Clap Along if You Feel Like You Are Made of Star Stuff

June 6, 2014

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

Tara Culp-Ressler at Think Progress has an excellent piece on our Keep Health Care Safe and Secular campaign:

You’ve seen the headlines: another abortion restriction approved, a record-breaking measles outbreak, a new hospital merger, a controversy over whether an individual should remain on life support. Now, a new campaign from the Center for Inquiry wants you to start connecting the dots.

Boing Boing is the second big outlet this week to highlight Carrie Poppy's Skeptical Inquirer piece on Masaru Emoto's yelling-at-water experiments. The other was Vox.

One dead and three wounded yesterday by a shooter at Seattle Pacific University, a Christian university. 

Holy crap: Judge in Egypt sentences 720 people to death as "enemies of the nation," saying that 37 of them are "demons who came out of the depths of hell disguised in the cloak of Islam, who aimed to seize the reins of power in Egypt, loot its wealth and enslave its people." Holy crap. 

Skeptical Inquirer contributor Sharon Hill is the "Slender Man expert" on ABC27 News's report on the recent stabbing by Slender devotees, and Ben Radford looks at the finger-pointing going on in the aftermath. 

CFI gets a mention at Media Matters, thanks to some racist guy on Fox News dissing Neil deGrasse Tyson for his discussion of race and the science profession at a 2010 CFI conference. 

Bad news: By unanimous consent, the Senate passes a bill which would add a prayer plaque to the WWII memorial. CFI opposes this of course. The House takes it up next, and will certainly pass it. 

Tickets for CFI-DC's event with Sam Harris go on sale today at noon. That's noon, not the morning, so you have time for, hehehe, "waking up." Get it? 

Meriam Ibrahim's own brother says she should be killed for leaving Islam

A nurse refuses a flu vaccine, gets fired, and a NJ court rules in her favor, making exemptions from vaccine policies are now even broader. 

A naturopath concocts what John Snyder refers to as a "pixie dust" that purports to cleans a kid's system of nastiness after a vaccination. 

Seems an investigator has been tracking the activities of fake psychic Theresa Caputo, and finding a lot of unhappy customers who now think she's a fraud. 

The Ohio legislature would like to make it nearly impossible for low-income women to get an abortion or certain kinds of birth control. 

Yes, 42% of Americans believe in creationism, but it looks like that same Gallup poll had some silver linings in regard to biblical literalism

Lifehacker presents some red flags that indicate "beware of pseudoscience."  

Lynn Blumberg at The Atlantic looks at the study of what's going on in brains undergoing "spiritual experiences." 

io9 recalls Julian Huxley, grandson to Thomas Henry, brother to Aldous, who started a religion for evolution

Young County in Texas may get a Ten Commandments monument at its courthouse. And that's like the mildest right-wing crazy going on in Texas right now

The Dawkins-Krauss documentary The Unbelievers hits iTunes (and gets a really crummy Rotten Tomatoes rating...)  

Jakarta Post reports that there is growing concern about the explosion of unlicensed alt-med practitioners in Indonesia, now vastly outnumbering real doctors. 

Pharrell Williams digs Carl Sagan

Quote of the Day

Signe Cain writes at Medium on the immovable obstinance of anti-vaxxers:

We need watchdogs for the medical industry as much as we need them everywhere else. Vaccines are not without risks, but they prevent diseases. And yes, pharmaceutical companies are known to engage in shoddy and sometimes unethical practices. Manufacturing mistakes happen, and people can be harmed by medications. But it is crucial that the discussion of these issues is done in a rational environment that encourages real debate and bases arguments on solid evidence. Not with militant activists who refuse to accept anything that won’t fit their narrative. Scientists make mistakes and correct them, but you can’t expect a conspiracy theorist to admit they are wrong. 

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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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