Is This Our Future?

Advocatus Diaboli with Tom Flynn
January 22, 2013

“If we fail in this great experiment," author Ronald Wright told journalist Chris Hedges, "this experiment of apes becoming intelligent enough to take charge of their own destiny, nature will shrug and say it was fun for a while to let the apes run the laboratory, but in the end it was a bad idea.” Is humankind's assault on its planetary home already past the point of no return?

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No Bright Line That Can Be Readily Drawn

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

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

The president got himself sworn in once again yesterday (ceremonially, as he was sworn in officially the day before in private), and if you heard the speech and the surrounding to-do, you know that there was at least one really good thing for the reason-based community, and one not-so-good thing.

The not-so-good, man, was that inauguration God-heavy. Lots of biblical-this, scripture-that, God-given-this, we-pray-for-that. David Gibson has more on those themes. (And Cathy-Lynn Grossman reminds us that "so help me God" is an informal add-on to the oath.)

On the plus side, the president made a big stink in his speech about climate change, which surprise almost everybody. He rejected the nonsense about it being a hoax, and made clear that it was a generational responsibility to respond to the reality of the crisis. So that was cool. 

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What’s Not Important is to Be an Atheist

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
January 18, 2013

 

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

Pakistan's ambassador to the US, Sherry Rehman, is accused of blasphemy for allegedly making comments that one angry guy felt were derogatory to the Prophet Mohammad. Rehman is a supporter of reform of Pakistan's blasphemy laws.

Tom Flynn demolishes the recent article from Dennis Prager for his misunderstanding of atheism.

Because some folks asked what the CFI policy was on blocking folks on Twitter (though not in a nice way, like, at all), we decided to, you know, have a policy -- rare as it is. Here's the policy in full, and I blogged about it from my own perspective. Of course, all the comments are nasty, so I just can't win.

 

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How to Get Blocked (and Not Blocked) by a CFI Twitter Account

by Paul Fidalgo, Communications Director
January 17, 2013

As there is a lot of heated back-and-forth going on within the skepto-atheosphere, Twitter has become perhaps the prime arena for arguments and debates. Not all of it is constructive, of course, and some of it is downright abusive, and it can be hard to know what crosses the line from criticism (well-meaning or otherwise) to raw hectoring or simply being hurtful.

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Inanimate Objects Possessing Their Own Will

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

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

The Supreme Court of Pakistan dismisses the blasphemy case against Rimsha Masih. The law itself still remains, of course, but Rimsha has been deemed innocent of violating it. 

CSI-ers Ben Radford and Robert Blaskiewicz both weigh in on Sandy Hook conspiracy nonsense for Huffington Post.

Skepchick continues its profiles of speakers at Women in Secularism 2 with scientist Adriana Heguy, cofounder of the website Atheist Universe

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Personas: 1000 and Counting

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
January 17, 2013

As will likely be known by those who have visited my website, I have spent my life in a hands-on search for knowledge—part of it relevant to my career of “paranormal investigator,” but much more of it, I think, applicable to my being a “secular humanist.”

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Prager Misses the Point

Advocatus Diaboli with Tom Flynn
January 17, 2013

In a NATIONAL REVIEW rebuttal of Susan Jacoby's NEW YORK TIMES piece on the atheist response to the school shootings at Sandy Hook, right-wing pundit Dennis Prager proves that he doesn't understand atheism nearly as well as he thinks he does.

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Atheism and the Consolations of Philosophy

It’s Only Natural with John Shook
January 16, 2013

Why would atheism have to console people as much as religion? 

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Not the Lucky Charms Leprechauns

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

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

Folks, I'm telling you, the CFI universe is generating all sorts of high-quality content today. I'm not even kidding. Dig this. 

Deseret News focuses on the religious-liberty battles happening at the state level, and looks to our own Michael De Dora for perspective:

I try to tell our people, 'You might think that what's going on in Congress right now is the most important thing right now, but it's absolutely not. You need to pay attention to what's going on at the school board, city hall and state levels because that's where things are happening.

There's this really great post from one of our CFI On Campus folks, Seth Kurtenbach, on how IBM's Deep Blue may have passed the Turing Test as far back as 1997, at the expense of Garry Kasparov's sanity. 

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Tripping on the Trebuchet: An Interview with George Hrab

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
January 15, 2013

 Not long ago, when George Hrab's latest CD Trebuchet came out, I sat down (not actually, literally, or even metaphorically) and asked him about his music and skeptical influences. And, really, things I probably shouldn't have asked, but there you go. And here you go. 

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