Sadly Mistaken

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 03, 2017

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

Trump is set to sign an executive order on "religious liberty," which of course is really about discriminating against LGBTQ folks and controlling the bodies of women. Put it this way, when Politico (or as they call themselves, POLITICO) reports that "the signing would represent a major triumph for Vice President Mike Pence," you know it's a bad thing. Anyway, boy are you gonna hear from us on this. In fact, we've been pushing to stop this thing before it came into being.

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Increasingly Unavoidable

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 02, 2017

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

At the Vision Summit, a major conference for virtual reality and augmented reality, Richard Dawkins discussed virtual reality as an ages-old concept, thanks to the VR software in our own brains. He starts at about the 41-minute mark.

Benjamin Radford uses an episode of the ghost-hunting show Kindred Spirits as a case study of paranormal investigations done badly:

This is one of the most common mistakes in ghost hunting: Trying to establish the identity of a ghost (through a psychic medium, historical research, etc.) before establishing that the ghost exists at all. 

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Case Study in Flawed TV Ghost Investigation: ‘Kindred Spirits’

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
May 01, 2017

The ghost hunting TV show 'Kindred Spirits' offers an example of how not to investigate ghosts. 

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Guided by Yetis

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 01, 2017

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

Happy "Loyalty Day," you faithless bunch of subversives. 

The CSICon 2017 website is up, and you can register now to join us in Vegas


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“The Lost City of Z”: A Nickell-odeon Review

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
April 28, 2017

The Lost City of Z is the story of an alleged indigenous city in Brazil’s Amazon, its name given by British soldier, surveyor, and explorer Col. Percy Fawcett who sought to prove its reality. To understand Fawcett’s quest, we must see it in the context of such myths generally, which—pursued from the fifteenth century—helped lead to the development of archaeology.

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Equivalent to Falling Back

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 28, 2017

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

Rep. Ted Lieu and Senators Patty Murray and Corey Booker introduce the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act of 2017, which would have the FTC classify gay-conversion therapy as the pseudoscientific bamboozle that it is.   

Speaking of conversions, here's a real one. Kelsey Osgood, wrting for Longreads and Atlas Obscura, profiles converts to the Amish-Mennonite faith and way of life

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A Worm-Like Creature

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 27, 2017

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

Pew Research looks at the connection between education levels and religious belief in the U.S. and finds that while higher levels of education are linked to lower levels of religious belief, it's not a blowout, and it doesn't even seem to apply to Christians.  

Does this count as a shark-jump? Pope Fluffy gives a TED Talk

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I Am Just a Little Fish

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 26, 2017

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

Here's a cool thing: In the latest Richard Dawkins Foundation newsletter just out this morning, we have an exclusive excerpt from Annabelle Gurwitch's new book Wherever You Go, There They Are, provided just for us by Gurwitch herself. Remember, she's chatting with Dawkins in Boulder on May 22

The creator of the misogynistic "Red Pill" men's rights Reddit forum, "pk_atheist," is revealed by Bonnie Bacarisse of The Daily Beast to be New Hampshire GOP state legislator Robert Fisher. In one example posting, Fisher says, "I'm going to say it- Rape isn't an absolute bad, because the rapist I think probably likes it a lot. I think he'd say it's quite good, really." 

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Nobody Cares about Polar Bears

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 25, 2017

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

The Morning Heresy now salutes Josh Zepps as we post his final episode hosting Point of Inquiry. He's got an awesome guest: SETI's Jill Tarter. WHAT'S GONNA HAPPEN TO POINT OF INQUIRY?!?!?! Sssshhhh. Patience. All will become clear in time. 

Our own Michael De Dora and Nick Little coauthor an op-ed running at Religion News Service making the case that America's true "first freedom" is not the free exercise of religion, but freedom from religion...

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Ghost “Orbs” at the Witch’s Barn

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
April 24, 2017

Many ghost hunters insist that “orbs”—strange balls of light that mysteriously appear in their photos—are a form of “spirit energy.” If so, they seem nowhere more evident than at a Rhode Island barn where, according to some sources, two persons were hanged, including a witch named Bathsheba. She was central to the horror film, The Conjuring, reportedly based on the case files of the infamous Ed and Lorraine Warren, self-styled “demonologist” and “clairvoyant” who made a career of scaring people with made-up demons.

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