Father John’s Medicine

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
April 23, 2014

Father John’s Medicine is the name of a cough remedy with a long history and accompanying legend.

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Although You May Not Realize It, You Are Self-aware

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 23, 2014

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

I did not expect this: NJ's Star Ledger endorses removing "under God" from the Pledge:

The Supreme Court has said it’s unconstitutional for public schools to endorse religious activity in general, but hasn’t ruled specifically on the Pledge of Allegiance. We should turn the clock back 60 years and erase “under God” — a poorly conceived plot to force religious words into schoolchildren’s mouths. 

The U.S. Army approves "humanist" as an official faith category. (But what about the Jedi in this UK prison?)

Folks are really digging the Lauren Becker Earth Day audio essay we put up yesterday. Hemant says it's got "an ending that really made me smile." Make sure you check it out and pass it on.

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Explaining Our Mission - Ron Lindsay on Montana Public Radio

by Paul Fidalgo, Communications Director
April 22, 2014

Here in the thick of the secular and skeptic movements, it can be easy to forget that not everyone really knows what it is we're fighting for. Even the politically plugged-in may only have a tangential awareness that there is a vibrant movement of secularists, humanists, atheists, skeptics, and others who are working every day to advance reason, science, and secular values. More importantly, there is often a misunderstanding as to why we do what we do. We're not here just to be gadflies or score technical points on First Amendment squabbles. We want to protect and advance fundamental humanistic values like freedom of expression, the value of critical thinking, and the freedom to be who you are regardless of what someone else's religion says about it.

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It’s a Rock!

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 22, 2014

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

Our boss Ron Lindsay is in Montana for some reason, and yesterday he appeared on Montana Public Radio to talk about our worldview and the fundamentals of our mission.

He's amazing, he's brilliant, he's hilarious. James Randi is the guest on the latest Point of Inquiry with host Josh Zepps. 

Speaking of POI, in an audio essay from a classic Point of Inquiry, CFI's Lauren Becker gets to the heart of what's important about Earth Day: the humans who live here.

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Have You Been Saved? - Special Earth Day Audio Essay

by Paul Fidalgo, Communications Director
April 22, 2014

Around the time of Earth Day in 2006, Bill Nye was the guest on CFI's flagship podcast Point of Inquiry, at the time hosted by DJ Grothe. Before the interview, the show aired an essay written and read by Lauren Becker (now of course our director of marketing), "Have You Been Saved?" 

As a special treat for Earth Day 2014, we wanted to share it with you. 

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Disney and Google: Enemies of God

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 21, 2014

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

Good PR doesn't generate itself (believe me), not even for the Fluffiest of All Popes. Meet Greg Burke, the former Fox News reporter who greases the pontiff's public relations wheel, via Katie Engelhart at Vice. (Hat tip to Catherine Dunphy.)

Apple's PR guy, Phil Schiller, found Nessie! (Nope.)

Josh Zepps interviews James Randi and his documentarians on HuffPost Live, and the folks there invited me to submit a video question for His Amazingness, which results in my cameo at the end.

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St. Hyacinth’s Miracles

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
April 18, 2014

Known as “The Apostle of the North,” Saint Hyacinth (ca. 1185–1257) is a much honored figure in Roman Catholicism. He is the subject of a painting, Apparition of the Virgin to Saint Hyacinth by Ludovico Carracci (1592, now in the Louvre) and, among lesser artworks, a mosaic mural dominating the front of a church named for him in Dunkirk, New York. (CFI colleague Tom Flynn, Executive Director of the Council for Secular Humanism, called it to my attention, and I visited it to take the accompanying photo.) The mural depicts the future saint performing miracles, and therein lies a tale—or rather, several tales.

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Libraries in an Information Age

Access Points with Timothy Binga
April 18, 2014

Whenever you hear the word library, what is the first thing that pops into your head? For most people, it connotes a musty room or building with many, many books, a few other media sources such as magazines or microfilm, possibly a computer or two, and a quiet place to read. What if I told you that libraries are about information first and foremost?

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That’s It, I’m Moving to Kepler-186F!

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 18, 2014

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

Yesterday, I went on HuffPost Live with Jaweed Kaleem, Anila Ali, and Soul Dancer (that's his real name!) to talk about various beliefs about life after death. None of us, it turned out, had first-hand experience. 

And speaking of death! Wowee-wow, you need to check out this series of charts from Bloomberg View and Matthew C. Klein on how Americans expire, and what's changed over time. A really great bit of data and design. 

The leader of the breakaway, pro-Russian section of Ukraine denies he or his unofficial "state" have anything to do with leaflets demanding that Jews in the region register themselves and pay a fine. 

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It’s Not the Religion of the Vikings

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 17, 2014

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

Yesterday, CFI assembled a coalition of experts to urge the FDA to finally rein in "cancer quack" Stanislaw Burzynski, reminding them that "the FDA has an obligation to minimize the damage being done by purveyors of false medical treatments who harm others."

While I wasn't looking, three more outlets took note of the big Bill Nye exclusive in Skeptical Inquirer, where he offers his first-person account of his Ken Ham debate: The APSalon, and the Christian Post. There are probably more. 

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