Delving Into Molecular Innards

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
November 20, 2013

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

Fascinating: Scientists and physicians are relying on "spiritual healers" in Uganda to alert them to folks showing symptoms of the plague, and to help get them real medical attention:

"We trained traditional healers how to spot the symptoms of the plague," says [medical anthropologist Mary] Hayden, who now works at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. "We gave them cellphones with the hospital's number programmed into it. And we gave them bicycles so they could help get people to clinics." 

Ron Lindsay weighs in on the "hand-wringing" over religious liberty in the marriage equality debate:

The suggestion that the government can require religious institutions to perform a marriage ceremony for anyone is a bogeyman, a phantom worry. . . . The government must respect religious beliefs, and should not compel a person to perform an act affecting that person’s body that is inconsistent with that person’s beliefs.  But that does not imply the religious can attempt to control the actions of others.  

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Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
November 19, 2013

Hawaii recently became the fifteenth state to legalize same-sex marriage. As more and more states recognize same-sex marriage, there’s been some noise about how legalization of same-sex marriage may infringe on freedom of conscience and violate the rights of some religious believers. As far as I can tell, this is a needless worry.  In fact, the lack of any legitimate basis for concern makes one suspect this hand-wringing over the supposed threat to religious liberty is merely a veiled attempt to derail the movement to legalize same-sex marriage.

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Pez, Scientologists, and Super Powers

Hollywood Reality Check with Jim Underdown
November 19, 2013

I challenge your entire worldwide church to find ONE person who can pony up ONE super power and demonstrate it under scientific testing conditions.

 

You Scientologists do like science, don’t you?

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“Eighty Years and More”

Access Points with Timothy Binga
November 19, 2013

What would have been Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s 198th birthday occurred back on November 12, 2013. When I was reminded of the date, I posted a picture on Facebook of an artifact we have here at the Center for Inquiry Libraries.

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“12 Years a Slave”: A Nickell-odeon Review

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
November 19, 2013

This is not a movie to enjoy, but it is one that will amply repay one’s time spent watching it.

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Here Comes the Mufti! Here Comes the Mufti!

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
November 19, 2013

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

Dig it: Josh Zepps has got Bill Nye for the latest episode of the shiny-new Point of Inquiry!

NASA launches a new mission to Mars, the MAVEN probe, which will explore the planet's atmosphere.  

It's a Ban Ki-Moon kind of day. First, he's urging the European Union to take the lead in fighting climate change (not mentioned: probably because we in the U.S. are really, really not). Then, he goes and declares today World Toilet Day for reasons that are totally not funny but it's still okay to think that it's fun to say "World Toilet Day." 

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Putting the Levity in Leviticus!

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
November 18, 2013

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

Monday. Monday, Monday, Monday. So much news to catch up on for Monday's Heresies. Maybe I need to do a weekend edition. Ha! No. 

At Skepticon, American Atheists' Dave Muscato is threatened with a gun. He gives all the details he can here, but he's fine, and totally unharmed, for which the Morning Heretic is very, very glad. (I get all trembly and chokey-uppy just typing this.)

Last week, Neil deGrasse Tyson appeared at an event sponsored in part by CFI-Michigan, and here's an awesome exchange between the man himself and a super-smart 9-year-old about asteroid deflection. 

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Andy Kaufman Was Bigfoot the Whole Time!

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
November 15, 2013

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

Quack cancer doctor Stanislaw Burzynski gets front-page treatment in USA Today, with a series of stories on his practice under the banner "Science or Snake Oil?" 

Brantley Hargrove at the Dallas Observer does a long piece on the saga that is the Texas battle over evolution in textbooks. 

Former GOP science policy adviser Mischa Fisher writes in The Atlantic that the Republican Party is getting a bad rap as being anti-science. I take to Friendly Atheist to say, meh, I'm not so sure about that, but I do concede one point:

It’s possible that by shouting from the hilltops that Republicans hate science and they Democrats love it (or, more specifically, that secular humanist atheist liberal poindexter college professor elitists love science), it becomes more and more toxic for Republican leaders to embrace, lest they look like the aforementioned pinkos to their base. 

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Pathetic Little Pamphlet

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
November 14, 2013

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

Ron Lindsay reconsiders the notion that Greece v. Galloway plaintiffs' attorney Doug Laycock threw atheists under the bus in his argument before SCOTUS. Not so much thrown, says Ron, but "bumped." Still, the bus.

CFI joins a coalition of 125 civil rights, religious, and community-based organizations to ask the DOJ to investigate Muslim profiling by the NYPD.

Tim Maudlin at Aeon: Though the universe seems fine-tuned, we are mere accidents. 

Video of the excellent presentation from Maryam Namazie is now up at the Women in Secularism website.  

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Negligent Homicide, Not Murder

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
November 13, 2013

I have received a number of comments on my blog post the other day re the oral argument in Town of Greece v. Galloway. Some have agreed with my assessment. (And some who wrote about the argument independently made a similar assessment.) Others have said my judgment was far too harsh or unfair. Critics have focused on my assertion that the plaintiffs’ counsel threw atheists under the bus. These critics have insisted that the attorney didn’t have much choice when he indicated the concerns of atheists did not have to be considered in shaping a remedy because he could not have argued that prayer should be eliminated entirely—not if he wanted to win the case.

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