MORNING HAPPINESS: Going to see Bo Burnham!

My wife’s Christmas gift to us was tickets to a Bo Burnham concert in Kansas City tonight.  We’ll be taking off this afternoon to run some errands and I’ll post pics tomorrow.   For those of you who don’t know, Burnham became famous as a teenager writing songs on youtube.  He’s wicked smart and his [Read More…]

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SAD: Sam Simon, co-creator of The Simpsons, philanthropist, and atheist has died.

Atheist philanthropist and co-creator of The Simpsons, Sam Simon, has finally succumbed to cancer: Nine-time Emmy winner Sam Simon, who wrote episodes of “Taxi,” “Cheers” and “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show” before co-creating landmark animated series “The Simpsons” and eventually becoming a philanthropist, died Sunday of colorectal cancer at his home in Los Angeles, his reps confirmed. [Read More…]

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Evolution destroyed in under 5 minutes: The Ad-Hoc Constraint – Pt 1

Woe is us – for the source of the very purpose of our lives (evolution) is no more. [Read more…]

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SCIENCE: Large population study finds no link between psychedelic drugs and health problems/suicidal behavior.

A new population study has confirmed what pretty much all previous research has found.  The part of the abstract which I’ve bolded pretty much sums up my position on drugs like mushrooms and LSD: A recent large population study of 130,000 adults in the United States failed to find evidence for a link between psychedelic use [Read More…]

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ACTIVISM & GODLESSNESS: Purpose-driven life and secularism.

The following is a guest post by Gleb Tsipursky (Co-Founder, President, and Chief Insights Officer at Intentional Insights, a new reason-themed nonprofit devoted to spreading rational thinking strategies to a broad audience). Purpose-Driven Life and Secularism Graphics by: Cerina Gillilan We need religion for a sense of purpose in life, at least according to the vast majority [Read More…]

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FAITH, GAY RIGHTS & POLITICS: Oklahoma pursuing openly anti-gay bill.

An Oklahoma state senator, Joseph Silk (R-Stone Age) has introduced a bill with a very frank goal: he wants businesses to be able to refuse service to gay people: State Senator Joseph Silk (R) is sponsoring the “Oklahoma Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2015,” which would protect businesses — religious or secular — from lawsuits [Read More…]

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FAITH & GAY RIGHTS: Bishop of Elphin compares being gay to Down Syndrome.

The Bishop of Elphin, Kevin Doran, has some weird ideas about parenting and children: A Catholic Bishop’s view that gay couples with children “are not parents” has been described as “a nonsense”. The Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran also said he believes “the jury’s out” on whether people are born gay. Dr Doran had this [Read More…]

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GAY RIGHTS & POLITICS: Huckabee asked to provide negative impact of same-sex marriage and can’t do it.

Mike Huckabee was asked at a recent event in Iowa to highlight some of the ways legalized same sex marriage has impacted Iowa.  Huckabee, unsurprisingly, was unable to do so: At the Iowa Agriculture Summit on Saturday, ThinkProgress asked former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), a vocal opponent of marriage equality, how Iowa’s same-sex weddings [Read More…]

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FAITH: Saudi Arabia makes its first statement on Badawi, defends human rights record in most inept way imaginable.

Things were looking better for Raif Badawi not long ago.  In January his case was referred to Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court by the King himself, a sign that political leaders were starting to feel the international pressure.  That same month Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Germany hinted that the punishment may be halted.  Of course, then his wife was informed the country [Read More…]

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FAITH & POLITICS: New Ontario law would punish doctors who refuse care on “moral” grounds.

There is many a doctor who won’t perform an abortion or a pharmacist who won’t dispense birth control for moral reasons.  In Ontario such doctors could soon be disciplined: Doctors who refuse to prescribe birth control or other medical services because of their personal values could face possible disciplinary actions, Canada’s largest medical regulator says. [Read More…]

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POLITICS & SCIENCE: Department of Environmental Protection in Florida told not to use terms like “climate change.”

Some states should have a more personal interest in climate change than others.  For instance, while global warming effects all of us, states with coastlines like, say, Florida, are literally staring global warming in the face: The state of Florida is the region most susceptible to the effects of global warming in this country, according [Read More…]

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MORNING HAPPINESS: Vicious predator.

He’s right behind you. Posts will be short and sparse today.  I have seven people to vet for the Hotline Project (on top of that, I think I’m coming down sick).  I’m elated to see the massive influx of interest…but it makes for long days for volunteers when each one takes a half an hour. [Read more…]

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FAITH: Augustine college hosting a lecture named “Against Critical Thinking.”

I can’t make this shit up:   No, really: “Join First Things editor R. R. Reno in exploring the ideas behind the current cultural fixation with critical thinking as the highest intellectual good, and learn how a pedagogy based on piety provides a more successful roadmap for the pursuit of the good, the true, and [Read More…]

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FAITH: Egyptian man arrested for denying miracles in the Koran and explaining why.

Documents obtained by the Center for Inquiry reveal that an Egyptian student has been arrested for denying miracles described in the Quran and daring to say so: The investigations and information proved that the aforementioned defendant had gone through some conversations and discussions with some of the professors at the Suez Canal University and with [Read More…]

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