Cosmic Unicorn Ride to Valhalla

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 09, 2017

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

They actually went and did it. Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, aka "Ahok," an ethnic Chinese Christian, is convicted of blasphemy and jailed for two years.

The blasphemy investigation in Ireland against Stephen Fry is closed. Why? The police "were unable to find a substantial number of outraged people." Yep. 

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Talks with God and Knocks People Down

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 08, 2017

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

Not a joke: Stephen Fry is being investigated for blasphemy in Ireland (IRELAND!!!) for his comments in 2015 calling the imagined Abrahamic God "a capricious, mean-minded, stupid god." 

A Hindu man in Pakistan is arrested for blasphemy, and a mob outside the police station where he is held gets violent as they demand to be allowed to beat up the guy themselves.

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Televangelist Hinn Investigated—Again

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
May 05, 2017

Benny Hinn—the televangelist who talks with God and knocks people down by merely pointing at them—is being investigated for fraud and tax evasion, following a raid executed by a search warrant on April 26, 2017. I am not surprised. He is full of tricks.

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We Had a Lot of Caves

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 05, 2017

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

Well that was not a great day. Trump signed his crap executive order meant to weaken the Johnson Amendment, sort of, and “provide regulatory relief” to believers who want to opt out of various rules and laws, but sort of. As we noted in our statement, the order is worse for what it symbolizes than what it actually accomplishes:

Despite the president’s claims today, religious leaders are already free to speak openly, and religious groups spend hundreds of millions of dollars per year lobbying, on all political issues...

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Irredeemably Hostile

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 04, 2017

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

Okay we're really busy this morning because of the executive orders that are coming any minute.

We're part of a coalition of groups supporting the Johnson Amendment, and here's our letter to Congress. Here's a joint letter from hundreds and hundreds of groups, including us, also supporting the Johnson Amendment. See our logo up there?

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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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