A Skeptical Look at ‘Balance’

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Ben Radford
April 16, 2012

The idea of "balance" is very popular in both society in general and especially with New Age and alternative medicine crowds. While it offers a superficially appealing way to view the world, it is actually often incorrect, misleading, and potentially unscientific. 

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The Morning Heresy 4/16/12: Ale Mary

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 16, 2012

Your daily digest of relevant news and links from Paul Fidalgo

Ron Lindsay on Chris Mooney's The Republican Brain

[It's] an important book. It advances a thesis that, if true, has significant implications for psychology, politics, and public policy. The book marshals a wide array of research in support of its thesis, and this research is accurately and perceptively summarized. However, I don’t believe there is sufficient evidence to support the book’s central claims. 

The National Day of Reason approaches! CFI has resources for folks who want to celebrate the day. Our friends in San Francisco have a chance to ask Mayor Edward Lee to proclaim a city-wide Day of Reason: see the petition here!  

 

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A Closer Look at The Republican Brain

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
April 15, 2012

The Republican Brain is a well-written and informative book. I learned a lot from it. It’s also an important book. It advances a thesis that, if true, has significant implications for psychology, politics, and public policy. The book marshals a wide array of research in support of its thesis, and this research is accurately and perceptively summarized. However, I don’t believe there is sufficient evidence to support the book’s central claims.

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On the death of Andrew Breitbart (and others)

Democratic Discourse with Michael De Dora
April 13, 2012

How we should feel when people who we believe have done great harm to society die? Some of my thoughts on the recent death of Andrew Breitbart, and others.

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The Morning Heresy 4/13/12: Whoop Howls

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 13, 2012

Your daily digest of relevant news and links from Paul Fidalgo

Scientific American Mind long-form piece on the happiness (or lack thereof) of nonbelievers 

Nonbelievers are considered immoral, untrustworthy and, in the U.S., among the least likely to be elected president. A handful of states’ constitutions even ban atheists from holding public office. Worst of all, a large body of research suggests that, as compared with religious individuals, people who lack a creed are less likely to be healthy and happy—surely the two most important earthly concerns—and tend to lose out on at least seven years of life, some estimates suggest. Several large-scale population studies have reinforced a single premise: the more you engage with religious activities, the better off you are. 

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The Morning Heresy 4/12/12: Woodrow Wilson’s Head Explodes

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 12, 2012

Your daily digest of relevant news and links from Paul Fidalgo

Hemant: Jessica Ahlquist is still under siege in Cranston 

Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) on April 28 to introduce new group for victims of merciless childhood peers, and not a moment too soon, with founding of ABAC: Adults Bullied As Children

"These debilitating experiences may carry lifelong emotional consequences and the impact of our pain from having been bullied can be shared and alleviated in a safe, secular self-empowering mutual support group setting; the group dynamic can provide acceptance, strength, and energy in order to overcome, to grow, to feel appropriately good about ourselves both collectively and individually."

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The Morning Heresy 4/11/12: $23-an-ounce Tube of Water

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 11, 2012

Your daily digest of relevant news and links from Paul Fidalgo

Ron Lindsay casts a skeptical eye on Chris Mooney's new book's thesis (as expressed in this week's Point of Inquiry)

CFI's Dren Asselmeier on religious conservatives' fuzzy thinking on gay rights and church-state separation (with a fun George Takei picture)

What else happened yesterday? Oh yeah: Santorum bows to the inevitable

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The Republican Brain—Is It Sound Science?

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
April 10, 2012

Chris Mooney is an experienced science journalist, a skilled writer, a great host for Point of Inquiry, and a friend. Not a close friend, but he is someone who has helped me and CFI on several occasions and I never forget a favor. But, paraphrasing Aristotle, although Chris is dear to me, so too is truth. I’m concerned that Chris’s new book may be advancing a thesis that lacks adequate scientific support.

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Scanning Loch Ness

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
April 10, 2012

From March 14 to 17, 2012, I explored Scotland’s Loch Ness with British skeptic and investigator Hayley Stevens and her intrepid father, Andy (a professional driver and talented photographer). We took a sonar-equipped boat across the lake to Urquhart Castle, noting depths of up to 750 feet, and I bagged one of the fabled creatures—in the accompanying poem.

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The Morning Heresy 4/10/12: Ralph Reed, Friend to Atheists

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 10, 2012

Your daily digest of relevant news and links from Paul Fidalgo

CNN: Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) says there is probably no such thing as atheists because we have "in God we trust" on our money. I don't understand the rest of what he said, either.

Ironically, Ralph Reed gives the far more generous take on atheists' chances and qualifications for serving in public office 

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