Is Islam Compatible With Democracy and Human Rights?
November 16, 2018


Presented is an extensive look into Islam and Democracy from Ibn Warraq’s book, Why I Am Not a Muslim. Secular Islam was created by the Center for Inquiry to collect the writings, thoughts, and speeches of secular Muslims, Ex-Muslims, believers, doubters, and unbelievers, brought together by a great struggle, not between the West and Islam, but between …

Ontological Confusions
November 15, 2018


The Spanish government announces a plan to fight fake medicine like homeopathy and to get alt-med nonsense out of health centers and universities. El País reports: “Public and private establishments that include pseudo-therapies will not be able to call themselves health centers,” explained Health Minister Maria Luisa Carcedo … “Their presence in these spaces gives the …

Quack Like Evangelicals
November 14, 2018


The New York Times publishes an editorial calling for the repeal of blasphemy laws: Sacrilege is painful to religious believers everywhere. But broad and subjective legal proscriptions not only contradict the fundamental right to freedom of expression; they also open the door to persecution of minority faiths, as in Ms. Bibi’s case, or of political …

Energy Psychology: An APA-Endorsed Pseudoscience
November 14, 2018


As I wrote about in my last column on the best approach for evidence-based practice, when it comes to psychological interventions (and assessment methods), the best option to use are what we call evidence-based practices (EBPs). These are those medications and therapies that have been demonstrated to be effective via well-controlled clinical trials, reducing a …

A Critical Mass of Physicists
November 13, 2018


I’m not a fan of the angle taken by this article in Crux about religious liberty, where the bias is immediately obvious by the reporter’s characterization of “the quiet removal of crosses from the public arena” as “subtle persecution.” However, the subject of the article is worth considering: Treating religious freedom as a “luxury good,” …

We Had All Sorts of Hats
November 12, 2018


Before we get into the news, I want to encourage everyone, especially parents of young kids, to check out the Netflix series Brainchild. Think of it as a kind of Bill Nye the Science Guy meets The Electric Company meets Adam Ruins Everything. It’s so good. The host, Sahana Srinivasan, is excellent, and it has …

Wolf-like Mystery Creature in Montana
November 12, 2018


In mid-2018 a strange-looking critter was shot and killed in Central Montana. Armchair monster hunters rushed to opine as to its true nature: possibly a jackal, wolf/dog, coydog, coyote, German Shepherd hybrid, Scottish Deerhound, or even a surviving dire wolf (that became extinct over 10,000 years ago) or a “dogman” (a supposed upright-walking cryptid, at …

Islam and the Liberation of Women in the Middle East
November 10, 2018


The following was adapted from a speech by Azam Kamguian delivered at the Council for Secular Humanism’s three-day conference, “One Nation without God?” April 11–13, 2003 in Washington, D.C. I intend to contribute to the debate about Islam and the liberation of women in the Middle East as an activist and writer engaged in issues …

‘Why Isn’t the Media Covering This Story?’—or Are They?
November 9, 2018


Distrust of the news media is, or at least seems to be, at an all time high. A recent report by Gallup and the Knight Foundation found that 42 percent of Democrats, 75 percent of independents, and 94 percent of Republicans say they have lost some trust in the media. Some, perhaps much, of the …

Bears Pose a Hazard to Health
November 9, 2018


Oooooooooh crap. The new Acting Attorney General, Matthew Whitaker, seems to think that the Bible supersedes the law: Natural law often times is used from the eye of the beholder and what I would like to see — I’d like to see things like their world view, what informs them. Are they people of faith? …