The Wise Old Goat in a Flock of Sheep

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 21, 2013

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

Obviously, most Americans' hearts and minds are concentrated on the victims of the tornadoes in Oklahoma and across the Midwest. We'll have a formal statement soon, and in the mean time please consider donating to help those affected.

Wowie-wow-wow-WOW. The already-loathsome Daily Caller outdoes itself by harrassing and insulting one of our own. Read about the saga of SCA's Lauren Anderson Youngblood and the "Dick pic" email from Christopher Bedford. You rock on, Lauren. <communications directors' secret high-five-handshake>

Ryan Koronowski dismantles the gee-that's-really-wrong WaPo op-ed on climate change by House science chair Lamar Smith.  

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If You Threw Yourself in Front of a Train

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 20, 2013

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

The conference was great. It had a high bar to meet with last year's huge success, but it was easily cleared. Talk to talk, panel to panel, and the amazing freaking voice of Shelley Segal, it was a real and substantive pleasure to be at Women in Secularism 2. 

We, of course, had our controversies. CFI chief Ron Lindsay has posted the prepared text of his opening remarks that caused an enormous amount of debate and very strong feelings, reactions to which can be found all about the interwebs. 

I know, many, many folks are itching for video of the conference talks. While you wait for us to crank up the movie machine, sate your desire with videos from last year's conference

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Watson’s World and Two Models of Communication

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
May 18, 2013

Rebecca Watson inhabits an alternate universe.  At least that is the most charitable explanation I can provide for her recent smear.  Watson has posted comments on my opening talk at Women in Secularism 2.  It may be the most intellectually dishonest piece of writing since the last communique issued by North Korea. 

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A Few Examples of “Shut Up and Listen”

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
May 18, 2013

So I gave a talk yesterday afternoon in which I emphasized how horrible it was that women had been suppressed for thousands of years, and, on many matters, had been instructed to remain silent.  As I stated at the end of my talk, this enforced silence robbed women of their humanity, and I indicated that CFI was committed to working toward a society in which the autonomy of women would be respected and, among other things, they would be free to express themselves however they wanted. 

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My Talk at WIS2

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
May 17, 2013

There has been some discussion, including many tweets, about my talk today at Women in Secularism 2. I think some of the comments have been highly misleading. One of the principal points of my talk was the critical importance of advocacy for women's rights, and how this advocacy was integral to CFI's mission. This is something I emphasized at the beginning and end of my talk. You wouldn't realize this from some of the comments. Anyway, here is the text of my talk (note the video recording may differ slighly, as I did not read it word-for-word; also grammar and punctuation probably are amiss in places, as it was intended for my eyes only).

 

 

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“42”: A Nickell-odeon Review

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
May 17, 2013

My first understanding of the moral imperative of racial integration probably came from my father. He had been a talented baseball pitcher in college (with, I’m told, an impressive all arms-and-legs delivery and a tremendous “slider” ball). I think some part of him always regretted giving up that tentative career for a sensible job and the role of family man, and he often talked baseball. I listened especially well during the fifties and sixties when that conversation turned to civil rights, and he would tell of having played against, and even at times bunked with, what were then known as “Negro” baseball players. That he considered them unquestionably equals no doubt helped spark my own involvement in the civil rights movement (especially during 1964–68).

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Laugh or Cry? I Can’t Decide

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 17, 2013

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

Women in Secularism 2 kicks off today! To judge by the tweets of attendees, there is an enthusiasm for this conference that I've not seen for an event at least since the Reason Rally. And not for nothin', but the WiFi in the hotel lobby is great, and the hotel Starbucks employees are really nice, so things are already looking up. For live updates, images, and bad jokes, watch the Twitter hashtag #wiscfi (knowing that it will also have its share of detractors in the stream) and the official CFI Twitter account @center4inquiry...which is me!

Matthew Brown at Deseret News (who does a lot of great church-state coverage) looks at the "softening" of the White House faith-based initiative, as emphasis moves from money to the sharing of information and being generally helpful.

Lawrence Krauss joined CFI's Office of Public Policy in sending a letter to Rep. Lamar Smith, chair of the House Science Committee, asking him to scrap his ill-advised proposal to hamper NSF funding:

These requirements represent a serious misunderstanding of the nature of scientific inquiry and discovery and, if approved, would not facilitate, but instead obstruct productive scientific research. 

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The Point of Inquiry Weekly Wrap-up: Michael Levi

by Point of Inquiry
May 17, 2013

This week's episode on Point Of Inquiry with energy expert (and moderate) Michael Levi.

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$100 Trillion Per Light-Second

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 16, 2013

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

Must-read: Ken Chitwood at the Houston Chronicle reports on the state of women's equality in the skepto-atheosphere, providing background for the Women in Secularism conference (starting tomorrow!), and talking to CFI's Melody Hensley. 

(Speaking of the conference, yes, there will still be a Morning Heresy tomorrow, hopefully going up around its usual time.) 

Amanda Marcotte, one of the WiS speakers, relates a heartening geek culture anecdote to the situation within skepto-atheism.

Two-thirds of Canadians are Christian in some way, but that about a quarter are "nones." 

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Paul Fidalgo is Endorsed by Optimus Prime

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 15, 2013

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

Persecuted Bangladeshi atheist bloggers Subrata Adhikari Shuvo and Russel Parvez are released on bail.

From our Office of Public Policy, we're on board with 70 other groups pushing to keep abortion restrictions out of the congressional appropriations process.

A lot of Point of Inquiry action. . . 

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