Satan (Hearts) Rick Scott

January 15, 2013

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

Yesterday, Ron Lindsay joined the panel on HuffPost Live to talk about the practice of borrowing religious rituals between and outside of their originating faiths. Of course it gets heated.  

Who doesn't want to be more like Sherlock Holmes? (I mostly just want to be more like Benedict Cumberbatch.) On Point of Inquiryguest Maria Konnikova tells us how to think more like the literary supersleuth. 

CSI's Joe Nickell (nonreligious) talks about how he and his wife Diana (Baha'i) go together on "religabouts":

A combined form of religion and walkabout (an Australian Aboriginal term for a type of nomadic quest), Religabout is our name for an excursion taken in order to observe or experience some religion-related event. We do not go to mock or challenge but rather to learn about other people and cultures. 

Our Office of Public Policy gives props to GOP State Sen. David Long of Indiana for rejecting a school prayer bill infamously presented by State Sen. Dennis Kruse. You can thank him, too.

Prometheus Books, begun by CFI founder Paul Kurtz and publisher of many atheist and science tomes, strikes a deal with Random House

NPR's Morning Edition begins a series on the "rise of the nones," with a note of cold water from Harvard's Robert Putnam who says:

The average American is slightly more religious than the average Iranian, so we are a very religious country even today.

George Dvorsky at io9 on why you really, actually, probably don't have free will.

George Ongere in his report for CFI Kenya discusses efforts to combat rampant superstition in his country. 

Point of Inquiry's Chris Mooney writes in Mother Jones about the recent studies showing how awful online comments really are if you care about truth and knowledge.  

Is Rimsha Masih in trouble again? The Pakistani Supreme Court is reportedly opening up her blasphemy case again today. 

Just because you've been endorsed by the royal family, it doesn't mean you can sell sugar pills as children's "vaccines." 

Forbes' Emily Willingham asks:

With the fading of science sections from newspapers, where is the science for the science consumer, the readers into health, medicine, chemistry, tech, environment, physics, and the less well-defined category of Really Cool Scientific Shit?  

Jared Diamond (of Guns, Germs, and Steel fame) on the irrationality of religious belief

Brother, can you spare an imam?

Bangladeshi atheist blogger Asif Mohiuddin is stabbed:

"The nature of the cuts proved that the attackers wanted to murder him," [surgeon Haridas] Saha said, adding that friends of Mohiuddin who were with him at the time of the attack blamed Islamic "fundamentalists". 

Get your applications in for Surly Grants to attend Women in Secularism 2 and some other conference by some other atheist group. (Hi, Dave!) 

Religious radio host Dennis Prager thinks this is what atheists should say, if we're honest, to the families of the Newtown victims:

As atheists, we truly feel awful for you. And we promise to work for more gun control. But the truth is we don’t have a single consoling thing to say to you because we atheists recognize that the human being is nothing more than matter, no different from all other matter in the universe except for having self-consciousness. Therefore, when we die, that’s it. Moreover, within a tiny speck of time in terms of the universe’s history, nearly every one of us, including your child, will be completely forgotten, as if we never even existed. Life is a random crapshoot. Our birth and existence are flukes. And you will never see your child again. 

At Skeptical Inquirer, Thomas Patterson picks apart the pseudoscience of "live blood cell analysis by darkfield microscopy." Say that three times fast. 

Camp Pendleton rejects Rock Beyond Belief. 

Quote of the Day 

This was an easy one.

The Satanic Temple's Neil Bricke on the approval by Gov. Rick Scott of a Florida's bill that allows for the reading of "inspirational messages" in public schools: 

The Satanic Temple embraces the free expression of religion, and Satanists are happy to show their support of Rick Scott who -- particularly with SB 98 -- has reaffirmed our American freedom to practice our faith openly, allowing our Satanic children the freedom to pray in school.

Linking to a story or webpage does not imply endorsement by Paul or CFI. Not every use of quotation marks is ironic or sarcastic, but it often is. 

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