Posts

December 16, 2014

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6:06 PM | How to fail as a skeptic
A few months ago, I wrote about my experience attending an atheist meeting.  If you don’t want to read it, I basically spent most of the time dealing with an argumentative jerk.  On the other hand, I expected that going in. Part of the reason I expected that is because there is a large amount […]
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1:00 PM | Accused Witch Burned at the Stake in Paraguay
After 45-year-old Adolfina Ocampos was sentenced to death for sorcery last November in the Paraguayan village of Tahenyi where they lived, she was tortured, submerged under water, and beaten. She was then led to a stake where she was shot...            Related StoriesThe Acid Test (Part Two of Two)The Devil Made Me Do It.Listening to the Gods 
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11:27 AM | Religion and Politics in Japan: A Conversation with Religion Scholar Levi McLaughlin
In the wake of Japan's recent national elections, we talk to scholar Levi McLaughlin about the role of religion in Japanese politics (and why no one talks about it).

December 15, 2014

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4:39 PM | Australians Offer to Ride by Muslims’ Side Amidst Fears of Retaliation for Hostage Situation
Yesterday, Man Haron Monis, a self-described extremist Muslim cleric, entered a Lindt Chocolat Cafe in Sydney, Australia and took all of the store’s occupants hostage. The siege ended just a few hours ago after police stormed the cafe. As news spread that the hostage-taker was a Muslim, a coalition of Australian Muslim groups released a statement condemning the man’s actions. “We reject any attempt to take the innocent life of any human being, or to instil fear and […]

December 14, 2014

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11:32 PM | Isaac Got the Holy Ghost
Categories: ReligionSeeing people pretend to be possessed by the spirit of Jesus is pretty much always hilarious, but this video stands out for two reasons: 1. The little kid in the ...(Read more...)
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1:00 PM | King William's Rise and Fall
Visitors to the Californa ghost town once known as Holy City would probably not spend much time exploring the place. Located in an obscure corner of wilderness about ten miles from Los Gatos in the Santa Cruz Mountains, all that...            Related StoriesThe Case of Thomas WeirListening to the GodsP.T. Barnum and You 

December 12, 2014

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4:00 PM | The Story Behind Sarah’s Abortion
Categories: Activism Featured Feminism Religion ScienceTags: abortionabortion rightspersonal storiespro-choiceI knew even before the two little lines appeared that I was pregnant. I’m not saying I had magic intuition or anything, just that I use a period tracker app ...(Read more...)
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2:20 PM | Who knew? My state’s vaccine personal belief exemption rate stinks! (Part 2: What to do.)
After yesterday’s post on the depressingly high (and increasing, apparently) rate of personal belief exemptions to vaccination requirements for entering school in the state of Michigan, I felt the need to pontificate a bit further. The reason is that MLive.com has posted some followup stories. Also, I didn’t have a lot of time last night…

December 11, 2014

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12:33 AM | Ham shoots back at critics with Ark park advertising (UPDATE: Shot down)
There is a major update today. Kentucky has withdrawn tax incentives for the Ark Park. This ship is sunk. HUZZAH! Kentucky: No tax breaks for Noah’s Ark project. Tourism Secretary Bob Stewart says the planned project had evolved from a tourism attraction into an outreach for the Christian ministry that is building it. Stewart wrote… Source: Doubtful News

December 10, 2014

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9:00 AM | Guest Post: What science can learn from religion
Sharel was twenty when she died from an overdose. Her funeral was held at the Holy Temple Christian Church on Althea Street in Providence, Rhode Island. The church tried to raise $5,000 for the expense, but only managed to raise $347. Althea Street is short, only three blocks long. It is poor. Boarded up buildings […]
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9:00 AM | Guest Post: What science can learn from religion
Sharel was twenty when she died from an overdose. Her funeral was held at the Holy Temple Christian Church on Althea Street in Providence, Rhode Island. The church tried to raise $5,000 for the expense, but only managed to raise $347. Althea Street is short, only three blocks long. It is poor. Boarded up buildings […]

December 08, 2014

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10:53 PM | Mind is a Pigsty of Opinions
I came upon this graffiti on a Pittsburgh sidewalk and it caught my clinical-philosophical eye – a face of a pig (from what I can tell) with the word “truth” inscribed on it.  Enigmatic, I thought.  I snapped a photo and continued on with my walk. And then a possible meaning of this dawned on […]
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6:31 PM | Pope Francis Illuminates World's Largest Christmas Tree
Made of nearly 1,000 multi-colored lights connected by more than 5 miles of electrical cable, the tree is a lighting display laid out on the side of Mount Ingino.
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4:46 PM | Exorcism classes in Delaware
Exorcism is a more common subject than ever these days. The Lighthouse Church in Wyoming, Delaware is teaching about “deliverance” from Satan and his demons. They propose that everyone should know about it and it’s the root of many problems. Oh really…? Enlighten Me: Exorcism classes come to the First State Gore says Jesus Christ and his… Source: Doubtful News
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2:53 PM | Learning to Live Together, Jaffa Style
Considering the political tensions and violent outbreaks throughout Israel and the Palestinian territories, it is hardly surprising that relations between Israelis and Palestinians is at an all-time low. Surveys show that Israeli-Jews regard Israeli-Palestinians (who are often referred to as...            Related StoriesThe Devil Made Me Do It.The Geography of SuicideThe Marital Selection Minefield (Part Two) 

