God is Telling Us to Go to Commercial

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
August 14, 2014

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

Quick note: There will be no Morning Heresy tomorrow, and the blog will resume Monday.

The rights to free expression and a free press were put into grave question last night in Ferguson, MO. I honestly don't know how to handle this here in the Heresy, so I think I'll leave it at that for now and encourage you to read up.  

Indonesia's Supreme Court upholds the blasphemy sentence against atheist Alexander Aan (who has served his full sentence). 

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Some with Bewildered Looks

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
August 13, 2014

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

The Vatican calls upon world religions, particularly Muslims, to speak out against the violence and persecution perpetrated by ISIS:

All must be unanimous in condemning unequivocally these crimes and in denouncing the use of religion to justify them. If not, what credibility will religions, their followers and their leaders have?  

Speaking of ISIS, did you know that Hillary Clinton conspired to bring it to power? Apparently this is a thing now. 

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Neurons in a Doughnut

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
August 12, 2014

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

Robin Williams died yesterday, apparently by suicide, at age 63. I posted my immediate thoughts here

Though not explicitly within the skepto-atheist wheelhouse, the situation in Ferguson, Missouri has major implications for free expression and assembly. Here's a good, succinct look at why

Point of Inquiry this week has a fascinating discussion on how rational people could have allowed World War I, 100 years after its start, with MIT historian Christopher Capozzola. 

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Slender Man’s Cousin from Seattle

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
August 11, 2014

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

Zoe Williams at The Guardian has her eyes opened at the World Humanist Congress about the dire need for secularism around the world. Bangladesh's persecuted atheist bloggers receive Free Expression Awards at the Congress. Nobel prize-winning author Wole Soyinka addressed the conference, arguing that moderate religious leaders are "vicariously liable" for the atrocities of extremists like Boko Haram.

The Vancouver Pride Parade is infiltrated by some anti-gay jerk who insidiously slipped in by disguising himself as a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Bobby Henderson, the deity's originator, disavows the "douche." 

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Death is Just One of the Many Side Effects

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
August 08, 2014

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

Yesterday we had great news about the judgment in our Secular Celebrant case in Indiana being finalized, but we incorrectly said that the state had decided not to appeal. Wrong, they has actually decided not to try and delay the decision, meaning that the law is officially changed now, which is huge, but the state could still request an appeal within 90 days. Chalk it up to miscommunication between well-meaning colleagues and confusion over legal terminology, but we felt very bad for giving folks the wrong information. The news itself is still fantastic, and it's a moment to celebrate. But we're CFI, and facts and the truth are a big deal to us. We always want to correct what's incorrect, even if we look a little dumb as a result. We're sorry for getting that wrong. A new statement will go up today that will have all the correct info. Thanks for bearing with us.

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This Kobayashi Maru Scenario

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
August 07, 2014

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

Brian Pellot previews the World Humanist Congress, and says, "Some of the greatest advocates for these rights I’ve met in the past year have been non-religious groups, a good example being the Center for Inquiry."

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R.V. Pierce Collection

Access Points with Timothy Binga
August 06, 2014

I have worked for the last five or six years on digitizing various items of historic value in my role as an adjunct instructor at the University of Buffalo. I have used the class I taught to not only teach the students various issues that arise while digitizing, but also to help small cultural institutions in the WNY area learn about digitization and get them started in making their collections available to a larger pool of people; namely those who are aware of NYHeritage.org, a repository of digital items from the various libraries of New York State. One of the first collections we converted to digital was the R.V. Pierce Collection of Medical Artifacts.

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Really, Mr. Friedman?

Advocatus Diaboli with Tom Flynn
August 06, 2014

Writing from Tel Aviv, New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman today  surveyed the current Israeli-Gaza war and sighed, "More and more, this is becoming a religious conflict." Becoming, Mr. Friedman? Really? The seemingly-perpetual crisis in the Middle East has been a religious conflict -- not totally, but significantly (and often principally) since its beginnings. And all three Abrahamic faiths bear guilt, in my view.

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Harry Potter and the Atheist of Sioux Falls

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
August 06, 2014

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

The European Space Agency makes history with the successful orbit of its Rosetta spacecraft around comet 67P, which required what one scientist called "the most complex and exotic trajectory that we have ever seen."

(And while you're at it, check out Cassini's picture of a hexagonal cloud formation on Saturn.) 

We at CFI are activating our SHARE program (Skeptics and Humanists Aid and Relief Effort) to raise funds for the Ugandan humanist organization that lost everything after a violent robbery. 

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Is the “Crying Woman” Really Bigfoot?

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
August 05, 2014

While the Animal Planet TV series Finding Bigfoot never does find the elusive man-beast, the show’s “team” tries hard to convince us they have. Again and again, they try to conjure up the mythological creature with a fuzzy photo, bent twig, or fleeting shadow. Their leader, Matt Moneymaker, is, at least, aptly named for a Bigfoot ballyhooer.

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