Blog Archives for October 2017

A Gaggle of Grotesques

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
October 31, 2017

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

Where am I? What year is it? Who let the dogs out?

CSICon 2017 came and went over the weekend, and it was quite an event, and I feel like the quality of presentations just keeps going up. I was blogging about presentations -- furiously! with great fury! -- over at CFI Live. So whether you couldn't make it or just want to read my ever-so-quirky perspective on the whole shebang, go check it out

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Lucy van Pelt FTW

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
October 24, 2017

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

The Washington Post editorial board weighs in on the Alabama U.S. Senate race, saying that Roy Moore is "unfit to serve," a "contempt for the law," "mockery of his judicial oath," and calling him a "radical lawbreaker." That's all good, though I have a feeling that an editorial by the Washington Post will have less than a huge impact on the thinking of Alabama voters, the same ones that made Moore the state supreme court's chief justice.

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St. Padre Pio’s Relics Tour U. S.

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
October 23, 2017

Relics of Padre Pio—the late, alleged stigmatic—attracted the credulous faithful during two tours of the United States in 2017. The show was apparently good for business everywhere.

Another Way for Nobodies

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
October 23, 2017

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

The General Social Survey predicts that by 2035, "nones" will outnumber Protestants in the U.S. Allen Downey at Scientific American writes:

Religious beliefs are primarily determined by the environment people grow up in, including their family life and wider social influences. Although some people change religious affiliation later in life, most do not, so changes in the population are largely due to generational replacement. 

Obliterating

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

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

Happy 50th birthday, fake Bigfoot footage.

Smarmy-faced Nazi dirtbag Richard Spencer came to the University of Florida yesterday, and all but select journalists were kept from bringing anything like notebooks or writing utensils into the venue. Nonetheless, somehow the LA Times reports:

Spencer initially protested the boos as suppression of his speech but later began taking questions from audience members who variously asked why he hadn’t left yet or how he could form a white ethno-state without performing violent ethnic cleansing. 

The ‘Science Can’t Explain!’ Fallacy

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
October 19, 2017

When reading claims of baffled scientists and skeptics, remember: "Can't" isn't the same as "didn't try."

Put Down That Placenta!

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

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

Because I was gone for a while, the Cause & Effect newsletter is kind of long this week. Or rather, packed with awesomeness.

You gotta see this: David Cowan, a well known Silicon Valley venture capitalist and member of CFI's board, plays a version of himself in this fake documentary series taking a skeptical look at the tech startup culture, Bubbleproof. I did not know he could act, especially the whole "I'm uncomfortable and afraid to show it" shtick. Well done.

The Aliens Had Mentioned Isis

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
October 18, 2017

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

Mark Oppenheimer profiles Rabbi Robert Barr, candidate for the U.S. House in Ohio's first District. What's most notable about Barr's affiliation is not that he is a rabbi, but that he subscribes to humanistic Judaism. BUT DON'T GET THE WRONG IDEA:

I’m not an atheist. ... My relationship to God has always been private. Everyone should have that right. I have never made the congregation about my personal beliefs.

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“Marshall”: A Nickell-odeon Review

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
October 17, 2017

If one views Marshall (2017) with the expectation that it will depict the lifetime of its subject—Thurgood Marshall (1908-1993), the civil rights stalwart—one may be surprised (as I was) but not disappointed.

Nasty, Nasty People

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
October 17, 2017

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

Results from a Pew Research survey shows what may be a key turning point for American nontheists: For the first time, a slim-but-solid majority of Americans (56%) says that one does not need to believe in God to be moral. While obviously "nones" help push this number up (with what I think is a surprisingly small 85%), but it's also Mainline Protestants and Catholics who also agree. 

We Cause Suffering

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
October 16, 2017

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

Hi there.

I'm back after a fortnight's absence, having spent the time in Marin County, California at the Mesa Refuge, working on writer stuff. It was lovely, save for the smoke that became quite a thing as a result of those terrible fires. Please forgive the lateness of this post this morning, as I have a lot of catching up to do, and I'm still adjusting to East Coast time. So what's been going on? 

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RIDDLEculous XV

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
October 10, 2017

More funny riddles from a skeptical view.

Burying the C.B.S.

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
October 04, 2017

An innocuous press release for a new book on Darwin raises some red flags.