Get Helen Mirren to a Safe House

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
January 15, 2016

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

Tomorrow is Religion Freedom Day, marking the 230th anniversary of the  Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. So we have an action alert we want you to sign on to, to tell Congress to honor the spirit of that statute, the wall of separation, and civil rights for all no matter their beliefs.  

Embodying the opposite of those principles, Saudi Arabia hands a death sentence (yes, another) to Ashraf Fayadh, a poet charged with apostasy. Yes, they're going to kill him for "abandoning Islam."

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Investigate the Earth’s Roundness

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
January 14, 2016

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

I've always been uncomfortable with the common refrain from the climate-realist camp saying that "97%" of scientists accept human-caused global warming. I always thing, but what's up with that 3%? Well, according to this really fascinating piece at Skeptical Inquirer by James Lawrence Powell, that figure is wrong. The real number? 99.9%, verging on total unanimity. Now I feel much better.  

Indian comedian Kiku Sharda is arrested for "offending religious sentiments" when he performed as guru Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh (the "guru in bling") on TV, who is himself under investigation for urging followers to undergo castrations. Yowza. 

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Love the Method

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

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

Yesterday we found out that award-winning Saudi human rights activist Samar Badawi, sister to Raif and wife to Raif's one-time attorney Waleed Abu al-Khair (both in Saudi prison), was arrested for allegedly using her husband's Twitter account. We did not take kindly to this, and spoke out strongly. Samar is an ally and friend of ours, and Michael De Dora has been keeping close track of what's happening. Our response and our ability to confirm particular details were noted by the APThe GuardianThe Independent, and others. We just moments ago found out that she's been released for now, but will be appearing before police tomorrow.

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Big Pharma Conspiracy Debunked

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
January 12, 2016

Does Big Pharma really prevent the publication of studies unfavorable to their popular drugs? A closer look.

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Brutal, Fear-Driven, Apocalypse-Based

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

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

Turkey is "disturbed" by the rhetoric against Muslims in the GOP presidential race, and, well, I don't blame them. Of course, I'm pretty disturbed by a lot of what Turkey does and says lately, too. So.

800th time's the charm? Michael Newdow is suing to get "In God We Trust" off the money, this time using RFRA.

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See “The Real ‘X-Files’”

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
January 11, 2016

By now you have perhaps learned of the online video by Vice Media, The Real “X-Files?” in which I star as “the real-life Scully” (as in Agent Dana Scully from the popular TV series and film).

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A Hyperactive Productivist Churn

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

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

David Bowie is dead at age 69, and it looks like people are going to have some trouble coping with it today. I get it.

Danielle Teller at Quartz explains that Americans' failure to recall basic scientific facts isn't the core problem with "scientific literacy," it's really about taking a rational approach to questions...

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In the Pocket of Big Egg

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
January 08, 2016

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

A working group of 24 geoscientists says, welcome to the Anthropocene epoch. It still remains for the International Commission on Stratigraphy (say that three times fast) to make it "official." You can read more about the Anthropocene in the Feb/March 2013 cover feature of Free Inquiry.

Joel Baden and Candida Moss look at the efforts of the Green family (of Hobby Lobby infamy) to buy up rare biblical antiquities. Once again, I refer you to previous coverage of said subject in Free Inquiry (subscribers only).

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The Tapescrew Letters (part 2)

The Outer Limits with Stephen Law
January 08, 2016

Continuing from the previous blog post.

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The Tapescrew Letters (inspired by C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters)

The Outer Limits with Stephen Law
January 08, 2016

Here's something from a while back, in case you missed it (been posted elsewhere before). Letters from a senior to a junior Guru in a new religious movement. I aim to expose the methods by which people become ensared by cults.

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