Skeptical Cinema: ‘Bug’ and folie a deux

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
December 03, 2013

In most investigations two eyewitnesses are better than one. The 2006 horror film 'Bug' shows whay this is not always true. 

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ACLU v. Legion of Doom

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 03, 2013

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

This strikes me as a big deal: The ACLU is suing the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (or, as I call it here at the Heresy, "The Legion of Doom") over its directives to Catholic hospitals to deny all abortion services, calling it medical negligence. Pass the popcorn.

Reason Rally musical headliners, veteran band Bad Religion, has a new, totally Jesus-y, honest to goodness Christmas album. Sold. 

Josh Zepps talks to Gadadhara Pandit Dasa, the first Hindu Chaplain for Columbia University and New York University, on the latest Point of Inquiry

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Visiting an Urban “Village Church”

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
December 03, 2013

My wife Diana and I went on another religabout—our contraction for religion and walkabout, which describes an excursion to observe or experience some religious activity.

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Prejudice and Bigotry and Error

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 02, 2013

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

LA Times headlines CFI's big holiday Times Square ad in its piece on atheist billboarding. (Here's our announcement from last week.)

Kimberly Winston covers the Thanksgivings of seculars, with insights from CFI's own Sarah Kaiser and Jennifer Beahan.

Our Office of Public Policy weighs in on the announcement that SCOTUS will take up Hobby Lobby's help-help-I'm-being-oppressed challenge to the Affordable Care Act:

The Center for Inquiry has always, and will always, defend the right of individuals to worship or not worship as they choose. However, we will also always fight to ensure that the government does not unfairly prioritize or promote religion, forcing it into people’s lives. 

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Look at All Those Corpses, Noah!

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
November 27, 2013

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

Get warm and fuzzy, folks, because CFI just launched a video ad in Times Square for Thanksgiving! The baby in the ad was not consumed by any nonbelievers. 

Maria Beelen of On Campus affiliate Center for Inquiry–Grand Valley, recounts the mounting of the big Neil deGrasse Tyson event they held where this happened

Hobby Lobby manages to get its "poor-us-we're-oppressed" religious freedom case to the Supreme Court

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Another SHC Death That Wasn’t

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
November 26, 2013

The caller identified himself as “a longtime fan” and had a case for me to look into, he said. A New Jersey man had been found inexplicably incinerated on a state park path. He wondered if it might be an instance of spontaneous human combustion. I explained that the scientific evidence for that possibility was non-existent, but that I would have a look anyway.

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Little Blue Books

Access Points with Timothy Binga
November 26, 2013

You may have seen works in the Little Blue Book series around in bookstores and at garage sales, flea markets, and the like. These small booklets were the result of one man’s desire to turn everyone into a socialist.

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Are You More Clairvoyant Than a 4th-Grader?

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
November 26, 2013

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

First off, yesterday CFI gave a big, sincere "thank you" to everyone who contributed to our drive for typhoon relief. Again, thank you. 

Lindsay Beyerstein interviews Paul Offit about alt-med on the latest Point of Inquiry

Two pieces at Skeptical Inquirer look at the fallout fake-psychic Sylvia Browne's life. Bryan Farha recounts the ways he and others exposed her as a phony over the years:

A few days after Sylvia made several predictions on the Montel Williams Show for the entire upcoming year of 2005, I asked my niece’s fourth grade class, individually, to predict on the same measures. Data analyses indicated that the fourth-graders were, collectively, 25% more accurate than Sylvia was—and these children were literally guessing on many items they knew nothing about (like world affairs, natural disasters, and politics). This was the real Sylvia Browne. 

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Holy Apparitions and “Cryptic Photos”

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
November 25, 2013

On November 10, 2013, my wife Diana and I went on one of our religabouts (excursions to observe or experience some religion-related event—see my blog of January 14, 2013). We responded to an ad in the Buffalo News to learn about “the powerful apparitions” of Jesus and Mary and “awe-inspiring cryptic photos” at a Catholic shrine in Queens, N.Y.

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Infinitely Dense and Infinitely Hot

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
November 25, 2013

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

Today is my boy's 4th birthday. He had a party last night and wore his Batman costume because he is just that awesome. Happy birthday, son. I love you and I'm so proud of who you are. 

It's back! Right now, you can register for the third Women in Secularism conference, May 16-18, 2014 in Alexandria, VA. And speaking of women in secularism, CFI-DC's Melody Hensley has just earned Secular Celebrant status in Washington, DC, and she might be the first secular humanist in the U.S. ever to do so. Melody says, "This is a huge win against religious privilege. We want these laws in every state in the U.S."

Remember how Dave Silverman wasn't allowed to get his atheistic NJ license plate, and then the state relented? Well as I write at Friendly Atheistit's happened again to someone else, and this time, they said if they wanted, they could get a plate that says "Baptist." 

I'll admit it: When compiling the Heresy every day, I get a little weary of dumb Bigfoot stories that all pretty much go the same way, and I lose interest. Sharon Hill, however, makes an important point about active Bigfoot skepticism...

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