The Morning Heresy 10/16/12: He Breaks Things

October 16, 2012

Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

Rebecca Watson one-ups Newsweek:

But last night, after seven hours of rest during which the human part of my brain (i.e., all of it) showed significantly slowed brainwave patterns, I experienced something so profound that it gave me a scientific reason to believe in Narnia. 

CFI's Michael De Dora talks with Jamila Bey on Voice of Russia Radio about blasphemy and incitement laws around the world.  

NBC Nightly News does the first in a series of pieces on alternative medicine -- it's highly uncritical, and even says that insurance companies need to do some "catching up" to cover CAM treatments. 

On the latest Point of Inquiry, Chris Mooney talks to ScienceDebate founders Shawn Otto and Matthew Chapman

Steven Novella in Skeptical Inquirer explores a weird outbreak of a mysterious "illness" in a New York state high school.

CSI's Ben Radford: Psychics wrongly and tragically assert that missing student would be found alive

Kylie Sturgess interviews renowned science documentarian Sonya Pemberton for CSI. 

Jeff Sharlet (author of The Family) says the big story behind the uptick in "nones" is not political, but economic, as the poor make up the biggest percentage of the unaffiliated. 

Founders of OkCupid to be named Harvard Humanists of the Year. 

Massimo Pigliucci at Aeon explores the wrangling between the hard sciences and the humanities to know which field can answer the big questions. 

Archbishop William Lori aims to spook believers into the horror of godless secularism's march to devalue human life.  

Earth, rest easy. When the aliens invade, the British military is ready to kick their asses back to the Delta Quadrant.

A different kind of church-state separation: Bhutan bans all public religious activity in the six months before elections, thereby keeping "religion above politics."

Military police in Brazil avert a cult's mass suicide

Michael Arceneaux in Ebony writes about the drift from religious institutions to becoming "nones":

Combine the efforts of the God Said group with those of those patriarchal, child abuser-hiding leaders sitting in the Vatican and you can see why many people are looking to find God on their own terms.  

Breaking: HPV vaccine does NOT cause promiscuity, though the needle itself may sting a bit.

WaPo's Janice D'Arcy has some tips for explaining religion to kids for nonreligious parents. 

Alan Jacobs wants a little more skepticism aimed at the content of TED talks. 

AP profiles the doings of a MUFON investigator.  

No, that's not Bigfoot's eyeball

Kansas City public radio looks at the friendly atheists of the Kansas City Atheist Coalition.  

Almost no one lives in Wyoming, but gosh darn it, the Secular Coalition is going to open a chapter there anyway. 

Judge tells couple they can't change their last name to ChristIsKing, and they're not even thanking him. 

CFI's Center Stage podcast has part 1 of the Moving Secularism Forward panel featuring Ophelia Benson, Bill Cooke, Elisabeth Cornwell, P. Z. Myers, Victor Stenger, and Anthony Pinn. 

Quote of the Day        

Leon Wieseltier in The New Republic on blasphemy:

The orthodox cannot destroy the mind’s freedom: they can merely turn away from it, and rail against it, and pretend that it no longer matters. You cannot coerce somebody to believe; you can coerce them only to act as if they believe. Repression produces hypocrites, not converts. The blasphemer is the enemy of this vast hypocrisy, of this empire of intellectual intimidation. He may be ugly, and driven by hate; but he is brave. He breaks things, and he breaks things open.

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. 

Follow CFI on Twitter: @center4inquiry 

Got a tip for the Heresy? Send it to press(at)! 

The Morning Heresy: "I actually read it." - Hemant Mehta