Blog Archives for May 2016

Greasy Faith

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 24, 2016

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

Research by St. Mary's University shows that in the UK, the number of people claiming no religious affiliation has almost doubled from 2011 to 2014, with "nones" at 48.5%. Meanwhile, churches are "hemorrhaging worshippers" (as the Telegraph puts it), losing 11 congregants for every new one they gain. That's truly remarkable.

1 Comment

Socially Inconvenient

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 23, 2016

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

The past fortnight was one of the busiest we've had in a while (and we're not even into conference season yet), so get a quick catch-up with the latest Cause & Effect newsletter

Kavin Senapathy is interviewed at Good about her role in the March Against Myths, which pushes back against anti-GMO conspiracy mongering. She's also one of the great speakers at the upcoming Women in Secularism 4.

Invalid and Pointless

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 20, 2016

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

More things! Things are a constant! How the things do continue to EMERGE and MANIFEST.

For example! Yesterday we made an announcement about all the cool things we'll be doing for the Reason Rally, both at the rally itself and online...

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Flabber, Thoroughly Gasted

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 19, 2016

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

Oh so many things today. Fewer things from now on please?

Except good things. We can have good things. Here's two good things:

22-year-old Bangladeshi secular blogger Shammi Haque is granted asylum in Germany, and she is one of those helped by CFI through the Freethought Emergency Fund.

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Eroded, Eclipsed, Liquidated

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 18, 2016

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

Shadi Hamid joins Josh Zepps on Point of Inquiry to talk about ISIS, caliphates, and the prospects for reform in Islam today. 

Eric Fanning is confirmed by the Senate as Army Secretary, becoming the first openly gay Armed Forces secretary. Almost as notable: The Senate actually confirmed something.

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Podcasts Cause Cancer

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 17, 2016

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

Yesterday the Supreme Court made a non-ruling on Zubik v. Burwell, a non-decision, an sans-vertebra pronouncement that they were remanding the case back to the lower courts. Our legal guru Nick Little says:

How exasperating to now find ourselves back at square one, thanks to the Court’s failure to ensure the seamless provision of reproductive health care to the hundreds of thousands of women employed by religious non-profit organizations.

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I Didn’t Ask to be Synthesized!

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 16, 2016

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

Here's something you probably knew about Facebook and the "filter bubble," and Renee Diresta at Fast Colays it out

Once people join a single conspiracy-minded [Facebook] group, they are algorithmically routed to a plethora of others. Join an anti-vaccine group, and your suggestions will include anti-GMO, chemtrail watch, flat Earther (yes, really), and "curing cancer naturally" groups. Rather than pulling a user out of the rabbit hole, the recommendation engine pushes them further in.  

4 Comments

Escargotic Commotion

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

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

We rounded up a huge number of new sign-ons to our statement to Bangladesh, demanding that they pursue justice instead of blaming the victims of Islamist attacks. Lawrence Krauss, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Rev. Gretta Vosper, Taslima Nasrin, Deeyah Khan, and even Open Doors, an organization that fights Christian persecution. We will keep beating this drum.

The Obama administration says all public schools must allow transgender students to use the restroom that they feel matches their gender identity. Can you imagine anything like this happening even 5 or 6 years ago?  

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Snakebites, Insomnia, and Constipation

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

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

Rafida Bonya Ahmed marks the anniversary of the murder of Ananta Bijoy Das, a blogger who called her his sister, and who was killed in the same manner as her husband Avijit Roy:

The truth is that the progressive secular community and minorities of all sorts in Bangladesh now don't just have to fear Islamic militants -- we must also fear our own government, which shows no regard for its secular beginnings and chooses instead to appease the fundamentalists.

Heightened Unrest

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 11, 2016

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

Women in Secularism 4 adds two new speakers to the already awesome lineup: Katha Pollitt and Soraya Chemaly. 

Apparently there's been a cult disguised as a kind of women's empowerment group known as the Superstar Machine, and it sounds nuts. Anna Merlan at Jezebel reports in depth...

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The Erosion of Humanity

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 10, 2016

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

The DOJ is suiing North Carolina over it's "bathroom law," a suit which Mark Joseph Stern at Slate calls "wonderfully tough" (my nickname in highschool). (No it wasn't.) Stern says:

[The suit is a] clear-headed document that carefully explains why “sex discrimination”—which is barred in employment and education under federal civil rights law— encompasses gender identity discrimination. ...

5 Comments

Scary Math

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

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

The New York Times' editorial board calls out Bangladesh's government for "fueling extremism" as it has "cracked down on freedom of expression and the press." Glad folks are actually starting to notice.

Katherine Stewart in The Nation explores the phenomenon of secular homeschooling parents who have rejected the public education system because of the schools' overt religiosity and religious bullying.

2 Comments

Look at That! It’s Shiny!

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

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

Bangladesh's Home Minister, Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, continues to reprimand secular writers for inviting their own murders. Via the Daily Star:

[He said] the government is not pleased with “bloggers who demean religion” and the people who are killing them. “Bloggers should restrain from hurting religious sentiments,” the minister said. It is a criminal offence when bloggers hurt religious sentiments of the public, he added. 

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God Pleads the Fifth

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 05, 2016

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

Why, what's this? Could it be??? WHY YES IT IS CSICON 2016. In Las Vegas. Not even kidding. It's going to have James Randi, Lawrence Krauss, Eugenie Scott, Elizabeth Loftus, Joe Nickell, Richard Dawkins, and a slew of excellent skeptic icons. Go see, go register, go crazy

State Senator Jamie Raskin of Maryland, running for the U.S. House and a self-described humanist, is making damn sure you know that he is not an atheist. (Like Kyrsten Sinema who is "unaffiliated" or Pete Stark who is "a Unitarian who does not believe in God.") However, he will be speaking at the Reason Rally

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Asking For a Friend

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 04, 2016

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

Yes, yes, May the 4th be with you, and all that, except that your eyes, nor your ears, are deceiving you. Donald Trump really will be the nominee of the Republican Party. And you will be saying "Merry Christmas." YOU WILL. (However, Hillary Clinton may now be the most religious candidate running for president, if you don't count Kasich, and I don't, and really you shouldn't count Bernie either because math, and whatever, I welcome your hate.)

5 Comments

Spiral Further Downward

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

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

In Skeptical Inquirer, Sadri Hassani delves into Deepak Chopra's notions of "quantum healing," and points out how Chopra at first had leaned on the ideas of a particular Indian guru, references to whom disappear in later editions of Chopra's book. "Deepak Chopra’s professionalism in the writing of Quantum Healing is of such a low quality that it borders on charlatanism."

7 Comments

Dealing with Little Green Men

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

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

Nobel Prize winning chemist Sir Harry Kroto, a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and a longtime friend to CFI and the freethought movement, has died at the age of 76. I met him once at my first CFI conference as a new employee in 2012, where I found he had used one of my blog posts in his presentation. I was bowled over by that. He was a lot of fun to listen to, very energetic, and funny. Richard Dawkins posts a remembrance...

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