictures of food are not shared with others," he said, which, if it were not so chilling, would be kind of funny.

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Point-Zero-Zero-Four Percent

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 23, 2017

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

A man plows an SUV into dozens of people in London, killing two, and stabs a police officer to death outside Parliament, before being shot himself. ISIS claims he's one of theirs, but they always do that, and nothing has been confirmed.

Here comes the flood: The House "Science" Committee is going to start holding hearings meant to delegitimize accepted climate science.

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Sensitivities

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 22, 2017

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

Facebook is going to meet with Pakistani officials to discuss the country's request for the personal information of users Pakistan deem to have posted blasphemous content, and we asked Facebook to stick to its guns:

Facebook should use its leverage to encourage the government of Pakistan to abandon the theocratic, reactionary scapegoating of critics and dissidents, embrace the equal dignity of its people, and encourage the free and open exchange of ideas.

CBC investigates chiropractors in Manitoba making outlandish claims about what they can treat and cure, including autism, cancer, Alzheimer's, and more.  

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What Secular Humanism Means to Me

Advocatus Diaboli with Tom Flynn
March 21, 2017

It's been a while since I blogged here! Herewith, an oldie-but-goodie from the October/November 2010 issue of FREE INQUIRY. At the time I was kicking off an event inviting readers to describe secular humanism is one word. I picked the word "emancipatory." Subject only to a 1000-word limit, here's what I wrote.

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Stupid and Even Cruel

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

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

I forgot to mention yesterday that the day before that was the 5-year anniversary of The Morning Heresy as a web-published thingy. Here's the first one to appear on the web, and as you can see, the quality has not diminished one iota. Nor has it increased. That's the kind of excellence you can expect from, um, whatever we were just talking about. 

Here's some encouraging news. A study from North Carolina State University suggests that studying the humanities can make one less likely to believe in pseudoscience.

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