Five Finger Discount on Crosses

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

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

The push to privatize public education and send tax dollars to religious schools has reached new heights of late, with a series of new bills in Congress that would privatize nearly all federal funds for K-12 schooling. We have an action alert out so you can help stop it. 

Check out what we've been up to public-policy-wise throughout the past month in our Advocacy Update

Pope Fluffy: Grave robber

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A Collection of Passionate Oddballs

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

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

The impact of Carl Sagan on humanism is examined by Kimberly Winston, here in the Washington Post. Lots of important skepto-atheists are quoted in here, and somehow I got in there too, saying:

He showed us that to marvel at life on our planet was to cherish it and work to preserve it. For that, we have to reject bad, old modes of thinking, look at the world as it really is rather than how we’d like to believe it is, and tackle the crises that face us. 

Winston also rounds up some of Sagan's profound quotes. Chris Stedman talks to former Sagan pupil, SETI Carl Sagan Center director and Committee for Skeptical Inquiry fellow David Morrison:

Carl was an inspiration to his students—not only in helping us to become good research scientists, but also in challenging us to understand the cultural context of our science and encouraging us to be leaders and reach out to communicate with the public.

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We Get in There and Burp and Scratch

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 05, 2014

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

It's Ash Wednesday, and Michelle Boorstein reports on the reluctance of some of the faithful to don the forehead mark in public.

Amid the outrage over Uganda's awful anti-gay law, American Evangelicals have their hackles up as if to say, "hey, we didn't do it!" 

Last night's Q&A with the team behind the new Cosmos is available to watch online

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The Thornton Page Papers at CFI

Access Points with Timothy Binga
March 04, 2014

With interest renewing due to the upcoming follow-up to Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, I was reminded of one of our more interesting sets of papers here at CFI, namely, some items donated by the family of Dr. Thornton Page.

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“Slave” Takes Oscars

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
March 04, 2014

It wasn’t a vision, but in my “Nickell-odeon review” of 12 Years a Slave (Nov. 19) I did foresee Academy Awards in that film’s future.

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Your Murky Raison d’Etre

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 04, 2014

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

Daniel Loxton, author of one of my son's favorite books, Ankylosaur Attackis the guest on Point of Inquiry this week. 

Carrie Poppy chants her way to altered states of consciousness at Skeptical Inquirer:

I felt like I was out of my body, floating above it. I couldn’t tell if my hands were near my face or far, far away. I wasn’t sure if my eyes were open or closed. I heard sounds no one else appeared to hear and saw vague, distant images: a pink diamond, a rooster with a pyramid for legs, an elderly woman in a revealing gown. At one point I snapped to attention and found that my upper body had been rhythmically swaying in a semi-circle. I wasn’t awake, and I wasn’t asleep. I was in a trance. 

Rob Boston's book Taking Liberties goes on sale today, and you can read an excerpt here

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Can Hair Turn White Overnight?

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
March 03, 2014

For centuries, it has been widely believed that fright can turn hair white. They say that the hair of condemned prisoners (such as Thomas More and Marie Antoinette) turned white the night before their executions. They say that many people who have terrifying experiences with ghosts find that their hair has turned white as... snow. Of course, "they" say a lot of things.

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A Flash of Luminescence in a Great Dark Ocean

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 03, 2014

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

NPR's Michele Norris will be at a CFI-Michigan event March 12 in Grand Rapids. How cool is that? 

A federal judge says Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages from out of state, and gives the state until March 20 to get its ducks in a row. 

Sharon Hill at Skeptical Inquirer explores the desire by many to believe that prehistoric and long-dead species are still among us.

This is genuinely useful: Tim Farley shows you how to debunk questionable images really quickly with a couple of clicks. 

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Evidence-Based Reasoning: Comments on a Blog Post

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
February 27, 2014

Evidence-Based Reasoning. This is a phrase you hear skeptics use a lot. We at CFI use it. We firmly believe in the importance of evidence-based reasoning and critical thinking. This is one reason I’m disappointed in Ben Radford’s recent post. Ben has done some good work for this organization over the years, but I’m afraid this latest post may have been written in some haste.

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Pink Monopoly and Pink Pens

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
February 27, 2014

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

Ensaf Haider, wife of imprisoned Saudi dissident Raif Badawi, gives a heartbreaking interview to IFEX:

Raef's health has deteriorated; he developed diabetes when he was first arrested, and he has faced problems with his heart. He also suffers from unsanitary detention conditions and from malnutrition, but I have not heard anything about him being subjected to torture or anything of the sort. Despite all of this, his morale is very high and he is not broken. ... My life has changed 180 degrees, it is enough to say that overnight I became both mother and father to my children, and I live in a daily nightmare of questions from my children about Raef. 

Arizona governor Jan Brewer vetoes SB 1062. She says:  

Senate Bill 1062 does not address a specific and present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona. I have not heard of one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated. 

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