The Information

Access Points with Timothy Binga
May 28, 2014

The advent of the Information Revolution that began in the late twentieth century caused such a significant change in the way we work, play, and even just exist on a day-to-day basis that some context is helpful to understand how these changes came about. Technology changed the way we work: high-tech service jobs are now more prevalent than manufacturing jobs, which were created as a result of the Industrial Revolution. The sharing of information over distances of both time and location are the focus of James Gleick’s The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood (New York: Pantheon, 2011).

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Eaten by the Shark You Jumped

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 28, 2014

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

Lindsay Beyerstein brings much-needed skeptical perspective to the issue of capital punishment with special guest Dahlia Lithwick of Slate on Point of Inquiry

CFI's international programs director Bill Cooke evaluates the conflict in Ukraine, and sees religion as a huge factor.

Sarah Posner blogs-heads with Welton Gaddy of the Interfaith Alliance, and in this clip, he talks about his attempts to get the Obama administration to make good on its promises regarding faith-based initiatives. Posner's tweet has a spoiler about whether they did.

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Civil War in Ukraine, with Religion as the Fault Line

by Bill Cooke
May 27, 2014

There is not much doubt now that Ukraine is falling into civil war. Like the English and Scots, Ukrainians and Russians have lived together for centuries. They have intermarried, shared political highs and lows and come to know each other very closely. But that hasn’t meant they’ve liked each other. Only in the area of religion is there any significant difference. 

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10 Happy Dancing Lepers

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 27, 2014

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

Mark Oppenheimer of the New York Times came to the Women in Secularism 3 conference, and came away with stories of women leaving Islam for atheism

Amy Davis Roth took the opportunity of Women in Secularism to do some portrait-taking (and a few CFIers are in there).  

CNN.com looks at the challenges faced by atheists in the Bible Belt

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The Morning [CENSORED LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU]

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

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

We learned from Right Wing Watch and Ed Brayton that the Pat Robertson-founded American Center for Law and Justice has been talking out of both sides of its mouth on blasphemy laws, condemning them in one place and endorsing them in others. I take them to task:

Now we see that for the ACLJ and its affiliates [free expression] extends only to Christians. For dissidents in Russia, be they non-Christian, gay, atheist, or simply at odds with the regime, CFI will seek to defend their freedom of expression; the ACLJ and its friends will work to see them behind bars. 

Robert Mackey at NYT on Twitter agreeing to censor "blasphemous" tweets in Pakistan:

This censorship comes as challenges to Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy law have become increasingly deadly, amid a flurry of arrests, killings and assassination attempts on secularists.

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The ACLJ’s Hypocrisy on Blasphemy Laws

by Paul Fidalgo, Communications Director
May 22, 2014

Combatting the global epidemic of blasphemy laws, apostasy laws, and other draconian measures that severely restrict free expression, is a core part of CFI’s mission. For some of us, myself included, it’s the most important work we do, fighting to free those being persecuted for expressing their beliefs, and working to curtail the laws that enable this kind of oppression. And while it can’t be at the top of every group’s agenda, I often take for granted that everyone in the U.S. at least generally agrees with us: that free expression is a universal human right. But leave it to the religious right: They never fail to disappoint.

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I Hereby Declare War on Peace and Happiness!

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

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

Kimberly Winston reports on the efforts of CFI and its interfaith coalition partners to keep a prayer plaque out of the World War II memorial, here at the Washington Post.

(Winston also interviews Zeke Piestrup, who has a new documentary film about Mr. Apocalypse himself, the late Harold Camping.) 

Here's a new visualization of an old problem: Atheists portrayed as jerks and weirdos on TV. Hmm.

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Rheumatic Cures

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
May 21, 2014

The adjective rheumatic pertains to rheumatism, a general, if a rather archaic term describing such acute and chronic conditions as inflammation, joint pain, muscle stiffness and soreness. “Rheumatism” once referred to arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, bursitis, fibromyalgia, degenerative joint disease, and various other conditions (Taber’s 2001, 1806–1807).

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A Rush to Embrace the Stupid

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

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

CFI has joined a coalition of religious and secular groups asking Congress not to add a prayer to the WWII Memorial

Sharon Hill writes at Skeptical Inquirer about attending a conference mixing academics with the paranormal, and she comes away better for it:

[J]ust after I had been outed as one of the “skeptics” in the crowd, one lady rather brusquely asked, “So you’re one of the skeptics? Why are you here?” For the same reason you are, lady, to learn and explore evidence and ideas. ... It's impossible to get that deeper concept if you are prejudiced against the field entirely. Likewise, if you pigeonhole skeptics and close off the skeptical commentary, you risk continuing to waste effort, make mistakes, and fail to progress.

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A Lot of Things That I Don’t Like

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 20, 2014

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

The first of the Women in Secularism III reflections start to come in, starting with this enthusiastic recap from Jim Newman at Skeptic Money

The photos of the conference from pals-of-CFI Brian Engler and Bruce Press are up to browse, enjoy, and humorously caption. 

Sarah Jones of Americans United (who was a speaker at WiS and was awesome) writes at Faith Street about identifying specifically as a "None"...

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