“Between Consenting Adults”

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
January 06, 2012

Many of you have probably heard about the resignation of Catholic Bishop Gabino Zavala.  You may have heard of it without even becoming aware of it, because it is the type of news that no longer attracts special attention.  Another day, another sex scandal for the Catholic Church.  Nowadays, weather reports are likely to be more memorable.

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‘Expert Eyewitness’ Shoots Dog Walker: Skeptical Lessons from Tragedy

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
January 05, 2012

A woman was shot last week when a state trooper mistook her two retriever dogs for a deer; what does this say about expert eyewitness testimony?

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Why Students are a Priceless Investment

by Dren Asselmeier
January 04, 2012

Students, young people, and the "30 under 30" that some people reference (the idea that 30% of people under 30 are not religious, which I can't confirm the accuracy of right now, but is still relevant in this context) are part of a growing trend to include students in activism and secular organizations. Some organizations, like American Atheists, have done innovative things to get students involved. Offering free or reduced rates for organization membership, giving free or very inexpensive entry to conferences, and offering grants and scholarships to students for their hard work and dedication to our missions are all simple measures that attract students and make them feel important to our movement.

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“Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” (A Nickell-odeon Review)

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
January 03, 2012

"Ah, Watson, do come in. I see you have just been to that latest, ah, ‘movie,' supposedly based on what you so faithfully romanticize as my ‘adventures.' And I perceive you were extremely dissatisfied with it.

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Plantinga’s Closing Argument

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
January 03, 2012

Alvin Plantinga’s latest book, Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion and Naturalism, has received a fair amount of attention. Plantinga has even been written up in the New York Times. Having read most of his book, I will acknowledge that it confirms he is a clever polemicist. He can present a thoroughly fallacious argument with confidence, dressing it up so it appears superficially impressive.  God may not have a more skilled advocate. 

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Rebecca and Riley: Tempest in a Doll’s Tea Party

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
January 02, 2012

Skepchick blogger and skeptical colleague Rebecca Watson wrote a scathing blog about a column I wrote on a viral video starring a girl named Riley, and her rant about gender-stereotyped colors and toys. How valid are her criticisms? Decide for yourself. 

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A New Year’s Resolution: Admit You are an Atheist

It’s Only Natural with John Shook
December 31, 2011

For so many people, it’s really about time.

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Personhood arguments fail, but fight for reproductive rights goes on

Democratic Discourse with Michael De Dora
December 30, 2011

Proposals to change the legal definition of personhood to include fertilized human eggs are rightly doomed, but reproductive rights advocates should remain vigilant in defending and promoting access to safe, legal health care.

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Investigating Life as a Poet

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
December 29, 2011

Given that my main persona is investigator—of historical and literary mysteries (see my "Did Shakespeare Write ‘Shakespeare'?" in the Nov./Dec. 2011 Skeptical Inquirer), as well as homicides, and, most extensively, of paranormal enigmas—relatively few know of me as a poet—in which role I investigate life and attempt to shape the results into art.

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Five Solved ‘Unexplained Mysteries’ of 2011

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
December 27, 2011

Each year brings new puzzles and mysteries to challenge skeptics and put our wits to the test. Sometimes mysteries take weeks, months, or even years or decades to solve, and while most of the public's attention naturally focuses on the still-mysterious, it's always worth reflecting on former mysteries. Here are five high-profile (temporarily) unexplained mysteries that were finally solved in 2011.

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