Neurons in a Doughnut

August 12, 2014

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

Robin Williams died yesterday, apparently by suicide, at age 63. I posted my immediate thoughts here

Though not explicitly within the skepto-atheist wheelhouse, the situation in Ferguson, Missouri has major implications for free expression and assembly. Here's a good, succinct look at why

Point of Inquiry this week has a fascinating discussion on how rational people could have allowed World War I, 100 years after its start, with MIT historian Christopher Capozzola. 

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Slender Man’s Cousin from Seattle

August 11, 2014

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

Zoe Williams at The Guardian has her eyes opened at the World Humanist Congress about the dire need for secularism around the world. Bangladesh's persecuted atheist bloggers receive Free Expression Awards at the Congress. Nobel prize-winning author Wole Soyinka addressed the conference, arguing that moderate religious leaders are "vicariously liable" for the atrocities of extremists like Boko Haram.

The Vancouver Pride Parade is infiltrated by some anti-gay jerk who insidiously slipped in by disguising himself as a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Bobby Henderson, the deity's originator, disavows the "douche." 

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Death is Just One of the Many Side Effects

August 08, 2014

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

Yesterday we had great news about the judgment in our Secular Celebrant case in Indiana being finalized, but we incorrectly said that the state had decided not to appeal. Wrong, they has actually decided not to try and delay the decision, meaning that the law is officially changed now, which is huge, but the state could still request an appeal within 90 days. Chalk it up to miscommunication between well-meaning colleagues and confusion over legal terminology, but we felt very bad for giving folks the wrong information. The news itself is still fantastic, and it's a moment to celebrate. But we're CFI, and facts and the truth are a big deal to us. We always want to correct what's incorrect, even if we look a little dumb as a result. We're sorry for getting that wrong. A new statement will go up today that will have all the correct info. Thanks for bearing with us.

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This Kobayashi Maru Scenario

August 07, 2014

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

Brian Pellot previews the World Humanist Congress, and says, "Some of the greatest advocates for these rights I’ve met in the past year have been non-religious groups, a good example being the Center for Inquiry."

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Harry Potter and the Atheist of Sioux Falls

August 06, 2014

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

The European Space Agency makes history with the successful orbit of its Rosetta spacecraft around comet 67P, which required what one scientist called "the most complex and exotic trajectory that we have ever seen."

(And while you're at it, check out Cassini's picture of a hexagonal cloud formation on Saturn.) 

We at CFI are activating our SHARE program (Skeptics and Humanists Aid and Relief Effort) to raise funds for the Ugandan humanist organization that lost everything after a violent robbery. 

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And By the Way, Save My Cats

August 05, 2014

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

Lindsay Beyerstein has a great episode of Point of Inquiry up, with Laurel Braitman discussing "madness" and mental illness in the animal kingdom

South Carolina state legislator Mike Fair is working on a law to "teach the controversy" on evolution in public schools. This is a guy who says:

To teach that natural selection is the answer to origins is wrong. I don’t think it should be taught as fact.

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More Dangerous Than Nukes

August 04, 2014

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

At Huffington Post, CFI chief Ron Lindsay relates his impressions of the Qur'an, and finds it a "defensive" work in which "the text exudes insecurity masked with bravado."

If the Qur'an seems more relentlessly violent, it's in part a function of its structure. Rather than a chronological narrative, it's a set of admonitions and instructions, repeated often, so the effect produced can be one of adamant hostility to those who reject Muhammad's revelations, whereas the murder of those who stood in the way of the Israelites is part of a larger, unfolding story.

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Pseudoscience with Tax Breaks

August 01, 2014

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

Huge: Uganda's Constitutional Court strikes down the country's horrid anti-gay law. The catch: The ruling was more procedural, as the court determined that the law was passed without a quorum, and the substance of the bill was not at issue. 

Kimberly Winston reports that the Satanic Temple's legal gambit about "informed consent" abortion laws and the Hobby Lobby precedent faces some legal obstacles, one of which being whether any court would conclude that the Satanists are actually part of a religion. 

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The Moral Hard Drive

July 31, 2014

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

CFI is officially backing a bill from Sen. Jeanne Shaheen that would expand access to contraception for women in the military and their dependents. 

U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom says the State Department made a glaring omission by not including Pakistan on its list of Countries of Particular Concern on the issue of religious freedom. 

Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister, Bulent Arinc, says women should not laugh in public because it threatens their chastity. 

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And I Would Rove Twenty-Five Miles

July 30, 2014

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

On Point of InquiryJosh Zepps talks to David Ropeik, an expert on the perception of risk, to talk about the recent spate of horrible air travel disasters and what we think of as "safe."

A blog billing itself as "liberalism's worst nightmare" (I wonder what that could be...a ban on artisanal cheeses?) really thinks we at CFI are a bunch of jerks for our Keep Health Care Safe and Secular campaign:

I fail to see how this campaign has anything to do with inquiry. The Center for Inquiry has already decided the issue for all of us. They’ve done the inquiring and the research, and we just need to fall in line. I’m so sick of this pompous attitude.

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