RileyGate: Lessons Learned

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Ben Radford
January 11, 2012

A recent blog I wrote about a viral video featuring a "pint-sized pundit" ranting about gender stereotypes was flawed in several ways, and deserved much of the criticism it got. 

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Hosanna-Tabor and the Weird Status of Religion

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
January 11, 2012

Today the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in the Hosanna-Tabor case that there is a “ministerial exception” to the nation’s laws forbidding discrimination in employment. The Court ruled that both religion clauses of the First Amendment—the Free Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause—effectively provide religious institutions with absolute discretion to select their “ministers.” 

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Good News: Skeptical Inquirer Is Putting A Few More Women in Its Pages

by Julia Lavarnway
January 10, 2012

The Skeptical Inquirer has in the past been accused of publishing the writing of only "old white dudes." SI's stellar January/February 2012 issue is proof that its gender ratio is slowly but surely evening out.

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Standing Up to Gender Bullying

by Julia Lavarnway
January 09, 2012

Kristen, a woman who works as a shift manager for Gamestop, recently witnessed a father trying to bully his son, age 10–12, out of buying a purple game controller along with a game with a female protagonist. Luckily, the boy’s elder brother, a high school wrestler,  stepped in and stood up to the man. Kristen also comforted the boy by assuring him that “There’s nothing wrong with what you like. Even if it’s different than what people think you should.”

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About Free Thinking

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
January 06, 2012

What is the cornerstone of CFI’s mission? Is it atheism or humanism? No, not really. Commitments to atheism or humanism or any other “ism” are conclusions we arrive at, presumably after consideration of the relevant evidence and arguments. The cornerstone of our mission is freedom of expression and critical inquiry. We see freedom of expression and critical inquiry as indispensable tools for arriving at an accurate understanding of just about any issue of importance, including, but not limited to, the truth of religious or fringe science claims. This brings me to the recent controversy concerning Ben Radford’s blog post on Free Thinking, as well as the related controversy about the blog Free Thinking itself.

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Asteroid’s Namesake

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
January 06, 2012

Thanks to my friend, colleague, and fellow UFO researcher James McGaha, I now have the distinct honor of having an asteroid named for me! This fact was revealed at the 2011 CSIcon in New Orleans, held on Halloween weekend.

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“Between Consenting Adults”

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
January 06, 2012

Many of you have probably heard about the resignation of Catholic Bishop Gabino Zavala.  You may have heard of it without even becoming aware of it, because it is the type of news that no longer attracts special attention.  Another day, another sex scandal for the Catholic Church.  Nowadays, weather reports are likely to be more memorable.

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‘Expert Eyewitness’ Shoots Dog Walker: Skeptical Lessons from Tragedy

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Ben Radford
January 05, 2012

A woman was shot last week when a state trooper mistook her two retriever dogs for a deer; what does this say about expert eyewitness testimony?

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Why Students are a Priceless Investment

by Dren Asselmeier
January 04, 2012

Students, young people, and the "30 under 30" that some people reference (the idea that 30% of people under 30 are not religious, which I can't confirm the accuracy of right now, but is still relevant in this context) are part of a growing trend to include students in activism and secular organizations. Some organizations, like American Atheists, have done innovative things to get students involved. Offering free or reduced rates for organization membership, giving free or very inexpensive entry to conferences, and offering grants and scholarships to students for their hard work and dedication to our missions are all simple measures that attract students and make them feel important to our movement.

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“Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” (A Nickell-odeon Review)

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
January 03, 2012

"Ah, Watson, do come in. I see you have just been to that latest, ah, ‘movie,' supposedly based on what you so faithfully romanticize as my ‘adventures.' And I perceive you were extremely dissatisfied with it.

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