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…

The Multi-Zayn Theory

April 27, 2015

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

WIVB television in Buffalo quotes our testimony to the FDA in a story on the regulation of homeopathic products.

Pakistani human rights activist Sabeen Mahmud is gunned down by unknown assailants immediately following an event for her campaign on behalf of those abducted by Pakistan's security forces. 

Read more… | 6 Comments

65 Million Dollars of Belief

April 24, 2015

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

I went on HuffPost Live yesterday, along with other smart folks that included CSI Fellow Steven Novella, to talk about the Oz Imbroglio, just as Oz's own coworkers pen an op-ed saying not to fire the guy, but to maybe regulate him a bit. On my own blog iMortal, I posit that the last few months have been pretty good for exposing science denial for the crap that it is. 

The Charleston Gazette editorializes against Oz-like TV pitchmen, and cites the latest special issue of Skeptical Inquirer.

Read more… | 2 Comments

Oztroversy

April 23, 2015

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

Dr. Oz is apparently about to come out swinging. He'll address his critics on his show today, and I don't get cable so I'll just have to wait for it. Alas. He also has an op-ed at Time where he defends himself, and will do little to make the skeptical community feel any better about him:

When I interview an unusual or interesting person on my show, often it’s expository or out of fascination—not to tell my audience they should see a psychic instead of their primary care physician. ... Critics often imply that any exploration of alternative methods means abandoning conventional approaches. It does not. In fact, many institutions like mine use the names “complementary” or “integrative” medicine, which is also appropriate. 

I'll be going on HuffPost Live today at about 3:20pm ET to talk about the Oztroversy, hosted by Point of Inquiry's Josh Zepps.

Read more… | 2 Comments

« First  <  31 32 33 34 35 >  Last »