Disrupt the DNA

February 5, 2013

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

I'm sure you'll be shocked to learn that the document dump by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles regarding child abuse cover-ups was woefully incomplete, even violating direct judge's orders. Oh, and the punishment meted out to Cardinal Mahony for enabling these crimes may be no punishment at all.

A new HBO documentary, Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, looks to track this horrific crisis to its roots. Sara Smith at the Kansas City Star says, "No one can now pretend that the men running the world's largest Christian church don't know that they are protecting evil in their midst."

Meanwhile, is the Vatican getting to feel a little less uneasy about gays? 

“In the world there are 20 or 25 countries where homosexuality is a crime,” [Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia] said. “I would like the church to fight against all this.” 

Point of Inquiry, the finest podcast on Earth to feature alternating hosts wherein one is an opera singer, is looking for a slave. I mean intern! Intern! A social media intern, that is. The official listing mentions that you'll get "access" to me, but just so we're clear, there will be no touching of Paul. 

Ben Radford asks, did Beyonce flash an Illuminati sign?

Or could it be that she was making a diamond symbol with her hands as a plug for her husband Jay-Z’s record company, which uses a diamond as its symbol? Or could it be that conspiracy theorists don’t realize that there are only so many symbols that can be formed with four fingers and a thumb, and that by random chance many of them will look similar? 

Edzard Ernst picks apart the flaws in homeopathy studies done over five years for Skeptical Inquirer

This isn't really skepto-atheist relevant, but cool nonetheless: Richard III's remains have been found and confirmed to be legit (or have they?), and indeed, not shaped for sportive tricks. Richard II's body also found, in a sitting position, looking rather somber, jaw hanging open as though spinning woeful takes about the demise of monarchs. (Kidding.)

Coming to Georgetown University February 20-22 is the Secularism on the Edge conference, which features CFI board member Barry Kosmin. 

Nature films are seen as scientifically authoritative, but perhaps they shouldn't be.  

Harriet Hall seeks to clarify her positions on feminism, gender equality, and on women-specific organizations.  

Canterbury has a new archbishop, what-what! 

Printing press employees in Pakistan charged with blasphemy, and may face life in prison, for things like translating the Quran in ways that some folks didn't like. 

Ed Brayton, riffing off what Andrew Sullivan has done, looks at bringing an ad-free paid option for readers of Freethought Blogs (full disclosure: I also write for FtB). 

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales takes to Quora to ask how he can fight against the hoax of homeopathic "remedies" for the flu:

When people are told that Oscillococcinum can disrupt the DNA of the flu, they may very well choose not to have a flu vaccine. What I want to know is this: why is this legal? 

David Gorski worries over a new bill to license naturopaths in Michigan

More of Daniel Dennett's presentation at Moving Secularism Forward at CFI's Center Stage podcast. 

It's a pterosaur! It's a dragon! It's a bunch of crap

Russian geographers in search of the "Russian Loch Ness Monster" claim to have found the bones of a giant mysterious creature.

CFI's Cody Hashman and the wisdom of Motorhead

Lots of interest in the British media, it seems, about this atheist church service

Colorado creationist bill rejected

Quote of the Day

Malala Yousafzai is doing much better:

I want to serve the people. I want every girl, every child to be educated.      

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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