Being ‘Over It’-And the Lack of Charity

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
February 19, 2013

On being "Over It," and the lack of charity in discourse. 

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Rewards for Failure

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

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

Spencer Ackerman at Wired: When asteroids come falling, we're essentially screwed

I want to know what, exactly, the Universe is, but I only have a minute. Oh look! A handy video

Well isn't that convenient: Reuters reports that by remaining in the Vatican after he retires, Ratzinger maintains immunity from any prosecution for his role in the abetting of generations of sexual abuse by clergy. 

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The Sham Institution That Employs You

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

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

President Obama begins a decade-long moon shot to bring on the Singularity. Not really, but he does intend to "build a comprehensive map" of the human brain, hoping to make big leaps in treatments for things like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and advances in artificial intelligence. 

Something for seculars to think about regarding our numbers, our percentage among the population. Following new Gallup data that estimates gay, lesbians and transgender Americans at about 3.5 percent, Andrew Sullivan writes:

And why on earth does it matter if we make up 10 percent or 1 percent? A minority’s civil rights are not dependent on how many of them there are or how large a segment of society they form. Do we say: sorry, guys, you only form 2 percent, you don’t meet the minimal bar for becoming a minority? It’s not like running for the Knesset.  

CFI is now a proud member of the pro-marriage equality coalition Respect for Marriage.

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‘Over It’ Follow-Up: Why Would Anyone Criticize an Anti-Rape Poem?

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
February 18, 2013

Feminist activist Eve Ensler wrote a poem saying that she was "over rape" as part of an effort to stop physical and sexual abuse of women. I agreed with much of it, and wrote my own poem based on hers. We have both recently been criticized for it. 

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What Did Science Owe to Christianity?

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

Yes, experimental science arose in Christian Europe. Does the hostage really owe the captor anything?

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Over It.

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

On Valentine's Day, feminist activist Eve Ensler asked women around the world to dance in an effort to stop sexual and physical violence against women in an event she called One Billion Rising. How big is the problem, and will it do any good? 

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Seriously, Duck and Cover

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

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

So, um, holy crap!

A meteor crashing in Russia's Ural mountains has injured at least 500 people, as the shockwave blew out windows and rocked buildings. . . . A fireball was seen streaking through the clear morning sky above the city of Yekaterinburg, followed by loud bangs. 

And this isn't some thing where it all burned up in the sky. There's a freaking impact crater. I mean, look!

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Shaker Digestive Cordial

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
February 14, 2013

My collection of pseudoscience and paranormal artifacts—online at http://www.skeptiseum.org—has received a new addition: a bottle embossed “Shaker Digestive Cordial/A.J. White New York.” It arrived as a gift from a thoughtful skeptic, Alan Harris of a La Cañada, California, who had queried me about it a couple of years ago. (Thanks Alan!)

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Religious Humanism (Or Something) Gone Wild

Advocatus Diaboli with Tom Flynn
February 14, 2013

Now I've seen it all. NonProphet Status (NPS), the blog of Faitheist author Chris Stedman, is inviting seculars to give something up for Lent!

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Valentinosaurus

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

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

Along with our related conundrum over Christmas and Santa Claus (there is no such conundrum for Tom Flynn, of course), we skepto-atheists are now faced with a holiday named for a Catholic saint, and many of us are expected to take part in the surrounding mainly-secular rituals, which usually involve buying a lot of things that are red and pink. Like Christmas, the holiday now has little to do with its namesake or faith of origin. 

But I suppose there's nothing wrong with using the opportunity to remind the people you love how much you love them, and to do something nice for them. Of course, you can do that any time you want, and you should, but doing it today is just fine also. But do it because you want to, because you mean it, not because the Rite Aid is bedecked with cards and heart-shaped balloons. Thus ends my catechism. 

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