Instagramming Atoms

May 30, 2013

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

Kimberly Winston reports on the legacy of (and the efforts to resurrect the legacy of) Robert Ingersoll, with commentary from our own Tom Flynn and friend-of-the-blog Jamila Bey. Says Winston:

Ingersoll had the intellect of the late atheist Christopher Hitchens and the crowd appeal of Daily Show host Jon Stewart — or their 19th-century embodiments. 

The more you know (cue streaming sparkly star graphic): The Economist reminds us what the heck the difference is between Sunni and Shia Muslims, because, you know, it's important...

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Hulk Transubstantiate!!!

May 29, 2013

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

In the Wall Street JournalAyaan Hirsi Ali demands a hard look at the connection between violence done in the name of Islam and moderates' defenses of "real Islam":

The question requiring an answer at this moment in history is clear: Which group of leaders really speaks for Islam? The officially approved spokesmen for the "Muslim community"? Or the manic street preachers of political Islam, who indoctrinate, encourage and train the killers—and then bless their bloodshed? . . . It is time [moderate leaders] came up with more credible talking points. Their communities have a serious problem. 

The LA Times wants religious freedom to be a factor in the U.S.'s international relations...

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Rats on Mars

May 28, 2013

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

CFI chief Ron Lindsay and Hemant Mehta do a HuffPost Live panel on the (non)utility of prayer for folks in desperate need. (Hemant adds, "Go, Ron Lindsay, for remaining calm the whole time while I was about ready to flip over my laptop.")

Meanwhile, Oklahoma Muslims mobilize to help their tornado-stricken neighbors. 

According to this map, chances are if you're a human and an atheist, you probably live in China. Maybe Japan or France. 

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Not the Overwhelming Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Phenomenon That You Thought it Was

May 24, 2013

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

Kimberly Winston gets some atheists' reactions to the pope's suddenly not condemning we godless to the fires of Hell. 

However! A Vatican spokesman puts the whole "infallible pope" thing into question by saying, no, atheists are going to Hell

(But you know what the Church is okay with for real? Eating alligators.) 

Now you can help out Rebecca Vitsmun by buying up "Actually I'm an atheist" t-shirts.

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Portlandian Bodily Fluids

May 23, 2013

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

Horror in London, as a man identified as a soldier is hacked to death by what seem to be Islamist militants, who film the attack in broad daylight. 

In a tweet, Reza Aslan seems to know what happens next:

Alright Muslims. You know the drill. Some Muslim somewhere did something crazy. Get out there and start apologizing for it.

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Francis and the Accidental Exorcism

May 22, 2013

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

The anti-blasphemy machine rolls on: Turkish writer Sevan Nişanyan is sentenced to 58 weeks in prison for “insulting the religious beliefs held by a section of the society.” 

GOP Lt. Governor nominee E.W. Jackson of Virginia (Democrats are a "coalition of the godless") says that anyone who criticizes his hard-right positions "is attacking every church-going person, every family that’s living a traditional family life, everybody who believes that we all deserve the right to live." Chaser: 

I would just say people should not paint me as one-dimensional.

You're making that hard, dude. 

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The Wise Old Goat in a Flock of Sheep

May 21, 2013

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

Obviously, most Americans' hearts and minds are concentrated on the victims of the tornadoes in Oklahoma and across the Midwest. We'll have a formal statement soon, and in the mean time please consider donating to help those affected.

Wowie-wow-wow-WOW. The already-loathsome Daily Caller outdoes itself by harrassing and insulting one of our own. Read about the saga of SCA's Lauren Anderson Youngblood and the "Dick pic" email from Christopher Bedford. You rock on, Lauren. <communications directors' secret high-five-handshake>

Ryan Koronowski dismantles the gee-that's-really-wrong WaPo op-ed on climate change by House science chair Lamar Smith.  

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If You Threw Yourself in Front of a Train

May 20, 2013

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

The conference was great. It had a high bar to meet with last year's huge success, but it was easily cleared. Talk to talk, panel to panel, and the amazing freaking voice of Shelley Segal, it was a real and substantive pleasure to be at Women in Secularism 2. 

We, of course, had our controversies. CFI chief Ron Lindsay has posted the prepared text of his opening remarks that caused an enormous amount of debate and very strong feelings, reactions to which can be found all about the interwebs. 

I know, many, many folks are itching for video of the conference talks. While you wait for us to crank up the movie machine, sate your desire with videos from last year's conference

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Laugh or Cry? I Can’t Decide

May 17, 2013

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

Women in Secularism 2 kicks off today! To judge by the tweets of attendees, there is an enthusiasm for this conference that I've not seen for an event at least since the Reason Rally. And not for nothin', but the WiFi in the hotel lobby is great, and the hotel Starbucks employees are really nice, so things are already looking up. For live updates, images, and bad jokes, watch the Twitter hashtag #wiscfi (knowing that it will also have its share of detractors in the stream) and the official CFI Twitter account @center4inquiry...which is me!

Matthew Brown at Deseret News (who does a lot of great church-state coverage) looks at the "softening" of the White House faith-based initiative, as emphasis moves from money to the sharing of information and being generally helpful.

Lawrence Krauss joined CFI's Office of Public Policy in sending a letter to Rep. Lamar Smith, chair of the House Science Committee, asking him to scrap his ill-advised proposal to hamper NSF funding:

These requirements represent a serious misunderstanding of the nature of scientific inquiry and discovery and, if approved, would not facilitate, but instead obstruct productive scientific research. 

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$100 Trillion Per Light-Second

May 16, 2013

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

Must-read: Ken Chitwood at the Houston Chronicle reports on the state of women's equality in the skepto-atheosphere, providing background for the Women in Secularism conference (starting tomorrow!), and talking to CFI's Melody Hensley. 

(Speaking of the conference, yes, there will still be a Morning Heresy tomorrow, hopefully going up around its usual time.) 

Amanda Marcotte, one of the WiS speakers, relates a heartening geek culture anecdote to the situation within skepto-atheism.

Two-thirds of Canadians are Christian in some way, but that about a quarter are "nones." 

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