Daniel Dennett is Not Wrong (mostly)

by David R. Koepsell
August 29, 2016

Recently, Prof. Dennett, a friend of secularism and humanism who has long committed to our joint concerns (and who many of us have met and interacted valuably with), made a stir among philosophers by calling much of philosophy little more than a "luxury decoration on society." Below, I (a philosopher) mostly don't disagree with him.

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What Secretary Kerry Should Tell Bangladesh Officials

Democratic Discourse with Michael De Dora
August 29, 2016

For many months now, Bangladesh has been roiled by grisly murders in its streets, terrorist attacks, and severe political unrest. This is the situation Secretary of State John Kerry will be walking into when he visits the country today to meet with high-ranking government officials and civil society leaders. How can he best take advantage of this opportunity?

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Do You Have Scurvy?

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
August 29, 2016

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

Whoa, there. Don't get ahead of yourself. Before you start this week, make sure you up to speed on the last two with Cause & Effect

As John Kerry meets with Bangladesh government officials today, our own Michael De Dora writes up some ideas for what issues the Secretary of State should emphasize...

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Repealing the Burkini Ban Doesn’t Address the Real Problem

by Nicholas Little
August 26, 2016

The ban and the way it was enforced were wrong. But while our commitment to religious freedom and free speech and expression requires us to support the right of women to dress as they wish, whether that be in “revealing” or “modest” attire, or anything in between, whether for purely personal or religious reasons, in the significant majority of cases, religious dress codes for women are not voluntarily adopted by their wearers.

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Additional Monsters

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
August 26, 2016

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

So there's these "nones," right? And you're all, hey, why'd these nones all decide not to be a part of a formal religion? Totally good question. Oh hey! Pew has answers. Half of nones just don't believe in any religions (ahem, but they're not all "atheists," ahem). 20% simply didn't like organized religion for various reasons, and 10% were just non-practicing believers...

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Prox B or Bust

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
August 25, 2016

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

Astronomers discover an Earth-like planet orbiting within the "Goldilocks zone" of the star closest to our own, Proxima Centauri, 4.2 light-years away. It's a huge, huge deal. "The planet’s proximity to Earth gives hope that robotic probes could someday be zooming past the planet for a close-up look," writes Kenneth Chang at NYT. The planet is for now designated "Proxima Centauri b" or "Proxima b" and I'm seeing it shorthanded sometimes as "Prox b," which begins to sound like a California ballot measure.

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The School Auditorium Ghost

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
August 24, 2016

Sometimes a ghostbusting skeptic just gets lucky. So it was, following my luncheon speech at a CFI conference, when an attendee told me she knew the true facts behind the “haunting” of Pembroke Middle School in Corfu, N.Y.

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No One Blows Like Gaston

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
August 24, 2016

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

It's pit bulls and the paranoid on Point of InquiryLindsay Beyerstein talks to Bronwen Dickey about 1) the myths about pit bulls and 2) the "Conspira-Sea Cruise" that she reported on for Popular Mechanics (and to which I linked in a previous Heresy). 

Yesterday we announced that at CSICon this October, the Balles Prize in Critical Thinking will go to Julia Belluz of Vox.com. If you read the Heresy, you already know how awesome she is, and what good she does exposing pseudoscience nonsense. 

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Humanism and the Born-Godless

by David R. Koepsell
August 23, 2016

My kids and I are part of a growing set of people who were born and raised without religion. This trend poses a challenge for those of us who consider ourselves not just atheists, but humanists. Having been born without a religion, only curiosity and pragmatic concern made humanism, as a school of inquiry, relevant to me. It did not come from a rejection of once-held beliefs. It had to offer more, standing on its own. 

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Picard Did Wolf 359

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
August 23, 2016

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

For CSI's Skeptical Briefs, Joe Nickell recounts his journey to Newfoundland, where he investigates local monsters and mysteries, and becomes an "honorary Newfoundlander" in "a rather drunken ceremony." Did no one film this?? 

Also for CSI, Kylie Sturgess interviews Tara Moss, author of Speaking out: A 21st Century Handbook for Women and Girls, which emphasizes critical thinking over stereotypes and myths (and comes with an Anti-Feminist Gas-Lighting Bingo card).

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