The Oldest and Stupidest of Them All

May 12, 2015

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

There's a lot of news today, so to quote Samuel L. Jackson in Jurassic Park, "Hold on to your butts."

First: Pew has released a major new survey that shows "nones" -- the religiously unaffiliated -- overtaking Catholics in the U.S. to hit number 2 with 23%. We call it a "tectonic shift" and an indication of religion's loosening grip over policy and culture. 

Read more… | 2 Comments

Not in Every Way Nice People

May 11, 2015

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

Rafida Bonya Ahmed, who survived the attack on her and her murdered husband Avijit Roy, speaks to Reuters:

This [attack] was well planned, choreographed – a global act of terrorism. But what almost bothers me more is that no one from the Bangladesh government has reached out to me. It’s as if I don’t exist, and they are afraid of the extremists. Is Bangladesh going to be the next Pakistan or Afghanistan? 

Amy Davidson explains what the hell is going on with "Jade Helm 15" and the conspiracy theory propagated by Texas's governor that his state is about to be invaded by the United States.

Read more… | 3 Comments

I’m Sorry, Ms. Jackson

May 08, 2015

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

The New York Times' public editor Margaret Sullivan considers the challenge posed by our Committee for Skeptical Inquiry on not calling science-deniers "skeptics." 

Norway finally scraps its ridiculous blasphemy law. Better late than never. 

Read more…

Hatemonger Gold

May 07, 2015

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

Our boss Ron Lindsay takes to HuffPo to weigh the relative morality of capital punishment versus life in maximum security prisons:

Because of the unacceptably high possibility of an erroneous conviction, I am a reluctant opponent of the death penalty. Reluctant, because some murderers undoubtedly deserve to die. But for me at least, it is no consolation to be told these murderers will be locked away in isolation for decades. Except for the extremely rare Hannibal Lecters of the world, there's no possible rationale or justification for supermax facilities. They are vehicles for prolonged psychological torture. 

Ensaf Haidar asks the Saudi royal family for amnesty for her husband Raif Badawi, on the first anniversary of his sentencing. 

Read more…

The Face-Crawling Gastropods

May 06, 2015

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

Gary M. Bakker at Skeptical Inquirer looks at the evolutionary and adaptive reasons why people believe in fictional things like gods and ghosts and conspiracies, and one key factor is "promiscuous teleological intuition."  

The New Republic posts its original review of L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics (Scientology's "founding text") from 1950 by Martin Gumpert:

This reviewer, in exploring the book, suffered a most painful "cellular engram"—to use the author's language. And he ardently wishes that something could be done to prohibit the activities of psychotherapists of this sort.  

Read more…

From Gwyneth to Pepsi

May 05, 2015

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

Our response to Al Qaeda's claim of responsibilty for the murder of our friend and ally Avijit Roy:

They were capable of such atrocities in part because of the hostile environment for free expression created and fostered by the governments of states such as Bangladesh and Pakistan. ... While whoever is ultimately responsible for these killings must face justice, so must governments make fundamental changes in their approach to Islamic extremism, and allow free expression to flourish. 

This would have been nice for me when I was in high school, back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth: Point of Inquiry hosts a conversation with David Seidman, who has a new book for young atheists figuring things out.

Read more… | 2 Comments

I’d Like You to Know That I’m Particularly Smart

May 04, 2015

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

Shocking news to us at CFI. Claiming responsibility for the murder of our friend and ally Avijit Roy: Al Qaeda. We'll have more to say about this. 

Relatedly, Michael De Dora will be part of a congressional briefing with friends from the Hindu American Foundation on the Roy murder and religious extremism in Bangladesh on June 10.

Read more… | 2 Comments

Impressively Slippery

April 30, 2015

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

No Morning Heresy tomorrow, folks. Please feel free to make your own dumb jokes about Dr. Oz and James Inhofe while I'm away. 

Skeptical Inquirer has just posted a really interesting magazine piece by Ryan Shaffer on the late fake-psychic Sylvia Browne, her claims to have done "detective work," and the very real criminal investigation of her activities:

In particular, the government was interested in Browne and an unknown person using “fraudulent documents, including income tax returns and financial statements to enhance her net worth in making these loan applications” (FBI Document 29A-SF-10056 1989). Browne then used the “loan proceeds to support an extravagant lifestyle.” 

Here comes the presidential candidacy of Sen. Bernie Sanders, the born-Jewish-raised-Catholic-not-really-all-that-religious socialist. 

Read more… | 2 Comments

Some As-Yet Unimagined Catastrophe

April 29, 2015

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

Alan Levinovitz at Wired profiles the journey back from alt-med devotion by two parents with two autistic sons:

After months of soul-searching, Jim Laider took to the internet to announce his “de-conversion” from alternative medicine—a kind of penance, but also a warning to others. “I had this guilt to expunge,” Jim says. “I helped to promote this nonsense, and I didn’t want other people to fall for it like I did.” 

CBS Sunday Morning relies on our own Joe Nickell to lend skeptical perspective to a woman's claim that her husband's ghost is hanging around. 

Read more… | 3 Comments

They Said That Queens Could Stay, They Blew the Bronx Away

April 28, 2015

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

Point of Inquiry this week has the one and only Peter Singer, talking with Josh Zepps about using reason to answer questions about morality and doing the most good possible. Please enjoy this duet of Australian accents.

Today SCOTUS hears arguments in the big same-sex marriage case Obergefell v. HodgesCFI submitted its amicus brief on the case with the American Humanist Association back in March.

John Oliver goes after Dr. Oz. Good stuff. 

Dr. Saurabh Jha at Quartz says we more or less get the Oz we deserve...

Read more…

 <  1 2 3 4 >  Last »