BMI and the Argument from Antiquity Fallacy

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
August 26, 2013

Is pointing out that a medical procedure has been used by doctors for 150 years an example of a logical fallacy? Maybe, or maybe not...

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Stop Oppressing My Fake Medicine

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

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

Dylan Matthews at WaPo's Wonkblog expands on Matthew Yglesias's call to tax churches, and highlights Ryan Cragun's research for Free Inquiry, in which it is estimated that American taxpayers are subsidizing religion to the tune of over $80 billion a year (Matthews' revised number). The same study is cited in a Star-Ledger editorial, though not by name.

This is pretty big: 9th Circuit Court says California has to compensate an atheist drug offender for sending him back to prison because he refused a religiously-based addiction treatment. It's this kind of thing that makes things like the Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) program important.

CFI's Michael De Dora pens an article on the importance of storytelling in secular activism for the Dawkins Foundation's newsletter

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Skepticism and Humanism - Allies?

It’s Only Natural with John Shook
August 23, 2013

If you could go back in time to ask Bertrand Russell, what would he say?

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This is Part of the Weirding Way

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
August 23, 2013

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

Yesterday, CFI made known its condemnation of violence against religious groups in Egypt:

No person should be targeted for violence because of his or her religious affiliation. As atheists and humanists, though we may disagree strongly with the beliefs of other groups, we wholeheartedly reject oppression and violence carried out against those who hold those beliefs. Freedom of conscience is a fundamental human right.

Hemant Mehta notes that our words are "backed by action," and tells the rest of the skepto-atheist community that "we ought to be among the leading voices condemning a real assault on religious freedom." 

I was the guest pundit on yesterday's episode of Tech News Today on the TWiT network, and it was pretty fun. Also, the host referred to me as the Kwisatz Haderach.

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The Pledge Issue: Consider It Again For The First Time

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
August 22, 2013

I probably don't have to tell most readers of this blog that many nonreligious individuals strongly object to state laws that mandate recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools. I probably also don't have to tell most readers that all legal challenges to these laws have heretofore failed. However, there may now be at least a slim chance that this losing streak will come to an end.

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From Oliver Sacks’ Lips to the (ex) Pope’s Ear

Hollywood Reality Check with Jim Underdown
August 22, 2013

 

I just wanted to drop you a quick note after I read that you had a “mystical” experience when God told you to quit your job.

 

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The Sluggish Pundit’s Dream

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
August 22, 2013

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

A new poll shows that a whopping 70% of Americans are against vouchers for private and religious schools. Well, that's what we think too, and we said so:

Voucher programs are a violation of our founding secular principles, and it is heartening to know that the American people see through its proponents’ façade of reform. 

Holy crap, skin cells can be turned into egg and sperm cellsTweets our boss Ron Lindsay:

Now that we know skin cells have the potential to become babies, will Catholic Church prohibit scratching?  

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Reality Distortion Field of Dreams

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

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

CFI files an amicus brief in the Massachusetts case about the Pledge of Allegiance, and it's not the usual "violates the First Amendment" argument. 

Coptic Christians face a wave of violence in Egypt at the hands of Morsi-supporting Islamists.

The American Muslim Political Action Committee will hold a mass demonstration in Washington on September 11 to protest "religious profiling."

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One of the Most Wonderful Soldiers of Rationalism

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

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

I'm sorry to open the Heresy with some grisly news from India. Here's the IHEU:

It is with deep shock and sadness that we report the assassination this morning (Tuesday, 20 August) of one of India's most renowned rationalist and Humanist leaders, Dr. Narendra Dabholkar.

He was reportedly shot four times by two men on a motorbike this morning on Omkarweshwar bridge in Pune, Maharashtra state. He was reportedly taking his daily morning walk when he was assassinated, a route that may have been known to his attackers.

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Double Stuf Conspiracy

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
August 19, 2013

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

Brian Regal in NJ's Star-Ledger looks at the very non-supernatural roots of the Jersey Devil legend:

The Leeds family does occupy the center of the story, but they were not stereotyped, superstitious rural people. They were politically active religious pioneers, authors and publishers. We have forgotten that the Jersey Devil legend — originally the Leeds Devil — began as a cruel taunt against them, not because of a monstrous birth, but because they had the cultural misfortune of joining the wrong side. 

(I'm from this area, and as a kid, my grandfather delighted in successfully scaring the crap out of me with tales of the Jersey Devil.)

The Baltimore Sun covers pet psychics, and gets badly-needed perspective from our own Joe Nickell.

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