Andy Kaufman Was Bigfoot the Whole Time!

November 15, 2013

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

Quack cancer doctor Stanislaw Burzynski gets front-page treatment in USA Today, with a series of stories on his practice under the banner "Science or Snake Oil?" 

Brantley Hargrove at the Dallas Observer does a long piece on the saga that is the Texas battle over evolution in textbooks. 

Former GOP science policy adviser Mischa Fisher writes in The Atlantic that the Republican Party is getting a bad rap as being anti-science. I take to Friendly Atheist to say, meh, I'm not so sure about that, but I do concede one point:

It’s possible that by shouting from the hilltops that Republicans hate science and they Democrats love it (or, more specifically, that secular humanist atheist liberal poindexter college professor elitists love science), it becomes more and more toxic for Republican leaders to embrace, lest they look like the aforementioned pinkos to their base. 

For a few days it looked to some folks that Andy Kaufman might still be alive. Turns out now that his brother says he was the victim of a hoax. Wait a minute. You ever notice how you never see Kaufman and Bigfoot in the same place at the same time???

(But seriously, read to the end of the previous link from CNN, it has a sweet ending.) 

Scientology erects a mega-fortress is Clearwater, Florida, where members will take part in a "Super Power" program. I'm thinking like the Incredibles.

Judge in Iowa rules that a grocery store owner who lectured an employee about the Bible must pay unemployment benefits. 

Daniel Fincke calls out Ray Comfort for "sick vampirism" in tying atheism to suicide

New media is amazing. Wittgenstein is now a contributor to BuzzFeed. Apparently.

Kids are getting bleeding disorders because of parents who won't get them their Vitamin K shots, for fear of "toxins."  

The Bible gets betweeted with The Twible, with biblical passages written in 140 characters

Bangladesh, of all places, now offers a third gender option on official documents such as passports. 

A justice ministry document shows that Libya is looking to align itself more closely with Islamic sharia law. Great. 

So one Christian homeless shelter in Kansas City doesn't want dirty atheists volunteering to help. Fine, plenty of other organizations, including Christian ones, will be glad for the help

Kimberly Winston reports that the AHA is not done getting public schools to sever ties with a Franklin Graham evangelization project, Operation Christmas Child. 

California man insists the CIA interrogated him in the 1960s about the potential of using his "psychic abilities" for espionage, and has spent his life savings trying to prove it. 

A HuffPo/YouGov poll (grain of salt required) says that about 40% of Americans think it's okay for an atheist to sit on the Supreme Court, and 38% do not.   

Andy Braner considers atheist congregations, and (with odd uppercase usage) offers advice:

And to my Atheist friends, Be careful. Anytime humans come together to try to figure this "religion" thing out, history shows us how it turns quickly into a mess. For the mess we've made, I apologize for my tribe. But maybe you can learn from us. Music and Talks only go so far, but the meaning in life is figuring out how to give to others. 

Dark matter might just be teeny tiny black holes

Oh, and a Happy Dinovember to you. 

Quote of the Day

Jerry Coyne says the word "faith" doesn't apply in science:

What about faith in reason? Wrong again. Reason—the habit of being critical, logical, and of learning from experience—is not an a priori assumption but a tool that’s been shown to work. It’s what produced antibiotics, computers, and our ability to sequence DNA. We don’t have faith in reason; we use reason because, unlike revelation, it produces results and understanding. Even discussing why we should use reason employs reason!

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