Obliterating

October 20, 2017

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

Happy 50th birthday, fake Bigfoot footage.

Smarmy-faced Nazi dirtbag Richard Spencer came to the University of Florida yesterday, and all but select journalists were kept from bringing anything like notebooks or writing utensils into the venue. Nonetheless, somehow the LA Times reports:

Spencer initially protested the boos as suppression of his speech but later began taking questions from audience members who variously asked why he hadn’t left yet or how he could form a white ethno-state without performing violent ethnic cleansing. 

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Put Down That Placenta!

October 19, 2017

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

Because I was gone for a while, the Cause & Effect newsletter is kind of long this week. Or rather, packed with awesomeness.

You gotta see this: David Cowan, a well known Silicon Valley venture capitalist and member of CFI's board, plays a version of himself in this fake documentary series taking a skeptical look at the tech startup culture, Bubbleproof. I did not know he could act, especially the whole "I'm uncomfortable and afraid to show it" shtick. Well done.

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The Aliens Had Mentioned Isis

October 18, 2017

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

Mark Oppenheimer profiles Rabbi Robert Barr, candidate for the U.S. House in Ohio's first District. What's most notable about Barr's affiliation is not that he is a rabbi, but that he subscribes to humanistic Judaism. BUT DON'T GET THE WRONG IDEA:

I’m not an atheist. ... My relationship to God has always been private. Everyone should have that right. I have never made the congregation about my personal beliefs.

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Nasty, Nasty People

October 17, 2017

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

Results from a Pew Research survey shows what may be a key turning point for American nontheists: For the first time, a slim-but-solid majority of Americans (56%) says that one does not need to believe in God to be moral. While obviously "nones" help push this number up (with what I think is a surprisingly small 85%), but it's also Mainline Protestants and Catholics who also agree. 

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We Cause Suffering

October 16, 2017

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

Hi there.

I'm back after a fortnight's absence, having spent the time in Marin County, California at the Mesa Refuge, working on writer stuff. It was lovely, save for the smoke that became quite a thing as a result of those terrible fires. Please forgive the lateness of this post this morning, as I have a lot of catching up to do, and I'm still adjusting to East Coast time. So what's been going on? 

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Refrigerator Magnets and Bouncy Balls

September 28, 2017

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

To start, I have some personal news that affects this blog-thing. Starting tomorrow, I'll be gone for two weeks as I head to California for a writer's retreat-fellowship-thing at the Mesa Refuge. Long story short, Rob Boston of Americans United was the first person to go to the Refuge as part of a new Free Thought Fellowship, and afterward he got to nominate the next person to go. So, in what I assume was a some drug-induced, delusional, manic state that probably included some frothing at the mouth, Rob nominated me. The Refuge folks agreed, and well, off I go...

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If They Are, They Are. If They’re Not, They’re Not.

September 27, 2017

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

Okay okay okay. We're all rationalists here, right? I mean, we all believe that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. WELL THEN. I SUBMIT TO YOU my extraordinary evidence that the End Times truly are upon us...

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Indirect and Brawny

September 26, 2017

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

Dearest Internet. I have found that the maxim "you just can't win" holds up remarkably well. It turns out that by merely pointing out the fact that some person holds some opinion about some thing, one has therefore implicitly endorsed that opinion -- on behalf of oneself and one's employer! That's right! Simply indicating that an opinion exists means that one is fully convinced by that opinion. How do I know this? From the Morally Superior and Righteously Aggrieved™ on Twitter, of course! And we know that they are never, ever wrong...

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Unless We’re Already Dead

September 25, 2017

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

As a short, awkward, nerdy aspie with no interest in sports, there have been few American institutions that I feel more alienated by than the National Football League. The grandiose NFL logo and the iconography of its franchises have always been, to me, shorthand for "turn back, Paul, lest thou be bullied." What a difference a weekend makes. Via Liz Clarke and Abby Phillip at the Post:

Some stood. Some kneeled. Some remained in the locker room, choosing to speak through their absence from the NFL’s pregame ceremonies, in which the American flag is displayed and the national anthem sung. But from London to Los Angeles, virtually all NFL players on the sidelines before kickoff of Sunday’s slate of 14 games locked arms with each other in response to President Trump’s three-day campaign demanding that team owners “fire or suspend” players who kneel during the national anthem and calling on fans to boycott games if the form of protest continued....

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Things Might Not Turn Out Fine

September 22, 2017

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

It's safe to go to Brigham Young University now. They're letting in Coke and Pepsi.

At Wired, Michelle Dean has a big story on what is a surprising degree of drama and stress (financial, personal, political, etc.) behind the scenes at Snopes.

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