Skeptical Commentary Following Tragedy: Exploitation or Education?

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
May 08, 2013

Recent tragedies such as the Boston marathon bombing and the horrific case of three women rescued in Cleveland brought skeptical commentary highlighting the failure of psychics. However some people feel that skeptics should not comment on such events because it smacks of exploitation.

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Mostly False

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 07, 2013

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

Whoa! Eugenie Scott is stepping down as head of NCSE! Oh no! 

Here's an interview I did with Scott before last year's CSICon. She was awfully nice.

PZ Myers declares his disaffiliation from the skeptic movement (so he is now only an atheist, and not what I call a "skepto-atheist"). Massimo Pigliucci will not miss him, but sees trouble within the movement:

I think the primary problem with the skeptic movement — of which I am and remain a proud member — is that too many people, both among the “leaders” and the rank-and-file, seem to be in it for the sheer pleasure of calling others out as idiots. 

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The Joy of Sects

Hollywood Reality Check with Jim Underdown
May 06, 2013

Specifically – obviously – women (who are over ½ the U.S. population) have been getting screwed by religion since well before whatever fiction writer dreamt up the story of The Fall in Genesis. (There, Eve is forever blamed for original sin because she... what now? Ate from the Tree of Knowledge? Oh, please. If God were just, he would have given her a medal instead of kicking her out of the Garden.)

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Announcing Our New Intern: Ed Cara

by Point of Inquiry
May 06, 2013

You may have noticed an increase in our online output lately and that's mostly due to our awesome new intern, Ed Cara. Among other things, Ed is managing our social media presence. He's a welcome addition to the Point of Inquiry team and is at the very least going to explain to us how to Instagram our Vines, or whatever.

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I Just Squirm Untelegenically

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 06, 2013

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

Washington Examiner interviews CFI chief Ron Lindsay on his beliefs regarding religious freedom:

On the one hand it's clear from our constitution the founders wanted the government to stay outside of church internal affairs. We don't want the government deciding who should be a bishop, don't want the government deciding religious dogma, etc. I definitely agree with that position...

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“Junkyard Ghost”

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
May 03, 2013

As mentioned in a recent blog, I assisted with, and appeared on, an episode of MSNBC’s Caught on Camera, “Mysteries and Monsters” (April 21, 2013). It consisted of six videos or films of allegedly paranormal events, the probable solution to one of which I now treat at greater length.

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Blur Some of the Battle Lines

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

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

I was very proud to work under the skeptical-yet-welcoming glow of the Big Blue Meatball of CFI yesterday, as we and our allies held protests in cities around the world to raise awareness of, and demand action in response to, the persecution of atheist bloggers and other dissidents in Bangladesh. Things didn't turn out as we had hoped a couple of weeks ago, as a tragic building collapse in Bangladesh killed hundreds, and as a result, some groups went ahead with protests on the country's day of mourning, and others, including ours, postponed. So things were more thinly spread, but as a result, we got days and days of secular activists talking, tweeting, posting, and demonstrating against crackdowns on free expression. So while things did get a little confusing, and a little jumbled, what we did still mattered, and continues to matter. Thank you, sincerely, to everyone who made an effort.

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If I Worked That Mysteriously, I’d Get Fired

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

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

It's the National Day of Reason, and today, secularists and our allies around the globe will tell Bangladesh and the world that the persecution of atheists and dissenters will not be tolerated, with protests planned in DC, Ottawa, Calgary, Toronto, Dhaka, and London. At Friendly AtheistI make the case for taking this seriously, and forcing the world to care about this by the sheer strength of our message. If you're taking part or helping to promote the cause, tweet using the hashtag #DefendDissent. 

We have a guest post at the CFI blog from freethought activist Dr. Avijit Roy of Bangladesh, who documents and opines on the swirl of activity and danger around this issue.  

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No Flag Large Enough to Cover the Shame - Guest Post from Dr. Avijit Roy

Democratic Discourse with Michael De Dora
May 01, 2013

On May 2, CFI and other organizations will take part in protests around the world against the persecution of atheist bloggers and other dissidents in Bangladesh.  

Dr. Avijit Roy is a Bangladeshi writer perhaps best known for founding Mukto-Mona.com, a website for freethinkers of Bengali and South Asian descent. Over the past several weeks he has been an extremely important contact for the Center for Inquiry, providing us with critical updates regarding the situation in Bangladesh, and connecting us with people in Bangladesh who are in need of assistance. The following is a guest post from Dr. Roy, originally posted at his blog.

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“Girl Rising”: A Nickell-odeon Review

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
May 01, 2013

Shown on a limited basis for a short time in select theaters, Girl Rising should attract humanists for its focus on the world’s need for girls to be educated. As the documentary’s narrator says, “Girls are simply one more thing the world has thrown away.”

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