No One Blows Like Gaston

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
August 24, 2016

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

It's pit bulls and the paranoid on Point of InquiryLindsay Beyerstein talks to Bronwen Dickey about 1) the myths about pit bulls and 2) the "Conspira-Sea Cruise" that she reported on for Popular Mechanics (and to which I linked in a previous Heresy). 

Yesterday we announced that at CSICon this October, the Balles Prize in Critical Thinking will go to Julia Belluz of Vox.com. If you read the Heresy, you already know how awesome she is, and what good she does exposing pseudoscience nonsense. 

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Humanism and the Born-Godless

by David R. Koepsell
August 23, 2016

My kids and I are part of a growing set of people who were born and raised without religion. This trend poses a challenge for those of us who consider ourselves not just atheists, but humanists. Having been born without a religion, only curiosity and pragmatic concern made humanism, as a school of inquiry, relevant to me. It did not come from a rejection of once-held beliefs. It had to offer more, standing on its own. 

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Picard Did Wolf 359

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
August 23, 2016

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

For CSI's Skeptical Briefs, Joe Nickell recounts his journey to Newfoundland, where he investigates local monsters and mysteries, and becomes an "honorary Newfoundlander" in "a rather drunken ceremony." Did no one film this?? 

Also for CSI, Kylie Sturgess interviews Tara Moss, author of Speaking out: A 21st Century Handbook for Women and Girls, which emphasizes critical thinking over stereotypes and myths (and comes with an Anti-Feminist Gas-Lighting Bingo card).

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The Waters of Pure Insanity

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
August 22, 2016

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

The Miami Herald publishes a new op-ed by our boss Robyn Blumner on the Democratic Party's stubborn unwillingness to embrace and defend atheists and nones.

Democrats in officialdom need to ask themselves why they fight for the dignity and respect for every other marginalized group — racial and ethnic minorities, the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities — except atheists. If the answer is because they can, since the Republican Party shills for the Religious Right and liberal atheists have nowhere else to go, for shame.

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Islamic Extremists Don’t Have To Be Islamic Scholars

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
August 22, 2016

This past week, the Associated Press published a story based on its analysis of leaked Islamic State (ISIS) recruitment documents. These documents indicate that, based on the recruits’ own self-evaluation, most ISIS recruits have only a basic knowledge of Islam. Some have argued that these “findings suggest religion has nothing to do with people joining [ISIS].”

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Prepare to Submit to Tyranny

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

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

Katherine Krueger at TPM wonders why Jill Stein, who insists she's not anti-vax or anti-science, continuously leaves a little anti-science wiggle room for herself. 

Emily Willingham (who's coming to Women in Secularism 4!) breaks down the problems with Stein's postures, focusing on the inferences regarding autism...

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New Tests: Dawson Was Piltdown Forger

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
August 18, 2016

After an eight-year examination, a team of researchers has concluded that the infamous Piltdown Skull hoax—consisting of human skull fragments together with an ape-like jaw having two teeth—was the work of a single forger: the “discoverer” and original suspect Charles Dawson. The study clears other suspects touted over the years, including the French priest Teilhard de Chardin, English paleontologist Arthur Smith Woodward, Scottish anatomist Arthur Keith, and, among others, famed Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle.

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Abstract, Jargonistic, and Near-Mystical

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

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

The editorial board of Scientific American, not known for partisan polemic, castigates Trump for his "outright contempt" for science:

When the major Republican candidate for president has tweeted that global warming is a Chinese plot, threatens to dismantle a climate agreement 20 years in the making and to eliminate an agency that enforces clean air and water regulations, and speaks passionately about a link between vaccines and autism that was utterly discredited years ago, we can only hope that there is nowhere to go but up. 

Relatedly, Wired does something novel for this year: It endorses a candidate. You can guess which one. 

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Face Oblivion

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
August 17, 2016

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

Did you know that Skeptical Inquirer is 40? So what does a skeptics' magazine do to mark its big anniversary? Why, by being skeptical of course...about skepticism! In the big anniversary issue, leading skeptics contribute their thoughts about what skepticism is doing right, and what it isn't. It's got that funny science guy, that new-Cosmos guy, the New Atheist who looks like Santa, and many, many more. Get this issue in print or on your mobile device. 

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A One-Dollar Browbeating

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
August 16, 2016

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

John Fea at RNS lauds the wisdom of America's founders for their aversion to having clergy serve in public office, comparing the intermingling of politics and religion to mixing "horse manure and ice cream":

The Founding Fathers understood something about the role of clergy in American society that Lane and his Christian nationalist friends do not. Those who care for the soul have a “great” spiritual duty that should never be compromised or tarnished by politics. This is why they thought that the “separation of church and state” was important.

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