“The Invisible Woman”: A Nickell-odeon Review

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
February 26, 2014

Charles Dickens (1812–1870), the most popular and one of the greatest of English novelists, also deserves plaudits for his literary indictments of society for abusing the poor. To be sure, however, he did have faults. For instance, he fostered belief in the pseudoscientific notion of spontaneous human combustion in his novel Bleak House (1852), although Dickens at least seemed honest in his error.

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The Anatomy of False Accusations: A Skeptical Case Study

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
February 26, 2014

False accusations are of particular interest to skeptics because skepticism has often been at the forefront of giving voice to the wrongly accused. Here's a recent case study. 

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“You (non-Christian) Kids Get Off My Lawn!”

Hollywood Reality Check with Jim Underdown
February 26, 2014

Nowadays, to be intolerant is not the opposite of being Christian, it’s the essence of it!

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Negative Ninjas

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
February 26, 2014

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

Mitt Romney and John McCain are among the Republicans calling on Gov. Jan Brewer to veto the anti-gay "religious freedom" bill passed by the legislature, and she is expected to do so

Eric Sasson at TNR calls these new "religious freedom" bills "the new stand-your-ground laws":

Purporting to be against discrimination, these lawmakers are trying to use the victim card against the very people they want to discriminate against.  

Indiana's House, for now at least, ditches its own "religious freedom" bill

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The State of Our Meatball

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
February 25, 2014

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

The state of our Meatball is strong (the "meatball" is the loving nickname we have for the logo): CFI releases its annual report for 2013, "Progress Report: Advances in Advocacy, Community, and Inquiry." It's mighty pretty, is full of really inspiring developments for our organization, and has a free toy inside. Okay, there's no toy, but you can read it anyway. 

Gabriel Sherman is the guest on Point of Inquiry, talking to Josh Zepps about his big exposé on Fox News Supreme Leader Roger Ailes.

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If Scientific Accuracy is Your Jam

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
February 24, 2014

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

Today's Morning Heresy starts the week on a terribly sad note, as over the weekend freethought activist and friend of the blog Eric Broze died suddenly of unknown causes. Even if you don't know Eric, you're probably aware of some of his work for the movement, which includes the Coming Out Godless project, done with his wife Rose Schwartz, and spearheading the United Church of Bacon based in Las Vegas. 

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A Classic Article on the Religious/Secular Humanist Divide

Advocatus Diaboli with Tom Flynn
February 21, 2014

From time to time I'll flag classic articles from back issues of FREE INQUIRY -- pieces that are worth another read today if you keep your physical back issues. If you're a current FI subscriber, you can also read the article online (link at bottom of this post).

 From the Summer 2002 issue (Volume 22, No. 3), Bible scholar Robert M. Price limns the difference between religious and secular humanism about as elegantly as one can. 

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2014 Will Be a Big Year for the Ingersoll Museum

Advocatus Diaboli with Tom Flynn
February 21, 2014

2014 will be an epic year for the Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum in Dresden, New York. Last year we challenged our donors and friends to raise $70,000 for a long-needed redesign of the museum interior. They exceeded the target by more than $20,000. We're well into the redesign process. The Museum will open in May with all-new exhibits and expanded promotion, and in August we'll have an Ingersoll-themed mini-conference in western and central New York State. For the full story see the link at the bottom of this post!

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Careening Clown Car

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
February 21, 2014

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

Yesterday was an ugly day in state legislation.

Arizona passes an anti-gay free pass for discrimination (or, "religious freedom").

Alabama's House Education Committee approves a bill to allow teachers to lead students in prayer, even though most members of the committee voted against it, with the chairman claiming to have "heard" more yeas than nays in a voice vote. . . .

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Congratulations, You’ve Read The Morning Heresy and Now You’re an Insufferable Smartypants

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
February 20, 2014

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

Herbert and Catherine Schaible, whose adherence to faith-healing resulted in the death of their 2-year-old-son in 2009, are sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison for the faith-healing death of their second child, only 8 months old, from pneumonia. On Twitter, CFI chief Ron Lindsay says the judge in the case was wrong to place blame solely on the parents, but should have also pointed to their church. Ron also tweets:

Minister in faith-healing death case insists teachings are correct. Child died b/c of "spiritual lack" in parents. That minister is a killer 

Brian Palmer at Slate is agog at the popularity of the very-much-full-of-crap "Natural News" page on Facebook, and has a request:

When one of your Facebook friends posts a link to a story about spirulina boosting brain function or how to cure pneumonia with vitamin C, I beg you to respond. A simple “bogus” will help halt their descent into insanity induced by Natural News. 

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