Truth and Myth Behind “Magic in the Moonlight”

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Ben Radford
July 25, 2014

 A look at some of the real-life events and characters that inspired the new Woody Allen film Magic in the Moonlight.

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Science is not a Crime

by David R. Koepsell
July 25, 2014

Not every threat to scientific progress comes from religion. Some threats are arising due to the changing nature of how science is funded and pursued. A basic institution that helped begin the scientific revolution is publishing. The changing nature of the academic climate, and publishing businesses, now threaten to undermine the way science is conducted. Science cannot proceed well without free and open access to its results, and academic publishers who put findings behind firewalls betray us all.

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Reactionary Weirdos

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 25, 2014

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

The 2014 CFI Leadership Conference is underway, and I'm knocking out a quick Heresy here before I get back into things here at the Mothership. 

USA Today has a new piece on he-of-the-baseless-cancer-treatments, Stanislaw Burzynski, as the Texas Medical Board tries to pick up where the FDA fell down. CFI chief Ron Lindsay is quoted as the prime critic of Burzynski cheering on the Texas Board, saying, "Burzynski should not be practicing medicine. Period." 

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A Cirque du Soleil of the Mind

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 24, 2014

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

I'm here at the airport getting ready to fly to Amherst and CFI's Mothership for the CFI Leadership Conference. Where we confer. About leadership. Anyway, I understand people really like it. Especially the YOUTH. So, there may or may not be a Heresy tomorrow, we'll have to see how things go.

So here's the thing: There was some really excellent news that happened a few weeks ago, but with all the other things going on, only yesterday did we have a chance to actually make a thing of it. But thing-make we finally did, announcing that our own besuited public policy chief Michael De Dora was elected president of the UN's NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief. Well-deserved, and a huge deal for our movement on the international stage. Hemant applauds, "It’s a tremendous honor and I have no doubt De Dora will be a great representative and model of Humanist values."

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Five Fully-Conscious (I Promise) Book Recommendations

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
July 24, 2014

I’ve actually read most of four books in the space of about 12 days. No, I’m not on vacation and I’m not a speed-reader. It’s insomnia.

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Desecrate This!

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

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

Gulf Center for Human Rights reports that Waleed Abu Al-Khair, the Saudi human rights activist and attorney convicted of criticizing the state, is being subjected to "poor conditions" and "ill treatment" without access to medical care in prison, and his wife has been forbidden from seeing him. Al-Khair's is one of the cases, along with Raif Badawi's, raised by CFI at the UN Human Rights Council, which sent Saudi Arabia into a shouting fury. Global Voices highlights more of Saudi Arabia's abuses.

We welcomed our new outreach staffer Stef McGraw in a previous edition of Cause & Effect, but we wanted to do it a little more formally, so here's a more complete introduction to our awesome new organizer.  

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Jesus Did Not Become the God-Klingon

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

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

Yesterday the president signed an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT folks, and happily did not add a religious exemption, and we expressed our appreciation:

Too often religious beliefs are used as an excuse to avoid obeying laws that apply to everyone else, as the regrettable Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case illustrates. ... [This] is a welcome step in the right direction, toward a secular government in which religion can’t be used as a shield for prejudice and unequal treatment.

Our reaction's been noted by the Washington Times and the Christian Post.

RNS's David Gibson calls Obama's decision to allow religious contractors to use religious beliefs as a hiring criteria (which we're not happy about) a "split-the-baby" solution. And usually, atheists love those kinds of solutions.

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These People Always Find God in the Sunsets

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

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

Today the president is expected to sign an executive order that forbids discrimination against LGBT folks without the religious exemption we dreaded. This is good news indeed, and Michael De Dora fills us in

Christian Post reports on CFI's efforts to get a Secular Celebrant bill passed in Ohio

CFI's Tom Flynn and Julia Lavarnway have put together a new book on Robert IngersollReligions Are For a DayTim Binga gives a preview, and you can order it here

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Obama Set to Bar Discrimination Against LGBT Workers, Without a Religious Exemption

Democratic Discourse with Michael De Dora
July 18, 2014

On Monday, President Barack Obama will sign an executive order that will bar federal contractors from discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, according to news outlets. And, in a major win for advocates of secular government, the order will reportedly not include an exemption for religious organizations.

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“Religions Are For a Day: Robert Green Ingersoll Appreciated”

Access Points with Timothy Binga
July 18, 2014

The folks here at the Center for Inquiry have published a new book on Robert Ingersoll. Tom Flynn, director of the Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum and editor of Free Inquiry, and Julia Lavarnway, assistant editor of Free Inquiry, put together this work which includes a biography of Ingersoll, several short pieces by Ingersoll himself, and descriptions and stories of some of the more interesting pieces at the RGI Birthplace Museum. The Freethought Trail, another of Flynn’s related projects, has several chapters devoted to it in this work.

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