Bones of Contention

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
December 11, 2013

On Sunday, November 24, 2013, the Vatican, via Pope Francis, publicly unveiled for the first time several bone fragments that some have claimed are those of St. Peter himself. Retrieved in 1942 from beneath St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, they have since been bones of contention.

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Gardasil, Katie, Merck, and I

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
December 10, 2013

While Couric sifts through what remains of her journalistic credibility, I thought I'd share my brief HPV vaccine story. 

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Egomania and Cowardice

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 10, 2013

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

IHEU releases its 2013 Freedom of Thought Report on the state of persecution for atheists around the world.  

Lindsay Beyerstein conducts an extremely informative interview with Americans United's Barry Lynn on the latest Point of Inquiry. A great primer on the major church-state cases going on.

The Time magazine entry for Pope Francis's nomination for Person of the Year included the assertion that the pope "reject[s] church dogma and luxury." It has since been changed to omit "church dogma." 

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Less Canyon Than Itty-Bitty Crack

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 09, 2013

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

CFI-LA's Jim Underdown takes exception to the recent Time magazine assertion that there are "no atheists in the Grand Canyon," and what he has to say is quite lovely:

[O]verwhelmingly, there it was. That mighty, magnificent chasm 6 million years in the making is the physical embodiment of the word awesome. From the first glow of dawn until the long evening shadows engulf all but the rim, this colossal labyrinth of carved rock changes personalities hour-to-hour, season-to-season, eon-to-eon. It never shows the same face twice. 

Bill Nye pens (and records on video) an open letter to the president encouraging NASA's funding be held at $1.5 billion.

Satanists want a monument of their own alongside the Ten Commandments outside the Oklahoma statehouse, and the ACLU has their back.

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Grand Canyon Atheists? Dear Jeffrey Kluger at Time magazine…

Hollywood Reality Check with Jim Underdown
December 06, 2013

What cold-hearted atheist could gaze upon such a sight and not be filled with marvel and reverence – not for some vague deity created to explain ancient mysteries, but for the barely imaginable grandeur and power of nature? We could practically hear Darwin whispering in our ears to take note of condors soaring effortlessly while we plodded, of scorpions scurrying about while we slept, and of healthy plants that thrive on less than 10 inches of rain per year. We felt God could only be superfluous to such scenery, and would unnecessarily complicate the story behind of this massive mechanism at work.

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Angling on Exoplanets

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

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

Apologies for the late posting - The Morning Heretic as All-the-time-Daddy had to go bring his Baby Heretic to the doctor, but all is well and Baby Heretic is blaspheming happily.  

Wow: Humanist Community Day declared by Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick. I guess he's not running for president. 

(Someone should tell this to Boston University, where the campus humanists were barred from the school's interfaith panel.)

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Awardee

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
December 06, 2013

I am very grateful for two awards recently bestowed on me.

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Tedious, Difficult, Infuriating Work

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 05, 2013

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

CFI has taken over the fantastic Freethought Books Project, which provides skepto-atheist books to prisoners and hooks them up with volunteer pen pals at CFI branches. It's great.  

I'm just wondering, are you guys listening to the relaunched Point of Inquiry yet? Hey, it's me talking here. I'm just getting caught up after holiday travel and whatnot, and I'm telling you. It's great.

Rob Boston has a new book coming out in March: Taking Liberties: Why Religious Freedom Doesn't Give You the Right to Tell Other People What to Do. Sounds right up our alley. 

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Martin Gardner’s Autobiography

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
December 04, 2013

The man whom Stephen Jay Gould called rationality’s “single brightest beacon” has given us yet another fine book, his posthumously published Undiluted Hocus-Pocus: The Autobiography of Martin Gardner (Princeton University Press, 2013). It has an introduction by Persi Diaconis and an afterword by James Randi.

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Vitozone Ozone Generator

Access Points with Timothy Binga
December 04, 2013

The Center for Inquiry Libraries has many interesting and unusual items in our collections. This particular item is part of the Renner Collection, which features materials on quacks and quackery, food faddisms, and other health related items.

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