15 Minutes of Antihydrogen

December 27, 2016

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

And we're back, as 2016 continues its reign of terror. 

Clare Foran at The Atlantic tried to figure out why Republicans have become even more entrenched in climate change denial as the scientific consensus only grows stronger:

In a deeply divided country, adopting views on climate change that conflict with scientific evidence can actually be a rational choice. Liberals and conservatives frequently spend time with like-minded individuals, and people across the political spectrum may have a better chance of fitting in if they embrace shared partisan beliefs—regardless of whether those beliefs contradict scientific fact.  

That's so depressing. We're so screwed. 

Here's a way to address climate change that I hadn't thought of: sue the federal government for endangering you. Enter Juliana v. U.S., as reported at Salon:

In Juliana, the youth asserted their fundamental rights under the Constitution’s substantive due process clause and the public trust doctrine. This is an ancient principle requiring government to hold and protect essential resources as a sustaining endowment for citizens. They contended that government infringed on their rights to life, liberty, and property by promoting fossil fuel policies that threaten runaway planetary heating – thereby jeopardizing human life, private property and civilization itself. 

Relatedly, friend-of-CFI and climatologist Michael Mann brings a libel suit against the bloggers who tried to ruin his life with the manufactured "Climategate" scandal.

ALL THE WHILE, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel is giving the side-eye to the Trump transition over its poking around the Energy Department about employees' roles in climate change policy and initiatives, though doesn't actually investigate anything.

The RNC seemed to sort of compare Trump to Jesus, or imply he was our king, or maybe not, but it was something to argue about on Twitter, and that's all that matters. If anything does. Which is not a sure thing.

Romania almost gets a Muslim woman as prime minister, but instead the country's president, Klaus Iohannis, rejects the nomination of Sevil Shhaideh by the Social Democrats for no stated reasons. Shhaideh would have been the first Muslim to lead an EU nation.

Scientists at CERN manage to trap some antimatter, antihydrogen to be exact, for about 15 minutes. The scientists were then replaced by their evil counterparts from the Mirror Universe.

Christian Schneider at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel feels strongly about uppercase G's

"God" is a proper name, just like "Buzz Lightyear" or "Darth Vader." Even if I don't believe there's a singing jungle animal named Baloo, capitalizing his name remains a simple bare necessity. Doing otherwise is simply a disrespectful finger in the eye of religious believers.  

I kind of like the very fervent and guttural "GAWD." 

The Detroit Free Press reports on the popularity of Bigfoot hunting in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (or, "U.P." for the cool people). “Every time we come here, something happens,” said one of the "hunters." I'm sure it does.

Remember how secular humanism has a "stank and oppressive odor"? Mike Russo writes a response:

In reality, secular humanism is the belief that one can be moral without the need of a God ruling over us to tell us what to do. It means that one does not need to pick a religion, which regularly go to war with each other over the most minute of differences, to be a good person. And by the way, if you really want life to be reduced to "...empty, meaningless hours..." then by all means, continue to believe in an all-powerful being who created humans to worship him and can and regularly has wiped people out of existence on a whim simply because they displeased him. 

Aw, baby Loch Ness Monster but not really. 

Mark Crislip raps about psychics, sort of, and then says:

Don’t be a psychic, fortune teller or palm reader. Call yourself an alternative medical provider ... and you will can get away with anything, no matter how ludicrous.  

Ross Douthat seems to be to get a little more desperate to feel superior over atheists year to year, but it might just be me and my own confirmation bias. 

Michael Gerson asks "where is God?" and then I think that he thinks he answers it, but I don't think so. 

Quote of the Day:

Bridget Jack Jeffries, a Christian and supporter of the Operation Christmas Child initiative run by the Christian group Samaritan's Purse, says atheists are right not to want the program in public schools:

Let’s be real about this, Christians: if our kids came home with fliers from a Mormon ministry inviting them to create Christmas care packages which would then be packed with copies of the Book of Mormon and delivered to needy children by Mormon missionaries all over the world, would we not cry “separation of church and state”?  

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Comments:

#1 Rob (Guest) on Tuesday December 27, 2016 at 8:12am

Re: “god” v. “God”. It seems to me that context is key. If used as a name, like Vader (I’m not positive but I think “Darth” is a title–making for a different discussion), then one would use an initial capital. If used as a regular noun, one would not capitalize. Examples: Zeus the god; a pantheon of gods; monotheistic religions have only one god; Allah says; God ordains; or, Buddha taught. God can be a name or not. Bear necessity is to use proper grammar and not torture the rules in the name of over-sensitivity. Fair enough?

#2 Mario (Guest) on Tuesday December 27, 2016 at 1:24pm

Rob—This extremely basic rule (capitalizing proper nouns, something I learned in grade school) has been explained to the GAWD-ers umpteen times, and you’d have a better chance of explaining it to a soap dish.

#3 Ubi Dubium on Wednesday December 28, 2016 at 8:07am

For me “god” is a job description, not a name.  So is “christ”.  “Jesus”, “Yaweh” and “Jehovah” are names, so I’ll capitalize those when I use them.

#4 Mario (Guest) on Wednesday December 28, 2016 at 12:54pm

I’d suggest you look up “proper nouns,” but never mind.

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