Excuses, Insults, and Hand-Wringing

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 29, 2017

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

Climate scientist Mark Boslough, a fellow of CFI's Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, has for four years in a row challenged climate change deniers to prove their case, and put up $25,000 of his own money to make it interesting. He started this in partnership with us back in the Olden Days, the Long Long Ago, of 2015. (I came up with the line, "It's time for the Heartland Institute to put their money where its exhaust pipe is." Well, I thought it was funny, and Ron didn't veto it.) No one has taken him up on the challenge yet, but Mark is at it again...

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It Stems from Human Stuff

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 28, 2017

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

In Skeptical Inquirer, Brett Taylor has a really interesting piece on the myths about Hollywood "curses" surrounding films like The Exorcist and celebrities like Bruce and Brandon Lee, and how the studios take advantage of those myths to sell their movies. 

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Rare “SANDS’S SARSAPARILLA” Bottle

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
December 27, 2017

In my continuing study of historical quackery, I recently acquired an antique sarsaparilla bottle that is especially interesting for the clues to its age that have been captured in the glass—analogous to ancient insects preserved in amber.

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Fallback Spiritual

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 27, 2017

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

Bangladeshi blogger Asaduzzaman Noor is arrested by immigration police when attempting to leave the country, and charged with "mocking Prophet Mohammed and made bad comments against Islam, the prophet and the Koran on Facebook and YouTube." ... 

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#MerryXmasMoFoes

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 26, 2017

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

Tom really did it. Tom Flynn livestreamed himself at his desk for his whole workday on Christmas. Luckily, each magical moment is now preserved on the internet machine, so you can relive it over and over and over and over again. Oh, and according to Martina Fern at the end of the livestream, we raised over $2500 for Secular Rescue, which was then matched to make over $5000. That's great.

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The Darkness Closes In

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 22, 2017

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

There are a LOT of atheists-at-Christmas stories popping up everywhere, way more than I usually see this time of year. (And I've been dong this blog for, what, decades, right?) Here are a few:

Thomas Hooven of Columbia University writes in the Times about being in a science-inclined, nonreligious family during the Christmas season...

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Reviled by Many

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 21, 2017

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

I was wary of this idea at first, but once I got the gist of this, I am now its biggest fan: Our own Tom Flynn, the Anti-Claus himself, will do as he always does, which is work a regular work day on December 25, and this year we'll be livestreaming his whole work day! That sounds incredibly boring and weird, right? MAYBE. But throughout the day, Tom will be answering questions from viewers and helping to raise funds for our vital Secular Rescue program. You can win prizes too, like a "Santa Can Suck It" embroidery. Bookmark centerforinquiry.net/christmas now, and come back on the big (ordinary) day.

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There is a Bulge in the Rib Cage

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 20, 2017

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

Two Reuters journalists, U Wa Lone and U Kyaw Soe Oo, are arrested in Myanmar after obtaining photographs of a mass grave where the bodies of thousands of Rohingya Muslims are being disposed of. The government is arresting many more residents of the local villages are being arrested as well.

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Tic Tacs from Space

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 19, 2017

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

Very encouraging news: The FDA says it's going to take a tougher stance against the manufacturers of homeopathic fake-medicine, which, we note in our statement, is long overdue:

“Homeopathy is marketed as a ‘natural’ way to treat maladies, when in fact it has proven to be both ineffective and often harmful,” said Little. “As the FDA itself has recognized, taking tainted homeopathic products can cause illness. Patients who rely on homeopathy rather than evidence-based medicine often do so instead of seeking real medical treatment, and this can lead to serious long term harm or even death, especially in children, who have no choice in the matter.”

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“Loving Vincent”: A Nickell-odeon Review

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
December 18, 2017

Loving Vincent is unique: the world’s first animated feature film that was entirely painted in oils! Its storyline begins a year after the death of Vincent Van Gogh and follows Armand (a postman’s son) as he attempts to deliver the painter’s sidetracked last letter to his brother Theo. Along the way Armand is forced to consider whether Vincent’s suicide was in reality a homicide.

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