Which Should Kirk Cameron Fear More?

Advocatus Diaboli with Tom Flynn
December 24, 2014

In a post from yesterday, my esteemed colleague David Koepsell, one of my predecessors as executive director of the Council for Secular Humanism, suggests that he is doing more than I am to give Kirk Cameron nightmares. David good-naturedly suggests that by keeping a more-or-less traditional Christmas with zero religious or supernatural content, he and his thoroughly secular family are doing more to undermine Christianity’s role in the culture than I am when I urge atheists, humanists, and freethinkers to spurn the Christians’ birthday festival altogether. I respectfully disagree. Equally respectfully, I hope, I would warn David that his chosen path carries a very real risk of being co-opted, and of inadvertently helping Christianity to achieve the best future it can hope for in a world that’s secularizing out from under it.

Read more… | 81 Comments

Christ Died for the Entire Cosmos

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

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

(Note: The Heresy is off Thursday and Friday, and will be back on Monday.)

Sony: Did we say we weren't releasing The Interview? We meant we are releasing it. We are. Really. Hehehe. Ahem.

For what it's worth, we at CFI, who offered our HQ to screen it, are glad to see Sony change its mind. Ron Lindsay told Buffalo Business First, "Whether it's shown at Center for Inquiry or other places, we'd be happy either way." Now we can all go back to focusing on how bad the movie probably is. 

Read more…

Why I’m Kirk Cameron’s Worst Nightmare

by David R. Koepsell
December 23, 2014

Like 3/4 of non-religious Americans' I'll be celebrating Christmas this year with presents, food, family, and fun, and not a hint of spirituality or superstition.

Read more… | 1 Comment

Dear Madelyn

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Ben Radford
December 23, 2014

When the public, and especially schoolkids, contact me for help and information about skeptical topics, I try to respond. Here's why. 

Read more…

The Subtle Bunkum of Faith

Advocatus Diaboli with Tom Flynn
December 23, 2014

In today’s New York TimesDavid Brooks offers his obligatory annual column of holiday woo. In “The Subtle Sensations of Faith” he plumps for faith as a near-universal human experience. He depicts it as the response to genuine “glimmering experiences … of wonder and mystery,” “magical moments of wonder and clearest consciousness, which suggested a dimension of existence beyond the everyday.” Clearly, Brooks accepts without question that these are experiences of something genuine – that is to say, that there factually is “a dimension of existence beyond the everyday.” Sorry, Mr. Brooks, I don’t buy it.

Read more… | 2 Comments

You Might As Well Just Hibernate

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

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

I spoke to Buffalo Business First about our offer to Sony to screen The Interview, where I said, "We fight for free expression usually in the context of political or religious dissidents, but if we're going to fight it over there, we're going to fight for free expression over here too." That mostly made sense I think. 

North Korea's Internet goes down. I think it was running off a single 9-volt, so they just need to replace that thing. 

Read more… | 1 Comment

Undeniable Likable Sass

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

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

Note: I'm tired of nativity scene stories, so if you want to read about them, use the google machine. 

On Friday, CFI wrote a letter to Sony Pictures volunteering our headquarters for a screening of The Interview, the release of which Sony canceled entirely due to shadowy threats:

Much of our work is centered on securing the right to hold and express unpopular opinions and beliefs in places where dissent is crushed through persecution, violence, imprisonment, and death. It is a sad turn of events that a powerful source of free expression such as Sony Pictures could choose to give in to a shadowy group’s intolerance of dissent. ... We believe strongly enough in the right to the free expression of even unpopular ideas that we are willing to shoulder the risk of doing so.

Read more…

Haynes’ Arabian Balsam

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
December 19, 2014

In patent-medicine parlance, the term balsam, originally describing an aromatic resin, came to apply generally to “an aromatic oily or resinous medicinal preparation, for healing wounds or soothing pain,” according to The Oxford English Dictionary (1971).

Read more…

Islam, Religious Dogmatism, and Terrorism

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
December 19, 2014

Recent terror attacks in Pakistan, Nigeria, and elsewhere have renewed discussion of whether it’s appropriate to use terms such as “Islamist” or “Islamic terrorist” to describe the perpetrators of such attacks. Some say that these terms unfairly denigrate and stigmatize the majority of Muslims who reject terrorism.

Read more…

War on Hanukkah, Anyone?

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 19, 2014

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

Scientists tally up the medical advice given by Dr. Oz and it's as bad as you think. Reports Julia Belluz at Vox:

[W]hat they found was disappointing but not exactly surprising: about half of the health recommendations had either no evidence behind them or they actually contradicted what the best-available science tells us. That means about half of what these TV doctors say to their millions of satellite patients is woo, and potentially harmful and wasteful woo at that. 

In Skeptical Inquirer, we have the transcript of Josh Zepps' Point of Inquiry interview with the most excellent Ann Druyan of Cosmos.

Read more…

 1 2 3 >  Last »