“Girl Rising”: A Nickell-odeon Review

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
May 01, 2013

Shown on a limited basis for a short time in select theaters, Girl Rising should attract humanists for its focus on the world’s need for girls to be educated. As the documentary’s narrator says, “Girls are simply one more thing the world has thrown away.”

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No Black Friday Sales for You!

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 01, 2013

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

Tomorrow, for real this time, CFI and other allies around the world will protest for free expression in Bangladesh. Here are the details, and don't forget when tweeting from or about protest events to include the hashtag #DefendDissent. 

Big news! CFI announces its super-mega-ultra conference, combining the powers of humanism and skepticism into one! It's the CFI Summit, October 24-27 in Tacoma. Early information is here

A bill in Michigan would exempt medical professionals from having to perform any function that conflicted with "moral" religious beliefs. CFI's Office of Public Policy wants Michiganders to tell their state senators to shut that whole thing down

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Theology Just Won’t Understand Human Morality

It’s Only Natural with John Shook
April 30, 2013

Frustrated theologians just can't see how humanity can be moral all on its own.

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DNA and the Falsification of Beliefs

by Lauren Becker
April 30, 2013

April is an important month to commemorate DNA discoveries and announcements, especially in the context of many widely-held religious beliefs.

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I Don’t Want it to Be a Joke

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 30, 2013

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

As we get set to join allies in worldwide protests against Bangladesh's persecution of atheists and dissidents on May 2 (Thursday), Islamists threaten their own demonstration demanding death for blasphemy three days later. 

August usually sucks as a month, generally, let's admit it. Luckily, you've got us. If you're a grownup, you wanna head to the Skeptic's Toolbox (Aug 8-11) in Eugene, OR. If you're a kid, you're gonna wanna get your gear and head to Camp Inquiry (Aug 4-10) in Holland, NY. And as a side note, we're trying to get Karen Strachan of Camp Inquiry to start blogging here at the CFI site, so stay tuned. 

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It’s a Vexing Time

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 29, 2013

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

CFI boss Ron Lindsay was the guest on Jamila Bey's Sex, Politics, and Religion radio show to talk about the free speech crisis in Bangladesh. Our protests on this issue are scheduled to take place this Thursday!

Christian Post has its own reporting on the groups' different choices to protest last week or postpone to this week in the wake of the building collapse. 

Missouri public radio reports on the protests that were held at Missouri University. 

CFI-Portland will host friend-of-the-blog Peter Boghossian on May 12

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Find Mystery Where None Exists

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 26, 2013

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

As I talked about in the last Heresy, yesterday some groups went ahead with their protest plans, despite the national day of mourning in Bangladesh for the victims of the building collpase outside Dhaka. CFI, CFI-Canada, the British Humanist Association, and the protestors in Dhaka itself are postponing until May 2. Kimberly Winston reports on the situation, quoting me and Dave Silverman on our respective groups' decisions.   

The Harvard Humanist Chaplaincy launches a petition asking Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick and White House faith-based initiatives director Melissa Rogers to meet with humanists and nonbelievers to discuss our inclusion (and exclusion) in community memorial and healing events.

Appeal for the publishers of "blasphemous" cartoons jailed in Tunisia is "mysteriously withdrawn."

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The Biography of America’s Lake Monster

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
April 25, 2013

A review of The Untold Story of Champ: A Social History of America's Loch Ness Monster, by Bob Bartholomew. 

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Keep National Trail Mix Day Holy

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 25, 2013

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

Yesterday, a building collapsed outside Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, killing well over 100 people, and injuring over 1000. The government declared today, April 25, to be a national day of mourning. As you know, CFI and other groups were to hold protests in cities around the world against Bangladesh's persecution of atheists and dissenters. The tragic events of yesterday have forced us to reconsider.

CFI and its allies still believe firmly in holding these protests, though we had differing ideas about how to proceed. CFI, CFI-Canada, the British Humanist Association, and the activists in Dhaka itself have decided to postpone protests by one week to May 2. That means we will hold protest demonstrations in DC, New York City, London, Ottawa, and hopefully many other cities on that day. . . .

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“Mysteries and Monsters”

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
April 24, 2013

On April 21, the popular MSNBC-TV show Caught on Camera aired an episode titled “Mysteries and Monsters.” I assisted in the research for the six segments and appeared on camera in three of them. Here is a brief synopsis of the entertaining show, together with some additional comments. (The segments are given in order, with an * indicating the ones in which I appeared.)

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