The Complete Absence of Physical Matter

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

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

I know I say this a lot, but seriously, things have been incredibly busy. Check out Friday's Cause & Effect newsletter to see what I mean. 

The Environment and Energy newswire talks to ThinkProgress's Joe Romm about the skeptic-vs-denier debate spurred by the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry's letter to the media. Rightwing outlet Newsmax quotes folks who worry about being "smeared" by us who "hold the reins of power." Wow!

Michael Newdow is back, trying to use RFRA "religious freedom" laws to challenge "In God We Trust" on currency

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Insufferably Messianic

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 15, 2015

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

The California State Senate easily passes SB 277, which removes most "belief" exemptions from required vaccinations. The Assembly may be a different story.

Yesterday we announced that CFI filed for summary judgment in our lawsuit in Florida to stop the public funding of explicitly religious prison rehabilitation programs ("ministries," by their own description). It's kind of a legalese way of saying to the judge, "Come on. I mean, really. Come. On." 

Ishaan Tharoor at WaPo reminds us that Sweden rejected the visa application of Ananta Bijoy Das, now dead from Islamist attack...

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Mayberry Leads to Hell

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 14, 2015

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

Yesterday we announced that a bill authorizing Secular Celebrants in Oregon to solemnize marriages, championed by CFI-Portland, had passed a key committee vote, and it looks like the bill will be voted on by the full House tomorrow! If you're in Oregon, tell your state rep to vote for it

Meanwhile, a little under the radar, atheists win the right to officiate at weddings in Washington County, Minnesota. ...

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A Cramped Coffin of Orthodoxy

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

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

Readers of the Heresy, imma be honest with you. We're really freaking busy over here at CFI. Yesterday, we were talking a lot about the new Pew survey showing "nones" overtaking Catholics in the U.S., and CNN's widely-distributed article on the news features some commentary from yours truly (in which I use the terms "cognizant" and "straight-up" in the same sentence, because that's how I roll). 

Sky News uses Ron Lindsay's statement as its lead quote. Even better, Ron was a guest for the hour on the Diane Rhem Show today.

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Timeline of Attacks on Bangladeshi Writers and Bloggers

Democratic Discourse with Michael De Dora
May 12, 2015

Sadly, recent attacks on writers and bloggers in Bangladesh are not new — they are simply the continuance of a pattern.  

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The Oldest and Stupidest of Them All

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 12, 2015

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

There's a lot of news today, so to quote Samuel L. Jackson in Jurassic Park, "Hold on to your butts."

First: Pew has released a major new survey that shows "nones" -- the religiously unaffiliated -- overtaking Catholics in the U.S. to hit number 2 with 23%. We call it a "tectonic shift" and an indication of religion's loosening grip over policy and culture. 

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On the (potential) Morality of Crowds

by David R. Koepsell
May 11, 2015

It should be rather encouraging that in an increasingly complex world, where daily interactions with strangers are fraught with the possibility for conflict, we somehow generally manage to get along rather peacefully, negotiate our conflicts before they erupt, and go about our business without coming to blows. Game theory has a possible explanation for this and it may suggest that top-down methods of conflict management are often superfluous, or worse. I examine these ideas by looking at traffic as a metaphor.

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Not in Every Way Nice People

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 11, 2015

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

Rafida Bonya Ahmed, who survived the attack on her and her murdered husband Avijit Roy, speaks to Reuters:

This [attack] was well planned, choreographed – a global act of terrorism. But what almost bothers me more is that no one from the Bangladesh government has reached out to me. It’s as if I don’t exist, and they are afraid of the extremists. Is Bangladesh going to be the next Pakistan or Afghanistan? 

Amy Davidson explains what the hell is going on with "Jade Helm 15" and the conspiracy theory propagated by Texas's governor that his state is about to be invaded by the United States.

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The God of the Ethians - a cautionary tale

The Outer Limits with Stephen Law
May 10, 2015

On the far side of our Galaxy live the Ethians, many of whom believe in God. Only a God with a twist... (This is adapted from my The God of Eth, for the HTLGI Festival at which I am appearing this month).

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Skeptical theism - quick primer for the uninitiated

The Outer Limits with Stephen Law
May 08, 2015

Heard of skeptical theism? Perhaps not. But it's all the rage in certain religious circles. So, to get you up to speed, here's a quick primer.

 

For those who regularly engage theists in discussion: There's a good chance your religious opponent will be familiar with skeptical theism and will use it against you in arguments about the existence of God.  So it's wise to be prepared.

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