Beyond the Obvious Physical Realm

November 07, 2014

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

Looks like we're going to have that big Supreme Court fight over same-sex marriage after all, as the 6th Circuit upholds same-sex marriage bans in four states. 

CFI boss Ron Lindsay considers the implications of the midterm elections, less the new GOP Senate majority, but more the Republicans' expanded majority in the House, which will likely carry over into the next administration. 

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Robert Ingersoll, American Idol

November 06, 2014

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

Our public policy guy Michael De Dora rounds up the wins and losses for skepto-humanists in Tuesday's elections. It wasn't all bad, but it wasn't good, and Kimberly Winston has a look at atheists' rough night.

Howard Friedman summarizes some exit polling that looks at the voting behavior of faith groups. (Only 29% of "nones" voted for the GOP.) Sarah Posner notes that although "nones" make up about twenty-some percent of the population, they were only about 12% of the electorate this year. Seriously: WTF, nones?

Ben Radford writes at Discovery News about how Pope Fluffy balances between the rational (accepting evolution) and the ridiculous (support of exorcisms), and quotes CFI's Tom Flynn... 

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Alabama Will Not Become a Caliphate

November 05, 2014

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

So. How was your night? Well.

Among the many, many other things that happened as a result of yesterday's elections, Colorado's personhood initiative went down to defeat, as did North Dakota's "life begins as conception" thing, but Tennessee's amendment which would add to its state constitution that "Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion" is approved.

But Alabamians need not worry about Sharia, as a "no foreign law" amendment is approved

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He Suckered Me

November 04, 2014

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

It's Election Day in the U.S., but it's a midterm election, meaning that most of us have no idea what it is we're about to vote for. (For example, here in Maine, we have a referendum on the best/most ethical way to hunt bears.) Luckily, I accidentally discovered how handy (and concise) Google can be in times of ignorance like this. And please vote!!!

This is pretty cool: We have a special episode of Point of Inquiry, recorded before a live audience in New York, where Josh Zepps talks to two experts in epidemics about the facts and fiction of Ebola. Really good stuff.

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A Dog Might As Well Speculate on the Mind of Newton

November 03, 2014

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

Bill Nye was our keynote speaker at the CFI Summit last year, and we have the audio of the first part of his presentation at our Center Stage podcast. The next big conference is happening June 2015, with keynote speaker Rebecca Goldstein.

In case you missed it, Point of Inquiry did a special Halloween extra, where new producer Nora Hurley interviews Joe Nickell, and Joe attempts our 18th annual Houdini Séance. 

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I Have a Peculiar Character

October 31, 2014

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

We have a special bonus Point of Inquiry going up later today, a Halloween extra with our own Joe Nickell, who attempts to contact the spirit of Harry Houdini, and talks about Houdini's skeptic side. Stay tuned.

And when it's posted, you'll ask, well who's that person Joe's talking to in this episode? Why it's Point of Inquiry's new producer Nora Hurley! We welcomed her officially yesterday, and we're happy she's on board.

One more Joe Nickell thing: He has a new blog post in which he describes a sub-genre of books on the occult, which he terms "haunting hokum"...

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Judas Was Just This Guy, You Know?

October 30, 2014

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

Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly acknowledges that he's gay for the first time. In a piece for Bloomberg Businessweek he writes:

Let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me. ...

If hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy. 

The U.S. Navy approves its first Atheist Lay Leader, a kind of nonbelievers' chaplain. 

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Block the Camera and Scoop Up the Cash

October 29, 2014

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

Pope Francis is fluffy for exorcists, thanking them for sharing the church’s “love for those possessed” by Satan. Folks this is right after he made news for saying he's cool with evolution. Come on, Pope Fluffy! What's with the two-steps-forward, two-steps-back thing?

An Antares rocket, contracted by NASA from the private company Orbital, explodes six seconds after liftoff. No one was hurt. The rocket was sending supplies up to the ISS. 

Good on the Today show, they more or less humiliated a parade of fake-psychics who charged a hefty fee to detect the spirits within a brand new house. 

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Put Them in an Alpha or Theta Wave State

October 28, 2014

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

The Course of Reason blog has a really good post on Brittany Maynard and the religious response to her decision to end her life:

Religion has a funny way of deluding people into thinking that suffering a prolonged and painful death is worthwhile to potentially see Heaven. It is hard for secularists to wrap their mind around this concept because we do not have a paradise at the end of our lives. We just have a wooden box buried under six feet of dirt.

Relatedly, CFI-DC's Simon Davis interviews Dr. Atul Gawande for VICE about tough end-of-life questions.

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The Spiritual Equivalent of an Ethno-botanist

October 27, 2014

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

Some folks in politics and the media want to scare the crap out of you about Ebola. Others want you to calm down and know there's nothing to worry about. Then you read this interview by James Hamblin with Dr. Steven Hatfill in The Atlantic, and you start to think everyone is full of crap. Or I do, anyway. If Hatfill's name is familiar, it's because he's the guy the Bush administration fingered as the Anthrax guy back in 2001, and he totally wasn't.

Douglas Adams, a sentient puddle of water, and Ken Ham. Stephan Law puts them all together, and, well, it fits!  

Michael Specter at The New Yorker checks your FODMAPS and does a deep dive into the War on Gluten...

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