On Varieties of Knowing

by David R. Koepsell
October 12, 2016

How can the humanities aid the sciences in understanding our world and experiences? Does scientific realism suffice, or are other means useful for exploring the universe and understanding human experience? An upcoming seminar seeks to explore this question at CFI-Los Angeles in November.

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‘But…but…it’s the best available explanation!’ Part 3

http://www.pixcove.com/tag/spaceship/

The Outer Limits with Stephen Law
October 12, 2016

A final post on dodgy arguments to the best explanation. An amazing UFO encounter!

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Why Trump’s Voter Fraud Conspiracy Matters

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

Trump has trafficked in many conspiracy theories for years, but this latest is different. Here's why.

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“Magnetic” Medicines

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
October 12, 2016

Various “magnetic” balms, oils, and other products were common in America, especially during the nineteenth century and before the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 (effective January 1907). I have already discussed Prof. Long’s Magnetic Comb, which allegedly stopped falling hair and cured headaches (Nickell 2016). There were numerous magnetic gadgets, but here we look at “magnetic” medicines.

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‘But…but…it’s the best available explanation!’ part 2

wikimedia creative commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Gremlins_will_get_you_if_you_don%27t_watch_out%5E_-_NARA_

The Outer Limits with Stephen Law
October 12, 2016

In my preceding post I introduced a popular form of inference called argument to the best explanation, and illustrated how it is popular with folk arguing for the existence of weird, wacky, and supernatrual stuff. Now we start to diagnose what's gone wrong...

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We Don’t Know, Therefore We Do Know

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

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

You may have heard that Glenn Beck has now endorsed Hillary Clinton, but this is not quite right. He did, however, give the go-ahead to vote for her:

It is not acceptable to ask a moral, dignified man to cast his vote to help elect an immoral man who is absent decency or dignity [Trump, obvs]. If the consequence of standing against Trump and for principles is indeed the election of Hillary Clinton, so be it. At least it is a moral, ethical choice. 

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Gas Music from Jupiter

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

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

Do you like The Morning Heresy? Forget I asked that. Do you like the work done by CFI? There we go, of course you do. Well let me tell you, this is the time to support that work, because Louis Appignani is offering to match every donation up to a quarter million dollars! This is a big, big deal. The thing is, we have to actually meet the quarter-million goal by December 31. So it's also a big challenge. So, you know, help out! Double your power and keep me employed. Forget that last part. Help us advance science and reason!  

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The Last Spasm

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
October 10, 2016

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

So!

Um.

How was your weekend?

...

Good! Good. Mine was fine.

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We Made Him Up, That’s Fine

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
October 07, 2016

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

Hurricane Matthew is turning out to be a real horror story, almost malevolently pummeling an area and then coming back for more. Note how I ascribe a kind of agency to the storm in a rhetorical flourish. But 'ah-ha,' say the conspiracy theorists, as THEY know the truth: That the storm is either 1) mostly fictional, and being exaggerated in order to scare people about climate change, or 2) actually engineered by the U.S. government, at the order of President Obama, so that it might destroy Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago. 

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Welcome the Three (biological) Parent Baby!

by David R. Koepsell
October 06, 2016

A process of in vitro fertilization that uses a donor for mitochondria separate from the donor of egg and sperm is therapeutically useful to prevent the inheritance of inheritable diseases related to mitochondrial functioning. The process should not be banned in the US, and has resulted for the first time in a healthy baby born with "three" biological parents, as it were.

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