Amiable and Low-Voltage

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
February 14, 2014

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

US District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen strikes down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage. Happy Valentine's Day. Wrote Wright Allen:

Tradition is revered in the Commonwealth, and often rightly so. However, tradition alone cannot justify denying same-sex couples the right to marry any more than it could justify Virginia’s ban on interracial marriage. 

David Morrison, director of the Carl Sagan Center of the SETI Institute, shares his thoughts about Sagan in a new biographical memoir of the man

Google keeps showing its progressive cred (which it does not always do), this time with a very auditory Doodle for the big V-day, featuring the stories of couples of various kinds.

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Adventures of Piglet and Hedgehog Provoke Death Threats

by Bill Cooke
February 13, 2014

You wouldn’t have thought that publishing a children’s book would result in getting death threats. But it does in Poland. Andrzej Dominiczak, our CFI man in Poland, runs a publishing arm which specializes in humanist and atheist thought for the Polish market. Dominiczak has run into trouble from hardliners before, even from within the non-religious community. 

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One Giant Foxhole

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
February 13, 2014

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

CFI's Lauren Becker dusts off a very moving essay of hers for Darwin Day, on the enormous impact Darwin's grand idea has had on humanity's view of itself:

We are not special creations, but part of a vast continuum of life. No longer children of god, we are children of nature. This is our condition. But if this new understanding is a disorder, if it has caused an identity crisis, then science, too, as in so many other cases, offers relief. 

Rep. Rush Holt praises Darwin on the floor of the House. CFI gets its meme on.

At Skeptical Inquirer, Cameron M. Smith has an idea as to why so many of us still have a problem accepting evolution...

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Darwin, Sacks, and Humanity’s Identity Crisis

by Lauren Becker
February 12, 2014

A few years ago, while researching a talk for Darwin Day, I came across an article by Steve Silberman called "The Fully Immersive Mind of Oliver Sacks." Though it seemed unrelated to Darwin, I soon realized that Sacks and Silberman could help me get a better understanding of the cultural controversy over evolution and find an even greater appreciation for the gift of Darwin’s grand idea.

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God is a Crude Graffito

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
February 12, 2014

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

Happy Darwin Day, heretics. We can help you celebrate. We've got posters, a Facebook cover for your profile, and...what's this? A Galápagos cruise???

CFI-Fort Lauderdale is part of a Darwin Day event this Saturday with Donald Prothero and Michele Williams. Kimberly Winston at RNS has more on other D-Day goings-on.

South Carolina is stopped from adopting K-12 science standards because this one guy doesn't like Darwin

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The Ethics of Free-Market Kidneys, Part 2

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
February 11, 2014

In some countries selling one’s organs is perfectly legal. In the United States, it is against the law, although many people have suggested that legalizing the trade would save lives and offer real social benefits. Others find it an ethically dubious proposition. Part 2.  

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Poisonous and Medieval

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
February 11, 2014

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

It's a heavy and fascinating Point of Inquiry, as Josh Zepps talks to addiction expert Stanton Peele about some of his contrarian views on recovery, particularly in the context of the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. 

Justin Vollmar, head of the Virtual Deaf Church, comes out to his flock, in ASL of course, as an atheist, and "joins forces" with the Clergy Project, calling the whole thing a "profound wonderful change in my life."  

Meanwhile, Clergy Project director Catherine Dunphy is interviewed at Faith in Feminism...

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The Ire of Some Tedious Nerd

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
February 10, 2014

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

The Justice Department will now be extending federal marriage benefits to same-sex couples.  

Michael Kirkland at UPI has a good summation of what's at stake in Greece v. Galloway, the prayer-at-government-meetings Supreme Court case. CFI has filed an amicus brief

Prospective NFL-er Michael Sam comes out as gay, and might wind up being the first openly-gay pro football player. 

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Well This Camel Says You’re Wrong

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
February 07, 2014

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

At the National Prayer Breakfast (barf), the silver lining to that offense-to-all-things-secular was that President Obama did nonbelievers and free expression a good turn with a spirited declaration of the need for global religious liberty:

We see governments engaging in discrimination and violence against the faithful. Sometimes religion is twisted in an attempt to justify hatred and persecution against other people just because of who they are, how they pray, or who they love… We believe in the inherent dignity of every human being, a dignity that no earthly power can take away. Central to that dignity is freedom of religion, the right of every person to practice their faith how they choose, to change their faith if they choose or to practice no faith at all, and to do this free of persecution and fear.

At Friendly Atheist, I reservedly take it as a positive sign...

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Humanists Helping Pregnant Girls in Uganda

by Bill Cooke
February 06, 2014

Since the beginning of time, becoming pregnant without sufficient means to maintain oneself and one’s baby has been a guaranteed path to hard times. In the event of the man refusing to play his part rearing the child, the girl’s plight has been dire. Right to the present day, teenage mothers are subject to vicious superstitions. Even when they have been raped, everything still ends up being their fault.

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