Blog Archives for March 2018

Exhalest This Vapour-Vow

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 30, 2018

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

A NEW DAY HAS DAWNED. Behold this milestone in skepticism and technology: The Skeptical Inquirer (and CSI) Twitter account has changed from "@SkeptInquiry" to the much more sensible "@SkeptInquirer." REJOICE. 

“Legend Tripping” at Graves of “Witches” and “Vampires”

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
March 29, 2018

Increasingly, “legend tripping” (a term used by folklorists) is becoming popular. A “legend trip” is a visit to a site having a legend—typically about uncanny events there—the purpose being to test the legend or to otherwise engage it (Brunvand 1996, 437–440).

Fish and Visitors

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 29, 2018

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

John Podesta (chaired the 2016 Clinton campaign, was chief of staff to Bill Clinton, believes aliens have been here) pens an op-ed calling Scott Pruitt (Destoryer of Worlds) "unfit for public office":

Time after time, Pruitt has ignored his agency’s own data, analysis and recommendations in order to protect corporate polluters. He has given new meaning to the lobbyist revolving door, hiring people who have close connections to the industries that the EPA is supposed to regulate. And he wasted taxpayer money for his own personal comfort.

Invalidating Your Entire Existence

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 28, 2018

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

Good morning, all of you who are atheists out there. Guess what. America doesn't want to see you represented on television. Like, at all.

Republicans, already much more likely than Democrats to deny climate science, are becoming even deny-ier. 69% say climate change has been exaggerated versus 4% of Democrats. Only 42% even accept that most scientists believe in the reality of climate change.

Explanation Date

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 27, 2018

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

We were glad to hear that the FDA was ready to take a harder line with homeopathy, which they announced earlier this year, but it's still not clear what they intend to do. CFI is happy to tell them what they oughta do, because we know they're new to this whole "protect the American consumer from obviously-fake medicine" thing. 

Laughing at Your Expense

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 26, 2018

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

A fake image of Parkland survivor Emma González tearing up a copy of the Constitution is being passed around social media by "Second Amendment absolutists," doctored from an image in Teen Vogue of González ripping a gun range target. Alex Horton at the Post reminds us why this never seems to get better: "The pushback seems to have gained more traction than the original images, although that means the original images are also spread wider." 

Egregiously Sloppy

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 23, 2018

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

McDonald's—yes, McDonald's—declares it has committed to what they call a science-based plan to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by one third by 2030, and this includes its suppliers. They say that they are the first restaurant company to do something like this.

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Conduct Me, Zeus

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 22, 2018

"Christianity as a default, as a norm, is gone, and probably gone for good – or at least for the next 100 years." So says religion and sociology professor Stephen Bullivant about the demographic situation in Europe, where in the Czech Republic, for example, 91% percent of people between 16 and 29 have no religious affiliation. The number is 70% for the UK. 

Obviously a Fantastic Bloke

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 21, 2018

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

Despite itself, the Republican Party of Illinois sort-of-accidentally nominates Holocaust-denier/white supremacist/wearer-of-hats-that-are-too-small-for-his-head, Arthur Jones, to be their candidate for the U.S. House in Illinois' Third District. Jones was the only candidate in the primary, and the GOP is disavowing him. 

CBS “Sunday Morning” Seers Don’t See So Well

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
March 20, 2018

On March 18, 2018, CBS “Sunday Morning” featured an insufficiently skeptical segment, “ESP: Inside the government’s secret program on psychic spies.”

1 in 2700

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 20, 2018

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

Kentucky's House of Representatives has passed a bill mandating an annual student day of prayer. It's not a problem, you see, because the bill doesn't specify any particular religion's prayers, so everybody is included. Wait.

‘Annihilation’: A Mixed Bag of Mystery

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
March 19, 2018

Annihilation is a refreshing and thought-provoking take on the alien contact genre and has some interesting ideas, but they are often mired in metaphors that never really gel. 

This is Not Mere Gullibility

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 19, 2018

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

Guess what, folks: abortions are safe procedures, says a big report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Abortions become far less safe when all the roadblocks are thrown in front of women by anti-abortion legislatures. And as NPR points out:

There is no evidence that breast cancer follows abortion, for example, but five states require doctors to tell women there is a link, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that focuses on reproductive and sexual health. 

This is a Tricky Move

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 16, 2018

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

Ah the Freethought Trail! A way to enlighten oneself with the rich history of American radical movements from the 19th century, both in real life and on its old, creaky, what-the-hell-is-this-thing website...what's that? The Freethought Trail's website has been redesigned? .... Radically redesigned? I see what you did there! Let's go check it out!

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Zanzibar’s Popobawa Demon Still Attacking Skeptics

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
March 15, 2018

In 1995 I published a short article titled “The Skeptic-raping Demon of Zanzibar,” telling of a bat-winged, cyclopean dwarf that reportedly swept into bedrooms and attacked men—especially those who disbelieved in the creature. The phenomenon had occurred in previous decades but had returned. A colleague handed me an article on the phenomenon and joked, “Here’s a case for you to solve.” Reading a few paragraphs, I replied, “I have solved it.”

Nimis Prolixa; Non Legitur

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 15, 2018

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

More than 15,000 scientists co-sign "World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice," a document marking the 25th anniversary of the first "Warning to Humanity" about the threat of climate change, now stepping up the urgency:

To prevent widespread misery and catastrophic biodiversity loss, humanity must practice a more environmentally sustainable alternative to business as usual. This prescription was well articulated by the world's leading scientists 25 years ago, but in most respects, we have not heeded their warning. Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out. 

A Brief Time in History

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 14, 2018

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

Stephen Hawking died. I mean, it's a near-miracle we had him for as long as we did, but still. It SUCKS. I think his Brief History of Time was the first "grown-up" science book I ever read any of, because I was really curious -- and a little bit scared -- of black holes.

Unscrupulous Actors

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 13, 2018

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

The GOP nominee for today's House special election in Pennsylvania, Rick Saccone, knows that if you're against him or against Trump, you're against You-Know-Who:

They’re energized for hate for our president. Many of them have a hatred for our country. I’ll [tell] you some more — my wife and I saw it again today, they have a hatred for God.

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Let’s Hear it from the UN or the Aliens

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 12, 2018

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

So! I've been away for a couple of weeks, you probably hadn't noticed. I had a thing. Well, a confluence of things, really, circumstances conspired, forces aligned, not single spies but in battalions, the cheese stands alone, etcetera, etcetera.

The Down Syndrome Gambit

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
March 09, 2018

In case you haven’t noticed, a few states (North Dakota, Indiana, Louisiana, and Ohio) have enacted laws that prohibit a physician from performing an abortion if the physician knows the woman is seeking an abortion because the fetus has been diagnosed with Down syndrome. Utah is considering a similar measure. Indications are this is the beginning of a major effort to curtail a woman’s right to choose whether to continue a pregnancy. 

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The Shape of Water: A Look Below the Surface at the World of Mermen

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
March 08, 2018

The celebrated film 'The Shape of Water' co-stars a rarely-seen monster of folklore: a merman. Here's a look at merman lore from around the world.

2 Comments