Blog Archives for April 2018

If You Desperately Want the World to Come to an End

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 25, 2018

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

I was a guest on The Whiparound podcast this week, in which I go on at absurd length about CFI's work, because as a communications professional I apparently have no idea how to be concise. I also discuss some of the news with hosts Dave and Shaun, and invent a cult based on Lakitu from Super Mario Bros.

Let’s Call it Caelus

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 24, 2018

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

Laurie Goodstein at the Times interviews Juan Carlos Cruz, the Chilean man who forced the Catholic Church to confront the sexual assault perpetrated by Rev. Fernando Karadima it had been denying. Cruz will be meeting with Pope Francis himself, and Cruz has some hope, saying, "I don’t think that this is a P.R. exercise."

President Quirrell

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

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

Oh no. At the National Post, Sharon Kirkey reports that homeopaths are pushing a "detoxification" treatment called CEASE, which, alas, is not what they will be doing. Instead, it stands for Complete Elimination of Autistic Spectrum Expression, where a treatment of—you guessed it—diluted vaccines are used to "cure" autism. Keep these people away from me.

Coffee and Exorcism

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

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

Ema O'Connor at BuzzFeed reports that at the UN Commission on the Status of Women last month, which our boss Robyn Blumner attended, Trump officials held several closed-door meetings at which they revealed a jaw-droppingly radical agenda that was "further to the right than those expressed by most other countries present, including Russia and the representative for the Arab states." As the commission's Susan O'Malley said, "I normally respect when things are off the record. But this meeting was just so bonkers."

The Luxury of Opening Your Mouth

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

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

This is really cool: Dig this original broadside poster from 1876 of an Robert Ingersoll event, excerpting his speech, and it's now in the loving care of the Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum.

Logic Shusshed in ‘A Quiet Place’

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
April 18, 2018

The new Emily Blunt film 'A Quiet Place' would have made an interesting and compelling short film. 

Alexa, Full of Grace

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 18, 2018

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

In its obituary for Art Bell, former host of the paranormal-focused radio show Coast to Coast, the New York Times notes his receipt of his, let's say, special recognition from us:

In 1998, Mr. Bell received the ignominious Snuffed Candle Award from the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, a group, co-founded by Carl Sagan and based in Amherst, N.Y., that promotes scientific inquiry and critical thinking. ...

Being Needled by Acupuncturists

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
April 16, 2018

The Buffalo News (Feb. 16, 2018) reported on the prestigious local Roswell Park Cancer Center’s having embraced so-called “alternative” therapies. My letter to the editor (Feb. 28) stated, in part: “Calling therapies like Reiki, healing touch, and acupuncture ‘unconventional’ or ‘integrative’ or ‘complementary’ does not make them any less pseudoscientific.”

Nice Work If You Can Get It

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

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

You already know that school voucher proponents look for ways to leech public dollars away from public education and redirect that money to private and religious schools. Now Republicans in Congress are aiming their tax-dollar-vacuums at a program called Impact Aid, which would particularly hurt military families. To understand why, and why it's awful, check out this op-ed by CFI's Jason Lemieux in the San Antonio Express-News.

Space Beer

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

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

I forgot to tell you! We announced the release of our yearly Progress Report, and it's a real beauty folks. Go check it out

The Boy Who Came Back from Being the Boy Who Came Back from Heaven

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

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

The Independent Investigations Group out of CFI West tests the abilities of a guy who says he can control the luminosity of electric lights. CAN HE??? No, don't be silly, but he did the test anyway.

FDA chief Scott Gottlieb is a Trump appointee...who doesn't suck? Julia Belluz reports on how Gottlieb has "surprised many with a slate of evidence-based policies and policy directions." Um, does Trump know that's happening?

Andromeda or Bust

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 11, 2018

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

Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene is the most borrowed science book from South Korean libraries. It's amazing that I live in a world in which I know that without even having asked.

Louisiana's Bossier School District, the subject of a lawsuit over school prayer, is going to be saved—SAVED, I TELL YOU—by Kirk Cameron. Sans-banana-man.  

For Gain or Lucre

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 10, 2018

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

Let's begin with a subject about which I have deep expertise. Just kidding, let's talk about football! It's a sport! Ray Lewis, who is a former football man (that's what they call them I think), is mad about Odell Beckham Jr., a current football man, for some reason. Lewis, who you might know possibly killed two guys 18 years ago, says Beckham's problem is a lack of God...

Jony Ive and the Borg

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 09, 2018

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

On our Reasonable Talk video series, we've got David Gorski at CSICon talking about the infiltration of alt-med fake medicine into legitimate medical academia. In a post at Science-Based Medicine, Gorski continues on this theme, discussing how small examples of infiltration are "pebbles in an avalanche."

A Concentration of Socially Awkward People

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 06, 2018

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

Scott Pruitt (Destroyer of Worlds) is in the midst of an ethics scandal, of course, and sits down for an interview in friendly territory, Fox News, and oops that was a bad idea.  

UFO over Arizona Likely IFO

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
April 05, 2018

In March 2018, a month after the fact, the FAA released a radio broadcast of what CBS News called an “out-of-this-world incident.” Actually, the UFO, seen by two separate civil aviation pilots flying over Arizona, has a very, very likely real-world explanation.

10 Million Trillion Trillion Trillion Trillion Trillion Trillion Trillion Trillion Trillion Trillion

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 05, 2018

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

Sign you're doing something right: Ken Ham is mad about an article in the latest Skeptical Inquirer"Twenty-One Reasons Noah’s Worldwide Flood Never Happened" by Dr. Lorence G. Collins. I wonder why that would bother him so much.

Energetic Healing Jolt

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 04, 2018

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

Fifty years ago today, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. I started this day reading Joe Nickell's reflection on the influence King had on him, and the fervent civil rights activism it inspired in him. It was a good way to start this day. Go read it. 

Following Martin Luther King in Life and Death

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
April 03, 2018

America’s greatest civil rights, anti-poverty, and anti-war leader, Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated half a century ago, on April 4, 1968. His was a profound influence on countless others in that tripartite revolution which he came to lead and still inspires. I speak here as one non-violent foot soldier who followed Dr. King’s lead in all three of those movements.

Homeopathy-Level Implausible

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 03, 2018

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

In a special editor’s column for Skeptical Inquirer, Kendrick Frazier takes a step back to consider all the issues, subjects, and fields of study that the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and the wider skeptic community cover, and why we go to such efforts:

Our quest seeks to understand not only the external world of nature out there but our own selves, what makes us human—wonderful and creative, flawed and exasperating...

Visibly Salivating

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
April 02, 2018

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

Apparently the fact that Google didn't make a Google Doodle for Easter is a reason to be very angry. As actor-turned-crazypants James Woods said of Google, "They loathe Christians. Plain and simple." Yes, that is definitely the soft, cushiony conclusion to which you should jump.