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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Filmmaker Mike Celestino on Edgy Comedy and Pop Culture Skeptics

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Ben Radford
April 13, 2015

Los Angeles-based filmmaker Michael ("Mike") Celestino is a skeptic, film buff, and comedy fan. The bespectacled and slight bemused writer/director agreed to answer some questions about his recent projects, including his planned documentary "The Scully."

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Prayerfunding on Kneelstarter

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 13, 2015

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

We've got more people to kick around for the 2016 presidential race. Hillary Clinton announced yesterday with a pretty smart video, and RNS has some tidbits on her relationship with religion. Marco Rubio is probably announcing later today, and RNS has a tip sheet on how his faith contains multitides: Catholic, Mormon, Baptist, and who knows what else. 

We've also got Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee, who Philip Eil I think unfairly calls the "weirdest" candidate (I assume he's aware of Ted "Three Toddlers Stacked" Cruz). I'd just say he's one of the less charasmatic. Anyway, he's good on church-state separation stuff.

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Squeezing into Increasingly Smaller Gaps

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 10, 2015

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

I broke a lamp in the new house that my wife really likes, which is why the Heresy is late today. You all, my wonderful wife especially, have my apologies.

Also, the college play I'm directing opens tonight, and I'm 99% certain none of them read or even know about this blog, but I will take this opportunity nonetheless to tell them that I'm so freaking proud of them, and they're going to kick a lot of theatrical ass tonight. 

Soooooo anything else interesting going on no okay let's get on with the links.

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