Triumph of the Retrograde

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 19, 2016

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

So! So. Um, did you see the GOP convention last night? I, uh, I saw a lot of it. Yep. Rudy Giuliani, you know, he yelled a lot. Melania Trump, she plagiarized a lot. Hillary Clinton was accused of murder a lot. And on MSNBC, Rep. Steve King told Chris Hayes that non-whites haven't done much for civilization. There was a lot more, of course. Yep. 

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There’s Just a Bad Feeling

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 18, 2016

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

Oh, for a week of nothing but the uplifting and trivial. A brief respite from calamities and turmoil. Not likely...

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Merciless Moderation, Ruthless Education, Overpowering Carefulness

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

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

You already know about the nightmarish attack in Nice, France yesterday, where at least 84 people are killed by a man, Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, plowing a huge commercial truck into crowds of people in the middle of Bastille Day celebrations. The attack is being referred to as terrorism likely from or inspired by ISIS, but no firm connection has yet been made between the attacker (who was shot dead by police) and any known terror organization. Nonetheless, President François Hollande told the country, "The times have changed, and France is going to have to live with terrorism." How grim things have gotten.

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“Yesterday’s Home Runs Don’t Win Today’s Games”

by Nicholas Little
July 14, 2016

We’ve had recent victories in culture war battles, in particular regarding LGBT rights. With Lawrence v. TexasUnited States v. Windsor, and Obergefell v. Hodges, we have moved from a situation only thirteen years ago where states could imprison people for being gay, to one where marriage equality is the law throughout the fifty states. But it would be a terrible mistake to think either that the fight is done, or even that we have the upper hand in the battle.

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Victorian Moralizing

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

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

The fourth Women in Secularism conference is coming in September, and we put out a reminder about it, focusing on the courage of many of the great speakers who will be there. 

The New York Times' Jeremy Peters looks at the GOP 2016 platform, and calls it "almost Victorian in its moralizing"... 

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Religious Freedom and Gay Rights, OUP book, just published. Read my chapter.

The Outer Limits with Stephen Law
July 14, 2016

A new book - Religious Freedom and Gay Rights - has just been published by OUP. I have a chapter in it. You can read the pre-publication version of the chapter here.

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The Memory Keeper

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
July 13, 2016

This is a poem dedicated to Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, who died July 2, 2016. His numerous books included Night, based on his memories of imprisonment at the concentration camps Auschwitz and Buchenwald.

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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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