December 07, 2014

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3:50 PM | Anger Management: Know-How of Eastern Equanimity
When anger becomes the mood of human societies, the quality of fire (or the primitive and destructive intent of the frustrated ego) invades the plane of humanity. That fire is expressed as all of the aggression and competitiveness of humankind, including all of the ego-based politics of confrontation. And that ego-fire is, finally, summarized in […]

December 06, 2014

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4:50 PM | Why do we cling to beliefs when they’re threatened by facts?
People who read a passage that contradicted their viewpoint saw it as opinion.

December 03, 2014

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8:22 PM | The Secret History of Hermits
In nearly every civilization with historical records, we find stories of people who went off by themselves to live in the wilderness. But not all hermits were the same: some were outcasts, some were holy, and others were extremely fashionable. All their stories are extraordinary.Read more...
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1:02 PM | Book Review: “Firing God” by Cheryl Abram
I recently had a chance to read and review an excellent book “Firing God” by Cheryl Abram. I met Cheryl through PsychCentral (she read one of my blogs and wrote to me).  At that time I went to her website and read some of her own blogs and found a lot of existentially courageous and […]
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8:09 AM | The Central Dogma of Alternative Medicine
I happened to have a busy day yesterday, and in addition today’s a deadline to submit a letter of intent for a grant application, as well as to write a response to some criticism in a letter to the editor of my recent Nature Reviews Cancer article. (Trust me, it’s fun.) Never one to let…
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8:09 AM | The Central Dogma of Alternative Medicine
I happened to have a busy day yesterday, and in addition today’s a deadline to submit a letter of intent for a grant application, as well as to write a response to some criticism in a letter to the editor of my recent Nature Reviews Cancer article. (Trust me, it’s fun.) Never one to let…
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8:02 AM | The Central Dogma of Alternative Medicine
Steve still happens to be galavanting about Australia, spreading science, skepticism, and, of course, science-based medicine Down Under. Given that, he has been unable to produce new content for today. Never one to let such an opportunity pass, I decided to take advantage in order to do a little shameless self promotion. A week and […]

December 02, 2014

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9:54 PM | Luther and the Protestant Reformation: Crash Course World...
Luther and the Protestant Reformation: Crash Course World History №218 by thecrashcourse: In which John Green teaches you about the Protestant Reformation. Prior to the Protestant Reformation, pretty much everyone in Europe was a Roman Catholic. Not to get all great man, but Martin Luther changed all that. Martin Luther didn’t like the corruption he saw in the church, especially the sale of indulgences, so he left the church and started his own. And it caught on! And it really did […]
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4:43 PM | Religious belief warped judgment as dead body posed health hazard
This is a case of religious zealotry affecting the people around them. It’s difficult to believe. Hamilton family left corpse upstairs for six months expecting resurrection. Peter Wald’s family truly believed he would rise from the dead. They believed it because they had prayed for it, every single day, while his corpse lay rotting for… Source: Doubtful News
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4:07 PM | But Temporary and Partial Comfort is not Alliterative! (and sells less well)
I spent the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in Kentucky, ignoring the whole Black Friday foolishness as much as possible, although there were a couple of good social science NPR pieces on the phenomonon that I shared to the VSI page on Facebook. Instead we went to the woods and whacked dead things with sticks. We hung out with friends, old and new, and played games. Easy and cheap. The long drive home on Sunday was much improved by a slew of old Escape Pod stories and a well-done radio […]

December 01, 2014

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8:07 PM | Largest Stone Block From Antiquity Found
The 2,000-year-old stone block was likely cut to be used in a temple, but was abandoned because it was unsuitable for transporting.
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8:07 PM | Largest Stone Block From Antiquity Found
The 2,000-year-old stone block was likely cut to be used in a temple, but was abandoned because it was unsuitable for transporting.
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7:27 PM | What ecological factors determine a god’s wrath? To what extent...
What ecological factors determine a god’s wrath? To what extent do environmental factors color a god’s wrath? A new study from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences weighs in. By: How Stuff Works.
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2:42 PM | Reed M. N. Weep (retired)
No summary available for this post.
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9:58 AM | Is Earth a Prison Planet and the Moon – Its Guardian?
Isaac Asimov suggested a long time ago that the Moon is not a natural astral body. All independent studies ever since backed Asimov’s calculations and it was proven beyond any reasonable doubt that the gravitational features of the Moon are not just abnormal. They are the exact numbers required so … READ MORE
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