What the Hell, Indeed

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
February 19, 2015

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

Yesterday, we announced that CFI-Northeast Ohio has been working with Ohio State Senator Michael Skindell on a bill to allow Secular Celebrants to solemnize marriages in Ohio. The AP covers the story

Meanwhile, fifty Ohio lawmakers who aren't Sen. Skindell are sponsoring a "fetal heartbeat abortion ban," which effectively bans abortions as early as six weeks

President Obama yesterday: "No religion is responsible for terrorism — people are responsible for violence and terrorism." Yeah, sort of. 

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Anorexia Misinformation in the Media: Case Study of the PBS Show ‘Nova’

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Ben Radford
February 18, 2015

Misinformation about eating disorders is not like misinformation about a car’s gas mileage, or the weather. Eating disorders are mental illnesses with potentially lethal consequences. Sufferers and their loved ones deserve accurate information about the diseases, but trusted sources of information turn out to be not so trustworthy upon closer inspection. Part 1 of 2. 

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A Parisian Patent Medicine

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
February 18, 2015

Recently acquired for my collection of paranormal and pseudoscience artifacts is a rather curious bottle.

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Because the Stakes are So Small: Enlightenment Beyond the Ivory Tower?

by David R. Koepsell
February 18, 2015

As academia continues to disappoint and dismay, and states unravel their commitments to public universities, what can be done to save the ivory tower? Should we? Can we imagine an Enlightenment without the current form of institutions providing higher education? How does CFI fit into the institutional arrangement of the new enlightenment, and can we envision ways to help science and philosophy progress outside the standard university system?

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A Hopeful and Non-exclusionary Delusion

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
February 18, 2015

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

Outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder calls for a national moratorium on the death penalty:

Our system of justice is the best in the world. It is comprised of men and women who do the best they can, get it right more often than not, substantially more right than wrong. But there's always the possibility that mistakes will be made. 

Ross Pomeroy at RealClearScience picks up on our statement to the media on skeptics vs. science-deniers, and backs our distinction:

A true skeptic never dismisses an idea out of hand. A true skeptic is willing to be wrong, and recognizes an echelon of evidence that will change their mindset. And most importantly, a true skeptic doesn't only question the beliefs of others, he also questions his own. Because skepticism isn't just about doubting things you disagree with, it's about keeping yourself honest, open, thoughtful, and true. 

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Marry Your Mop

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
February 17, 2015

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

Another day, and another response from CFI to violence and murder over expression and religion, this time in Copenhagen and Libya:

It is a deeply troubling commentary that so much blood is being shed because a tiny minority of extremists has decided that they cannot countenance having their ideas challenged in any form, be it in writing, in sketches, or even in the very existence of people who simply believe differently. To resort to violence and murder is to declare oneself incapable of rising to that challenge. It is a confession of the weakness of one’s position that it must be defended with bullets instead of words.

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Not Helping

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
February 16, 2015

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

More killing over free expression and, yes, cartoons. The Economist:

On Saturday afternoon, one person was killed and three police officers wounded when a gunman opened fire on a free-speech debate at a Copenhagen cafe hosted by a controversial Swedish cartoonist, Lars Vilks. Hours later, a Jewish man was killed and another two police were injured near a synagogue.  

Michael De Dora takes a serious look at the polarized responses to the Chapel Hill murders, making the case that the atheist can learn from the tragedy, without having to own it.

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Enlightened citizens vs. moral sheep

The Outer Limits with Stephen Law
February 16, 2015

Here's the text from my talk at the British Academy in London tonight (I am one of six panellists that also include Rebecca Goldstein. I wonder what she'll say? The even is called "What's the point of philosophy?)

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Knuckleheads and Visionaries Alike

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

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

Today marks three years for me at CFI! I've had plenty of time to become jaded, like I've done at most of my other jobs (though in college when I worked at Blockbuster, I started jaded, so that doesn't count), and I still remain inspired and driven by the mission, character, and ethos of CFI and its people. In other words, you're going to have to drag me out. 

The New York Times covers our statement to the media on the difference between deniers of climate science and science-accepting skeptics (a.k.a. us). Justin Gillis writes:

The climate scientists see themselves as the true skeptics, having arrived at a durable consensus about emissions simply because the evidence of risk has become overwhelming. And in this view, people who reject the evidence are phony skeptics, arguing their case by cherry-picking studies, manipulating data, and refusing to weigh the evidence as a whole. 

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On Placing Blame for the Chapel Hill Killings

Democratic Discourse with Michael De Dora
February 13, 2015

I am as disturbed by atheists who have been quick to blame the Chapel Hill murders on nothing more than a parking dispute as I am by people who are already tracing Craig Hicks' crime back to the strident but non-violent rhetoric of prominent New Atheists. 

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