Apocalyptic Reactions

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 13, 2016

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

We need you to tell your Congressmonster to vote "no" on this crap bill called the "Conscience Protection Act." But Paul, you say, what's so bad about protecting people's consciences? Don't you like consciences? And they're so cute! They look like Jiminy Cricket! To which I say, NO, you have been fooled. This bill is actually meant as yet another way to let religious privilege trump the law so health care providers can refuse to provide abortion and contraceptive services. Oh, see, now you get it. Good. Now get clicking.

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Toxic Death Cream

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 12, 2016

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

On Point of Inquiry this week, Josh Zepps talks to computer scientist David Levy about how technology makes it difficult for us to find peace of mind amid a torrent of digital information. I have no idea what that's like. 

Skeptics can be indecisive. We need your help to pick the T-shirt design for CSICon 2016 Las Vegas. Skeptics also like to have opinions on the Internet, so this should be no problem for any of you. 

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Minds, Myths, and Madness

by David R. Koepsell
July 11, 2016

Even while science affords us ever greater understanding about the universe around us, the universe within us remains a distant mystery in many ways. Material reductionism about the brain and ever-better scientific tools and computerization should, one would expect, help us to uncover the mechanisms that make brains and thus minds work as they do, as well as help clarify their various malfunctions. We are a long way off from that understanding and should remain skeptical of breathless claims made about advances in neuroscience and its ability to cast light on mental illness.

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Human Overconfidence

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 11, 2016

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

I was on vacation all last week (I hiked! Me! Twice! What the hell is that about?), not off the grid, but with the grid at arm's length.

OMG Stef McGraw did such a great job filling in for me last week, not just with the Heresy, but with all the other vast (and often byzantine and baffling) communication and PR-hack duties. Thank you, Stef!


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Ultimately our lives are meaningless

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 07, 2016

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

Paul is still on vacation, so you're still stuck with his Morning Heresy understudy, Stef McGraw (with the help of Outreach colleague Cody Hashman).

We just discovered this piece which argues that Bangladesh's recent acts of terrorism are home-grown rather than connected to ISIS, and it's written by none other than the Prime Minister's son. So, take that with the appropriate dose of skepticism.

This is also few days old, but it's an interesting read nonetheless: The Washington Post reports on a former Ivy League student who joined ISIS, became disillusioned, and then called on the FBI to help him escape.

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Unco Junto: Should Skeptics Be Paid for TV Work?

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
July 06, 2016

I've been doing investigations and appearing on TV shows for well over a decade, but an unresolved issue plagues skepticism: Should experts should ask (or demand) to be paid for appearing on TV shows beyond expenses? It's a bit of a tricky issue. I and four contributors discuss the topic.

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Tortuous millennia of climate change

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 06, 2016

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

Paul is still on vacation, so you're still stuck with his Morning Heresy understudy, Stef McGraw (with the help of Outreach colleague Cody Hashman).

We joined with the ACLU and others in telling the Supreme Court to not permit the funding of church facilities with taxpayer dollars. This is in regard to the case of Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Pauley, where the state of Missouri did something right and rejected a church's application for public funds to be used for a church-run children's play area. You can read the amicus brief here .

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“The Conjuring 2”: A Nickell-odeon Review

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
July 05, 2016

p> On the heels of the 2013 The Conjuring comes another James Wan-directed horror film, The Conjuring 2, but it is a bit of a stretch to call it a sequel. It does not continue the case of the Perron family hysterics in Rhode Island, but rather presents another one, that of the Enfield Poltergeist in England, 1977 to 1979.

 

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Deal with it, #Jupiter

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 05, 2016

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

Paul is still on vacation, so you're still stuck with his Morning Heresy understudy, Stef McGraw. 

To our American readers, hopefully you had a good Fourth of July weekend where you grilled some food, watched some fireworks, and didn't get arrested for burning a flag like this guy.

Freedom, right?

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“Genius:” A Nickell-odeon Review

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
July 05, 2016

Movies about genius continue to hold our interest—films like The Imitation Game (2014, heralding the father of the modern computer, Alan Turing), The Theory of Everything (2014, about the theoretical physicist Steven Hawking), and The Man Who Knew Infinity) 2016, on the life of math visionary Srinivasa Ramanujian).

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