Crop Circles and Christian Sex

January 29, 2013

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

Now this is cool. Point of Inquiry snagged Paul Krugman. I'm going to listen right now instead of work. What? 

Boy Scouts of America discusses ending its ban on gays. Now, what about atheists while you're at it? 

Hilarious: Intelligent design-touting group the Discovery Institute cites our own Ben Radford's debunking of crop circles to back up their quasi-creationism.  

Elizabeth Drescher at Religion Dispatches says of the idea that the Internet is killing religion: Pish-posh

Bad Science Watch completes a study of the alleged harmful effects of WiFi. Spoiler: There are none. 

LaRae Meadows at CSICOP.org reviews the new show Stuff You Should Know, "a peculiar amalgamation of The Office’s awkward, asinine mockumentary comedy and scientific discussion."

Black Skeptics Los Angeles launches a scholarship, and asks for your help.  

Steven Novella wrestles with dumbing down the language of science communication.  

Doubtful News looks at questionable reports of cannibalism in impoverished North Korea. 

Leah Libresco (former atheist, now a Catholic, etc., etc.) posts video of her talk about the Ideological Turing Test from Chicago Ideas Week. 

AU's Rob Boston warns of the propaganda behind "School Choice Week":

We need to cut through the euphemisms. At the end of the day, this is a week-long cheerleading session for vouchers. And vouchers are just a scheme to force the American taxpayer to support private religious schools. 

Noah Sez has a piece in CSI's Skeptical Briefs on the power and misuse of native culture's myths and stories. 

Personhood USA launches an effort to have rape exemptions removed from federal abortion laws. 

CFI-LA's Jim Underdown is one of the guests on SETI's Big Picture Science

Radiolab's Robert Krulwich has the formula for predicting a species' life span. Neat. 

The New Yorker profiles Dr. Oz:

“Ultimately, if we want to fix American medicine we will need skeptical and smart patients to dominate,” [Oz] said. “They will need to ask the hard questions, because much of medicine is just plain old logic. So I am out there trying to persuade people to be those patients. And that often means telling them what the establishment doesn’t want them to hear: that their answers are not the only answers, and their medicine is not the only medicine.” But, when he tells his audience, with no credible evidence, that red palm oil may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, is he empowering people? Or is he encouraging them to endanger their health with another “miracle”?

Aw, Nessie's turning 80. Wait, I thought it was millions of years old. I dunno. 

Las Vegas hotel magnate and UFO enthusiast working on inflatable space habitats.

For Holocaust Memorial Day two days ago, Edzard Ernst looked back with horror on the pseudoscience and "alternative medicine" practiced by the Nazis

Stephanie Zvan has her own take on what the Women in Secularism conferences are all about:

. . . the point was to celebrate the contributions of women to the secular movement and secular ideals and to come together to address some of the challenges women faced in contributing fully. That one of those challenges was getting ready to explode in a way that caught national attention and drove some women out of the movement may have been a coincidence–or it may have been inevitable. I don’t know, but it wasn’t what the conference was about. 

Quote of the Day 

Melissa Otterbein has 10 quotes she likes about Christianity and sex. I admit, I really dig this one from hipster pastor Rob Bell:

In response to Rob Bell’s five year old son asking his wife, Kristen, what “sexy” means: “Sexy is when it feels good to be in your own skin. Your own body feels right, it feels comfortable. Sexy is when you love being you.”

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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