It Sounded Almost Like Health

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 14, 2016

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

Gov. John Kasich vetoes the unthinkably awful Ohio 6-week abortion ban, but signs the almost-as-awful 20-week ban. 

At The New Yorker, Lawrence Krauss says what readers of this blog already know: Under a Trump administration, science is in big damn trouble:

Taken singly, Trump’s appointments are alarming. But taken as a whole they can be seen as part of a larger effort to undermine the institution of science, and to deprive it of its role in the public-policy debate. 

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Male Circumcision: It Should Not Be a Major Concern for Humanists

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
December 13, 2016

A not insignificant percentage of humanists and secularists are strongly opposed to male circumcision, to the point of wanting to ban it. The vehemence of their opposition is not warranted by the evidence regarding the effects of circumcision: it is not medically necessary, but it is not harmful (assuming appropriate analgesics are used) and it provides small benefits. 

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The Boundary Within Which Nothing is Able to Escape

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 13, 2016

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

Horror in Aleppo. Assad's forces plow into the city, executing dozens of activists and just regular civilians, including women and children. 

The Committee to Protect Journalists says at least 257 journalists have been jailed in 2016, the most since they started keeping track in 1990. The big offender? Turkey. 

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This Zoo is Going to Kill Itself Off

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

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

You might have heard something about the CIA saying that, yeah, Russia definitely tried to tip the election for Trump by hacking the political parties and other major figures. Trump, who essentially is a walking conspiracy theory, dismissed the U.S. intelligence apparatus thusly:

Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card. It would be called conspiracy theory! 

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A breezy piece on celebrities, woo, and warning signs of bullshit

The Outer Limits with Stephen Law
December 11, 2016

Do you believe in ghosts? In psychic powers? In communication with the dead? In alien abduction?

 

If you do, you’re not alone. Belief in the weird and wacky – or “woo” as some sceptics disparagingly call it – is as strong as ever. Science is taking huge strides forward. Yet many of us continue to believe in stuff that, according to science, is at best dubious and often downright absurd.

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I’ve Accomplished Something

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 09, 2016

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

John Glenn is dead at the age of 95. Record-breaking pilot, pioneering astronaut, U.S. Senator, and then at age 77, astronaut again. An amazing human being. President Obama said:

The last of America's first astronauts has left us, but propelled by their example we know that our future here on Earth compels us to keep reaching for the heavens. On behalf of a grateful nation, Godspeed, John Glenn. 

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Lie More, Die Sooner

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

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

Ohio's legislature passes that terrible "fetal heartbeat" anti-abortion bill, which would ban abortion at the point a heartbeat can be detected, around six weeks into pregnancy - even in cases of rape or incest. If you're an Ohioan, you need to tell Gov. Kasich to stop this bill right now.  

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Always in Danger of Being Shut Down

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

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

Angela Merkel calls for a ban on full-face veils at a rabble-rousing speech for her party's conference, veering from her earlier position in which she advocated for bans only in the most specific circumstances when absolutely necessary. CFI, being the stalwarts for freedom of expression and belief that we are, responded:

“We strongly oppose allowing religions to dictate oppressive dress codes on women, but change must come by freeing women to choose their own style of dress — not by imposing bans,” said Michael De Dora, CFI’s director of government affairs. “Targeting Muslim religious practices is a distasteful and dangerous electoral ploy to appeal to rising right-wing sentiments. Civil liberties should never be subjected to political calculus,” he added.

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Herkimer Diamond Mysteries

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
December 06, 2016

Although not a precious gem like the diamond, the so-called “Herkimer diamond” is itself the focus of much attention. In June 2016 I was able to add to my collection of curious stones by searching for “Herkimers” at a mine in New York state and learning more about their natural and allegedly magical properties.

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Adios Ununpentium. Sayonara Ununseptium. Arrivederci Ununoctium.

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 06, 2016

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

This past Sunday, 28-year-old Edgar Maddison Welch of North Carolina barged into Comet Ping Pong, a pizza joint in D.C., armed with an assault rifle, fired at least one shot, and declared he was there to "self-investigate" the conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton and allies were using the restaurant as a child-sex trafficking front. Welch was arrested.

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