March 27, 2018
The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
We were glad to hear that the FDA was ready to take a harder line with homeopathy, which they announced earlier this year, but it's still not clear what they intend to do. CFI is happy to tell them what they oughta do, because we know they're new to this whole "protect the American consumer from obviously-fake medicine" thing.
The Guardian profiles ex-naturopath Britt Hermes, and there's a lot of wisdom in the piece. For example:
Hermes says the potential shortcomings of conventional medicine are seldom acknowledged as a motivation for people to seek out alternatives. And sceptics and the scientific community often focus only on debunking quack remedies rather than trying to understand why people seek alternatives in the first place.
Hey, Atheists of Florida? This is a freaking great idea: Since Florida just enacted a law requiring the display of "In God We Trust" at public schools, the atheist group has volunteered to provide those signs. Via the Tampa Bay Times:
One draft version of the group's offering would state "E Pluribus Unum, In God We Trust" in the center of a circle with red, white and blue stars and stripes. Around the outside of the circle would be the words of the First Amendment, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Another draft sign would include the motto and show pictures of Jesus, Buddha, Odin and other gods.
A new study shows that the parents of kids who are already diagnosed as autistic are less likely to get their kids vaccinated so they don't get more of that dangerous autism juice. Well, speaking purely for myself, I think autism just makes me even more afraid of needles.
Hey roundies, the self-described "rocket scientist" Mike Hughes, the guy who said he was going to send himself up on a rocket to prove the Earth is flat, "manned up" (his words) and DID IT. He shot himself almost 1900 feet in the air, injured himself a little, and said he wasn't satisfied with what he saw...which I'm guessing was his life flashing before his eyes, which included a lot of embarrassing flat-Earth ranting.
Indonesia's Supreme Court rejects the appeal of former Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama for a review of his case in which he was convicted of blasphemy.
Two pilots on two different planes seem to have independently witnessed the same unknown craft(?) pass over them at 40,000 feet last month. "I don’t know what it was," said one pilot to air traffic control. "It wasn’t an airplane."
A Texas "UFO enthusiast" says the Curiosity rover took a photograph of an alien skeleton. Because when you see a bunch of rocks on Mars that happen to be kinda vaguely sitting in sort of a wavy line, the best explanation is "alien skeleton," and not "those are rocks."
Quote of the Day
In Skeptical Inquirer, George Hrab tries to figure out what the hell the lesson of the David and Goliath story is supposed to be:
I realize that stories such as these are supposed to engender multiple interpretations that result in raised eyebrows and scrunched shoulders, and I know that I’m not having some massive Jerusalem Syndrome–based revelation here. It could mean this, it could mean that, and it’s all supposed to make you … think? I guess? Dunno. It’s just another incredible example of a Bronze Age story that has stuck around way past its explanation date.
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