The Continent of Magical Realism

December 31, 2014

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

It's a light day, folks, but, you know what they say: No news is good news, because it means a short Heresy

Uki Goñi at The Guardian clears up the whole thing about adopting a baby to prevent lycanthropy:

Like all good urban myths, the articles were based on a grain of truth: by tradition, the seventh son (or daughter) born to an Argentine family is eligible to become the godson (or daughter) of the president. Until this month, the honour had only been bestowed on Christian babies, but on Wednesday, Iair Tawil – not a baby, but the strapping 21-year old son of a rabbi – became the country’s first Jewish presidential godson.

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I’d Take the Lycanthropy

December 30, 2014

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

People love disagreeing with Tom Flynn: Phil Zuckerman rebuts Tom's dismal assessment of 2014 for we seculars:

In terms of swelling numbers, broadening organizational opportunities, increasing affiliations, spiritual innovations and a deepening sense of the values and virtues that support and sustain secular culture, things are as bright and shiny as the stars on the uniforms of the members of our Air Force who -- as of last September -- no longer have to assert a belief in God in order to serve their country with pride. 

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Primate Change Deniers

December 29, 2014

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

Are the holidays over yet? No? One more to go? Ugh.

Special for Christmas day, Point of Inquiry producer Nora Hurley put together a short bonus episode of the show to talk to Tom Flynn about his 30th year of being a yule-free Anti-Claus. It's great! Tom also fires another anti-Christmas volley, responding to David Koepsell's claim that he's the one Kirk Cameron should fear most.

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Christ Died for the Entire Cosmos

December 24, 2014

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

(Note: The Heresy is off Thursday and Friday, and will be back on Monday.)

Sony: Did we say we weren't releasing The Interview? We meant we are releasing it. We are. Really. Hehehe. Ahem.

For what it's worth, we at CFI, who offered our HQ to screen it, are glad to see Sony change its mind. Ron Lindsay told Buffalo Business First, "Whether it's shown at Center for Inquiry or other places, we'd be happy either way." Now we can all go back to focusing on how bad the movie probably is. 

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You Might As Well Just Hibernate

December 23, 2014

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

I spoke to Buffalo Business First about our offer to Sony to screen The Interview, where I said, "We fight for free expression usually in the context of political or religious dissidents, but if we're going to fight it over there, we're going to fight for free expression over here too." That mostly made sense I think. 

North Korea's Internet goes down. I think it was running off a single 9-volt, so they just need to replace that thing. 

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Undeniable Likable Sass

December 22, 2014

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

Note: I'm tired of nativity scene stories, so if you want to read about them, use the google machine. 

On Friday, CFI wrote a letter to Sony Pictures volunteering our headquarters for a screening of The Interview, the release of which Sony canceled entirely due to shadowy threats:

Much of our work is centered on securing the right to hold and express unpopular opinions and beliefs in places where dissent is crushed through persecution, violence, imprisonment, and death. It is a sad turn of events that a powerful source of free expression such as Sony Pictures could choose to give in to a shadowy group’s intolerance of dissent. ... We believe strongly enough in the right to the free expression of even unpopular ideas that we are willing to shoulder the risk of doing so.

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War on Hanukkah, Anyone?

December 19, 2014

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

Scientists tally up the medical advice given by Dr. Oz and it's as bad as you think. Reports Julia Belluz at Vox:

[W]hat they found was disappointing but not exactly surprising: about half of the health recommendations had either no evidence behind them or they actually contradicted what the best-available science tells us. That means about half of what these TV doctors say to their millions of satellite patients is woo, and potentially harmful and wasteful woo at that. 

In Skeptical Inquirer, we have the transcript of Josh Zepps' Point of Inquiry interview with the most excellent Ann Druyan of Cosmos.

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You’ve Been Pope’d!

December 18, 2014

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

CFI boss Ron Lindsay joined the panel on HuffPost Live yesterday, hosted by Point of Inquiry's Josh Zepps, and including Faisal Saeed Al Mutar and Deina Abdelkader. The topic: the treacherous line between being critical of Islam without attacking Muslims as people.

Gather 'round, children, and abandon all your dreams of sugarplums or whatever else, and let's listen to ol' Tom Flynn tell us the origin story of the Anti-Claus. You see, there was this radioactive spider...wait... 

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Magnificent Collection of Useless Crap

December 17, 2014

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

Methane on Mars might mean life on Mars. No, really, it might. 

Folks are still talking about our statement to the media on the misuse of the word "skeptic" when discussing climate change deniers. Lawrence Krauss, a signatory, writes in Slate:

Skepticism is all about critical examination, evidence-based scientific inquiry, and the use of reason in examining controversial claims. Those who flatly deny the results of climate science do not partake in any of the above. 

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We’re Not Going to Kill Today

December 16, 2014

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

People had a lot of good things to say about Ron Lindsay's talk at this past summer's leadership conference on "The Scope of Humanism," and now the video's up! My favorite bit is the part about how skepticism is included in that scope. 

We have an update on CFI's Freethought Books Project from Sarah Kaiser one year into our stewardship of the program, and don't forget to check out the FBP Amazon wishlist to donate more books to the program!

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