Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
Greta Christina has great news:
This cancer was caught plenty early, and it is now gone. I don’t mean that it’s in remission: I mean that it’s gone. I had cancer, but I don’t anymore.
No good can come of this: Chris Mooney and Indre Viskontas do a kind of relay-podcast-hosting of the latest Point of Inquiry as they talk to Richard Wiseman and Jon Ronson about their Paranormal Roadtrip to CSICon.
Lots of people are fuming about the post at Butterflies & Wheels yesterday by Bruce Gordon attacking “faitheists” (indeed, some are even upset with the Morning Heretic for even linking to it). James Croft is none too pleased about the post’s implications for the wider movement:
. . . the appearance of so shoddy and egregious a piece on a respected blog raises questions regarding the extent to which our movement is capable of reasonable disagreement over the subject of religion. . . . When you can make wild, damaging and intensely personal accusations against a public figure in our movement without providing evidence or solid reasoning, and no one calls you out for it, we have a very serious problem.
Secular Coalition rounds up ways nonbelievers can help (and are helping) folks recover from Hurricane Sandy.
Spend your Election Night with Tom Flynn at the University of Rochester as he discusses his “radical” notions of church-state separation.
Noah Nez at Skeptical Briefs talks about the alleged practitioners of “witchcraft” among the Navajo, aka, “Skinwalkers.”
As the Sistine Chapel turns 500 (!), the Vatican considers limiting access as “human-born problems and pollutants” (ew) threaten the work.
Acupuncture trials that “prove” its efficacy seem to have a thing about not including placebos. (Perhaps because such a thing would be too obviously redundant?)
Noah, the movie, gets rained out. D’oh.
Kentucky’s Journal-Enterprise looks at the life of the late Robert Allen Baker Jr., CSI fellow and investigative partner and friend of our own Joe Nickell.
If you’re reading this, you may not be welcome on the Indianapolis Colts, and no, not just because you’re bad at football.
Air Force Academy talks up religious-respect training.
White House opts not to stop a challenge to the Affordable Care Act from Liberty University from proceeding in federal court.
The US House may have its first Hindu representative very soon, and interestingly, she is not Indian-American.
Americans United point out that even Florida clergy understand the problem with the state’s Amendment 8.
Vietnam sentences two musicians to prison for their protest songs.
Yeti has been proven to exist, apparently, in Siberia, thanks to some hairs.
Pakistan girls’ school torched because a question on a test may have been not entirely flattering to Mohammed. Said a local official, who clearly has the right priorities, “I assure you the government will thoroughly investigate the matter and will not spare those involved in blasphemy.”
Meanwhile, Pakistan tries to convince the UN that it is a “democratic, pluralistic and progressive state,” and the UN shakes its head.
Cigar UFO seen over Buffalo. I’m guessing the folks at the CFI HQ should probably hide.
Mayans and presidents and aliens and INTERPLANETARY WAR. Oh my!
The human soul might be “the result of quantum gravity effects inside these microtubules.” Microtubules? Drink!
Quote of the Day
CSI’s Ben Radford talks to The Verge about science and the hunt for ghosts:
The paranormal community seems to think that scientists’ world view would crumble, they would curl up in fetal balls and sob or something if ghosts were proven real . . . The idea that scientists are afraid to look into this unknown realm of ghosts is patently ridiculous! If they could prove ghosts existed, it would open up a whole new world of physics that would lead directly to a Nobel prize.
Bonus Quote of the Day!
Robert Schaeffer on UFO-born air accidents:
. . . the number of fatalities in airline accidents caused by UFOs equals the number of motorists killed in vehicle collisions with unicorns.
Linking to a story or webpage does not imply endorsement by Paul or CFI. Not every use of quotation marks is ironic or sarcastic, but it often is.
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