Picard Did Wolf 359

August 23, 2016

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

For CSI's Skeptical Briefs, Joe Nickell recounts his journey to Newfoundland, where he investigates local monsters and mysteries, and becomes an "honorary Newfoundlander" in "a rather drunken ceremony." Did no one film this?? 

Also for CSI, Kylie Sturgess interviews Tara Moss, author of Speaking out: A 21st Century Handbook for Women and Girls, which emphasizes critical thinking over stereotypes and myths (and comes with an Anti-Feminist Gas-Lighting Bingo card).

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The Waters of Pure Insanity

August 22, 2016

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

The Miami Herald publishes a new op-ed by our boss Robyn Blumner on the Democratic Party's stubborn unwillingness to embrace and defend atheists and nones.

Democrats in officialdom need to ask themselves why they fight for the dignity and respect for every other marginalized group — racial and ethnic minorities, the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities — except atheists. If the answer is because they can, since the Republican Party shills for the Religious Right and liberal atheists have nowhere else to go, for shame.

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Prepare to Submit to Tyranny

August 19, 2016

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

Katherine Krueger at TPM wonders why Jill Stein, who insists she's not anti-vax or anti-science, continuously leaves a little anti-science wiggle room for herself. 

Emily Willingham (who's coming to Women in Secularism 4!) breaks down the problems with Stein's postures, focusing on the inferences regarding autism...

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Abstract, Jargonistic, and Near-Mystical

August 18, 2016

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

The editorial board of Scientific American, not known for partisan polemic, castigates Trump for his "outright contempt" for science:

When the major Republican candidate for president has tweeted that global warming is a Chinese plot, threatens to dismantle a climate agreement 20 years in the making and to eliminate an agency that enforces clean air and water regulations, and speaks passionately about a link between vaccines and autism that was utterly discredited years ago, we can only hope that there is nowhere to go but up. 

Relatedly, Wired does something novel for this year: It endorses a candidate. You can guess which one. 

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Face Oblivion

August 17, 2016

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

Did you know that Skeptical Inquirer is 40? So what does a skeptics' magazine do to mark its big anniversary? Why, by being skeptical of course...about skepticism! In the big anniversary issue, leading skeptics contribute their thoughts about what skepticism is doing right, and what it isn't. It's got that funny science guy, that new-Cosmos guy, the New Atheist who looks like Santa, and many, many more. Get this issue in print or on your mobile device. 

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A One-Dollar Browbeating

August 16, 2016

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

John Fea at RNS lauds the wisdom of America's founders for their aversion to having clergy serve in public office, comparing the intermingling of politics and religion to mixing "horse manure and ice cream":

The Founding Fathers understood something about the role of clergy in American society that Lane and his Christian nationalist friends do not. Those who care for the soul have a “great” spiritual duty that should never be compromised or tarnished by politics. This is why they thought that the “separation of church and state” was important.

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Adultery and Gluttony and Greed and Pride

August 15, 2016

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

The new video just posted for CFI's series Reasonable Talk has good ol' Matt Dillahunty at CFI HQ talking about his experiences in debating the religious, and how we all can hold beliefs that don't jibe with reality.  

Friday's issue of Cause & Effect (which is the official CFI newsletter, by the way) is just busting with good stuff. It's like Reader's Digest of Awesomeness. I may be overselling it a bit.

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Yoda-Old

August 12, 2016

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

The Center for Inquiry thinks the idea that the U.S. would start banning particular religions from the country is a crap idea. There's a new bill that seeks to put the breaks on this bananapants idea, the 2016 Freedom of Religion Act, and we want you to tell your congressmonster to support it

The entirety of this week's New York Times Magazine is one big story: How the Arab world has shattered since the United States invaded Iraq in 2003.  

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Diplopia, Estropia, Nystagmus, and Strabismus

August 11, 2016

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

Okay, now we're talking. The State Department releases a new religious freedom report and comes down hard on countries with blasphemy laws on the books, particularly Muslim countries:

Such laws conflict with and undermine universally recognized human rights ... False accusations, often lodged in pursuit of personal vendettas or for the personal gain of the accuser, are not uncommon. Mob violence as a result of such accusations is disturbingly common. 

Before Trump has even been elected (cough cough), and well before the much-derided "Muslim ban" has been enacted, Mike Pence decides to get an early start on the snowball effect, saying that other faiths could be added to the list of prohibited religions. What year is it? 

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The Names of a Few Demons

August 10, 2016

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

We put out a statement yesterday expressing the serious concern that useless and often dangerous alt-med is getting way too much of an endorsement from the Olympics, and that those in a position to do so need to make clear that things like cupping are not based in any science. Luis Alfonso Gámez at the CSI site has more on Michael Phelps and his bruises -- in Spanish!

We have a brand new interview for CSICon Las Vegas, this time with Paul Offit who discusses his work on vaccines, and teases his conference talk on the "never-ending quest for pain relief without addiction." 

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