He Who Doesn’t Pray to God Prays to the Devil

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
March 16, 2013

Been gone for a few weeks. Living in a cave in north Pakistan. Little known fact: Al-Zawahiri snores.

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Former Hillary Clinton Advisor Authors Atheist News Roundup

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

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

Yesterday, CFI gave its official response to the election of Pope Francis, mainly in the context of social issues, Meanwhile, Argentina's "Dirty War" dogs the new pope.  

A bill in the US House by Rep. Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma calls for protecting religious minorities in the Arab world. Though it does not mention anything about the nonreligious, it does call for an end to blasphemy laws.

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

(1) recognizes, in this spirit of Arab Spring revolution, that religious minority freedoms and rights must be protected; and

(2) urges in the strongest terms that the United States Government lead the international effort to repeal existing blasphemy laws. 

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Non Habemus Google Lector

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 14, 2013

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

You of course are aware of the biggest news story that came down yesterday, affecting perhaps a billion people around the world, and impacting every aspect of our culture: Google Reader is shutting down.

Oh, also, there's a new pope. Frank-something.

There's going to be a lot to digest about this guy over the coming days and weeks. Key things for our folks to know is that, yes, shock of shocks, he's a doctrinaire conservative in terms of things like sex and abortion, though he is also said to have a social justice streak in terms of things like poverty... 

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The Scope of Skeptical Activism: A Personal Story Part 1 of 2

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
March 13, 2013

I'm best known for my skeptical investigations and research into paranormal subjects. It's not surprising that people tend to focus on that, since those are weird, sensational claims, but that's only a small part of my work. Here's a look at the broader scope of skeptical activism from my personal perspective.

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Secularists Should Welcome Church-State Expert As New Head of Faith-Based Office

Democratic Discourse with Michael De Dora
March 13, 2013

In a move that should draw praise from secularists, the White House confirmed today that it would appoint Melissa Rogers as the new director of the federal Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Rogers will replace Joshua DuBois, who stepped down last month.

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Stop Giggling When I Say “Cometary Panspermia”

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 13, 2013

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

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain declares March 14 to be the International Day to Defend Apostates and Blasphemers, highlighting the persecution of folks like Alexander Aan, Alber Saber, and other dissidents highlighted by our own Campaign for Free Expression, and CFI's president and CEO Ron Lindsay is a signatory to the effort. 

If this is true, it's a big deal: Carl Franzen at The Verge reports on news about the Red Planet:

NASA just announced that its Curiosity rover has discovered evidence that Mars had the conditions necessary to support life in ancient times, specifically microorganisms.  

And not just "kind of" support life:

"We have found a habitable environment that is so benign and supportive of life that if this water was around and you had been on the planet, you would have been able to drink it," said John Grotzinger, Curiosity's chief project scientist. 

And if this is true, it may be an even bigger deal: Cardiff University scientist Jamie Wallis claims to have found fossilized microbes in a rock...from space. Says Wallis:

This provides clear and convincing evidence that these obviously ancient remains of extinct marine algae found embedded in the Polonnaruwa meteorite are indigenous to the stones and not the result of post-arrival microbial contaminants. 

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Are Nonbelievers Perceived as Less Moral?

It’s Only Natural with John Shook
March 12, 2013

Don't assume that research has reached a conclusion yet.

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Be Increasingly Irrelevant

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 12, 2013

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

Lemme tell you, folks. My 7-month-old daughter kept me up most of the night last night. She's a great baby, don't get me wrong, and for someone with only negligible motor and verbal skills, she's really damn funny and charming. But less so at 4am. So I'm a little bleary as I present this morning's edition of the Heresy, so bear with me.  

Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command says that climate change is the greatest security threat to the Pacific region. Whew, good thing it's not real. 

Kansas City Atheist Coalition is banned from a St. Patrick's Day parade, out of "respect for the legacy of St. Patrick." 

Stellar neighbors we never knew we had: Two very nearby, mutually-orbiting brown dwarf stars discovered.  

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Skeptickles

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
March 11, 2013

In defense of her ignorant use of the non-existent word refudiate (following George W. Bush’s misunderestimate), Sarah Palin tried to grab the neologist’s hat by comparing herself to a literary master: “Shakespeare,” she said, “liked to coin new words too.” Well, I refudiate her attemptation to Shakespearialize her allegified coinizing. She misunderestimates our intelligization.

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Looking for Bigger Rocks

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 11, 2013

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

Douglas Adams would be 61 today. And still, I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle. Today's Google Doodle brilliantly honors Adams. Keep clicking the Guide to see really great little animations. (Notably, the Guide in the image looks a lot like a second-generation Kindle.) Here's a permalink to the doodle.

Rob Boston takes to AlterNet to showcase five young people doing battle with anti-science forces in their public schools.  

AFP: Over 100 homes of Christians are burned in Lahore, Pakistan by a mob of over 3000, following allegedly blasphemous remarks from a young Christian. 

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