Maybe They Haven’t Had Coffee Yet

January 25, 2013

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

Remember 2012? Man, that year was crazy. So crazy, we decided to take a comprehensive look at the work of CFI throughout the year, with an eye to 2013, and -- ta-da! -- we have our very first CFI Annual Report, just out today.   

The Rhode Island House of Representatives votes big in favor of gay marriage equality.  

Really cool mini-documentary video: The US government didn't fake the Moon landing because they couldn't have, they didn't have the technology to do so. As in, they would have been unable to. Adds filmmaker S.G. Collins, "The US government lies all the time about all kinds of things, and if they haven't lied to you today, maybe they haven't had coffee yet."

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Freedom is a Gift from Odin

January 24, 2013

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

The Secular Census releases a report on women's experiences in the freethought movement, based on their survey data. From the conclusion:

Women seem to want groups that do more than criticize religion. They are attracted to positive messages and education. They'd like their groups to share their values and take positions that reflect those values. They'd like their interactions to be positive; they seem quite willing to abandon groups where they have had to deal with problem behavior, including unwanted advances. They could sometimes use some help with childcare.  

Of course, to really delve into this topic, you're going to want to register for the Women in Secularism 2 conference, happening in May in our nation's capital (presuming your nation is the United States). And now there are a whole ton of videos from last year's conference posted online. 

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Saudi Religious Police vs. Dinosaurs

January 23, 2013

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

NYT opens up a whole "Room for Debate" series on what, to me, is a dumb question, "Is Atheism a Religion?" Despite the dumb question, there's some interesting stuff in there. 

Physicist Sean Carroll sits with Chris Mooney on Point of Inquiry to talk about "the particle at the end of the universe." 

Here's a bill you'll like. Dig H.Res.41.IH: "Expressing support for designation of February 12, 2013, as Darwin Day and recognizing the importance of science in the betterment of humanity."  

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No Bright Line That Can Be Readily Drawn

January 22, 2013

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

The president got himself sworn in once again yesterday (ceremonially, as he was sworn in officially the day before in private), and if you heard the speech and the surrounding to-do, you know that there was at least one really good thing for the reason-based community, and one not-so-good thing.

The not-so-good, man, was that inauguration God-heavy. Lots of biblical-this, scripture-that, God-given-this, we-pray-for-that. David Gibson has more on those themes. (And Cathy-Lynn Grossman reminds us that "so help me God" is an informal add-on to the oath.)

On the plus side, the president made a big stink in his speech about climate change, which surprise almost everybody. He rejected the nonsense about it being a hoax, and made clear that it was a generational responsibility to respond to the reality of the crisis. So that was cool. 

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What’s Not Important is to Be an Atheist

January 18, 2013

 

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

Pakistan's ambassador to the US, Sherry Rehman, is accused of blasphemy for allegedly making comments that one angry guy felt were derogatory to the Prophet Mohammad. Rehman is a supporter of reform of Pakistan's blasphemy laws.

Tom Flynn demolishes the recent article from Dennis Prager for his misunderstanding of atheism.

Because some folks asked what the CFI policy was on blocking folks on Twitter (though not in a nice way, like, at all), we decided to, you know, have a policy -- rare as it is. Here's the policy in full, and I blogged about it from my own perspective. Of course, all the comments are nasty, so I just can't win.

 

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Inanimate Objects Possessing Their Own Will

January 17, 2013

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

The Supreme Court of Pakistan dismisses the blasphemy case against Rimsha Masih. The law itself still remains, of course, but Rimsha has been deemed innocent of violating it. 

CSI-ers Ben Radford and Robert Blaskiewicz both weigh in on Sandy Hook conspiracy nonsense for Huffington Post.

Skepchick continues its profiles of speakers at Women in Secularism 2 with scientist Adriana Heguy, cofounder of the website Atheist Universe

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Not the Lucky Charms Leprechauns

January 16, 2013

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

Folks, I'm telling you, the CFI universe is generating all sorts of high-quality content today. I'm not even kidding. Dig this. 

Deseret News focuses on the religious-liberty battles happening at the state level, and looks to our own Michael De Dora for perspective:

I try to tell our people, 'You might think that what's going on in Congress right now is the most important thing right now, but it's absolutely not. You need to pay attention to what's going on at the school board, city hall and state levels because that's where things are happening.

There's this really great post from one of our CFI On Campus folks, Seth Kurtenbach, on how IBM's Deep Blue may have passed the Turing Test as far back as 1997, at the expense of Garry Kasparov's sanity. 

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Satan (Hearts) Rick Scott

January 15, 2013

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

Yesterday, Ron Lindsay joined the panel on HuffPost Live to talk about the practice of borrowing religious rituals between and outside of their originating faiths. Of course it gets heated.  

Who doesn't want to be more like Sherlock Holmes? (I mostly just want to be more like Benedict Cumberbatch.) On Point of Inquiryguest Maria Konnikova tells us how to think more like the literary supersleuth. 

CSI's Joe Nickell (nonreligious) talks about how he and his wife Diana (Baha'i) go together on "religabouts". . .

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Towards Increasing Non-knowing

January 14, 2013

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

Internet activist, co-creator of RSS, co-founder of Reddit Aaron Swartz kills himself in the midst of prosecutorial pressure after attempting to make freely available the contents of the JSTOR academic archive. 

U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald refuses to stop a new regulation in NYC concerning parental consent for metzitzah b'peh circumcisions, which are the ones "involving direct oral suction of the penis" by the rabbi.   

Amanda Marcotte on scientists' limited political options:

Since scientists have no ability to stop Republicans from attacking science, their only real option is to take power away from Republicans by supporting Democrats.

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Here’s Where Science and Brainless Merge

January 11, 2013

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

Apparently the "nones" are leveling off, just as we were "rising," like, five minutes ago. Who can keep up? 

The Supreme Court turns down an appeal to stop embryonic stem cell research. 

Anti-gay pastor Louie Giglio takes himself out of the presidential inauguration ceremony. Sarah Posner unpacks the mess.

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