Death of the Ideal Scientologist, Konrad Aigner

Alongside a well-placed ad from the Cult of Scientology encouraging viewers to “Get the facts” is an article by John Brown entitled The Ideal Scientologist: Konrad Aigner. This must-read story summarizes the life and death in Scientology of Konrad Aigner. Aigner joined the cult in 1976, after leaving his family’s German farm to take up … Continue reading

Madeline Neumann and Why Society Should Stop Insulating Religion From Rational Scrutiny

On Wednesday Marathon Country District Attorney Jill Falstad annouced that Dale and Leilani Neumann would each be charged with second-degree reckless homicide (maximum punishment: 25 years in prison) for their failure to seek medical attention for their ailing daughter – relying instead on prayer – who withered away and died of a treatable form of … Continue reading

Tom Cruise, you’re totally killin’ my mellow, dude…

From The Shallow End: “Actor Tom Cruise is apparently blowing smoke that a new strand of medical marijuana, ‘Tom Cruise Purple’ has been named in his honour. A devout Scientologist, Tom is totally opposed to prescription medicine – even the herbal type it seems – and is apparently considering legal action. One of Tom’s mates, … Continue reading

Sam Harris: It’s not about atheism, it’s about reason and genuine respect for the well-being of others

Having just watched the recent Sam Harris + Rabbi David Wolpe debate on the existence of God, I was reminded of Sam Harris’ very important and agreeable position that a big part of the cultural struggle being fought be secularists should not be about atheism specifically, but about reason generally. Now, the subject of religion … Continue reading

Exorcism on the rise in Europe

MSNBC reports that exorcism – the church rite of expelling evil spirits from tortured souls – is making a comeback in Catholic regions of Europe. Last July, more than 300 exorcists gathered in Cezestochowa, Poland for the fourth International Congress of Exorcists. Polish Reverend Andrzej Trojanowski is currently planning the development of Europe’s only centre … Continue reading

GlaxoSmithKline occused of hiding information on suicide risk of Paxil

Analysis of recently released internal GlaxoSmithKline memos and reports is suggesting that GSK had obscured data indicating that Paxil (paroxetine), a popular and profitable antidepressant medication, produces an eightfold increase in suicide risk. GSK is accused of having engaged in obviously illegitimate scientific practices in the analysis and presentation of data so as to not display … Continue reading

Backlash: Proponents of Complementary & Alternative Medicine take issue with David Colquhoun

During his recent visit to Toronto, Dr. David Colquhoun, Pharmacologist at University College London, appeared on CBC Radio‘s Sunday Edition. As usual, he made many damning remarks about the validity of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). Notably, Colquhoun asserts that an appropriate means of categorizing the different types of medicine is not scientific versus CAM, … Continue reading

New study indicates that marijuana smokers face rapid lung destruction

Marijuana Smokers Face Rapid Lung Destruction As Much As 20 Years Ahead Of Tobacco Smokershttp://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080123104017.htmScienceDaily (Jan. 27, 2008) — A new study finds that the development of bullous lung disease occurs in marijuana smokers approximately 20 years earlier than tobacco smokers.

Doubt in and faking of faith, and the need for secular alternatives to religious communities

A reader, postthought, expressed curiosity regarding why so many Americans are religious despite their access to education. She also opined that many of the faithful are faking their faith. Here are some of my quick thoughts on these matters:

Interested in the scientific study of meditation, mindfulness and contemplative practices?

Deric Bownds has provided a link to the Mind and Life Institute, which offers a quarterly bibliography with short descriptions of research done on the effects of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). I post these links here as well, for those interested in the science of meditation, mindfulness, and contemplative practices, as well as other bridges … Continue reading

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