Things That Never Happened

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
June 08, 2016

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

The 2016 Reason Rally is now in the books. I am emerging from a haze of exhaustion, humidity, and the rare sense of satisfaction of a job well done. Not just for the Rally itself, for which hundreds of people deserve enormous credit (and vacations), but particularly for the CFI Live website, where Nora Hurley, Matt Licata, and I kept y'all informed and up to date on all the goings-on.

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Saving Liberalism

by David R. Koepsell
June 07, 2016

Liberalism is threatened if we forget the origins and necessity of the liberal arts at the core our modernity. Humanists need to defend the humanities, and embrace them as essential to the human experience. 

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“Yeti or Not”—the Bear Facts

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
June 03, 2016

Tipped by a Huffington Post journalist, I watched Animal Planet’s Yeti or Not world premier, Sunday, May 29, 2016—part of a “Monster Week” lineup.

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Light Years of Vast Nothingness

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
June 03, 2016

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

Well here we are. With ancillary activities already well underway, tomorrow morning the second Reason Rally kicks off at the Lincoln Memorial. I'll happily remind you that Nora Hurley, Matt Licata, and I, along with other CFI folks, will be keeping you up to date, and hopefully a little enlightened and amused, with our CFI Live at the Reason Rally site at centerforinquiry.live.

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Unco Junto: Is There a Right to Anonymity, or an Obligation to Preserve It?

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
June 02, 2016

This month's question: Is There a Right to Anonymity, or an Obligation to Preserve It?

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Space Dagger

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
June 02, 2016

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

Reason Rally preparations are in full swing. We even started a CFI account on Instagram. (Look out for that Instagram, I bet it'll be big...Friendster-big!) The week's first Advocacy Day is already underway. Remember to bookmark centerforinquiry.live and start checking in on Saturday for on-the-ground coverage of the Rally by actual humans like Nora Hurley and Matt Licata, and sort-of humans like me.

Tom Krattenmaker says that the Rally is an example of how the secular population is reaching a tipping point of political impact...

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The Strong Odor of Religious Intrusion

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
June 01, 2016

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

Susan Jacoby is the guest on Point of Inquiry this week, talking about religious conversions -- the big, fall-to-your-knees ones, sure, but also the ones that were done for convenience or other secular reasons. 

In Free Inquiry, Carol Delaney ponders God as an idea, writing, "It is the concept that troubles me, because once a label is put on that awareness, something else happens."

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Ruled by Tentacles

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 31, 2016

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

Dan Vergano at BuzzFeed tries to lend some clarity to some of the new information swirling around about a supposed link between cell phones and cancer:

The dose of cellphone radiation [in the study] — not enough to warm the rats, but close — and its duration starting in the womb, make it very hard to extrapolate from the findings to the average person whose cell phone spends most of its time plugged into the dashboard of their car, Willmarth [of the American Brain Tumor Association] said. “What’s remarkable is they are finding any effect at all.”

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Are safe spaces a threat to free speech?

The Outer Limits with Stephen Law
May 30, 2016

Safe spaces are receiving a lot of discussion lately. Universities, for example, are encouraged to be, or to have, 'safe spaces' for students - places where students - particularly LGBT students - can feel safe from being persecuted, harassed, and so on.

However, 'safe spaces' are increasingly being a seen as a threat to free speech. For example, when Maryam Namazie, an ex-Muslim critic of Islam, spoke at Goldsmith's College University of London, her event was disrupted by some Muslim students who shouted 'Safe space!' - they believed that their University should protect them from such speech. Many, myself included, thought this was a ridiculous abuse of the concept of safe space.

So where does acceptable safe space end and unacceptable  threats to freedom of speech begin? Here are a few useful key distinctions:

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Reply to a Cell Phone Story Complaint

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
May 27, 2016

I recently got an e-mail from a Skeptical Inquirer reader who wrote to complain about a short item I'd written on cell phone dangers. 

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