The Morning Heresy 7/9/12: Berlin Wall and Kitten Chlamydia

July 9, 2012

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

Here's an awesome way to start the week: A British humanist celebrant gives up her kidney for a man she's never met. Her name is Kate Clarkson, and she's my new hero.

“I had been reading about becoming a living donor and I was so moved that day that I decided if I could help, I would. I just thought ‘I’ve got a spare kidney that I don’t even need and people are dying every single day waiting for one.’ So if it was possible, I was going to do it.”

Speaking of helping out, CFI is taking part in the Foundation Beyond Belief's work with Light the Night to fight cancer by raising $1,000,000. 

Richard Dawkins in WaPo lauds the efforts of nonbelievers to lend a hand. 

CFI-LA's Jim Underdown has a great smackdown of calling the hip new boson a "God particle":

Please. If anything, the new (overwhelming) evidence for this particle paints God into a tinier corner than he was already in. 

Hey look! You can listen to CFI's Debbie Goddard on Atheists Talk, all about African Americans for Humanism!  

At NewsweekLawrence Krauss says the Higgs is "arguably more relevant than God." (Which seems obvious, since one is real and one is not.)  

If we see an atom's shadow, does that mean six more weeks of nuclear winter? I kid! I kid! 

Sharon Hill rounds up heat wave horror stories, but recommends a nuanced interpretation:

Explanations for what is happening is a bit more complicated than “welcome to the newly warmed world”. 

Philip Gorski talks about American civil religion:

The civil religion that’s not idolatrous is one that’s prophetic in the sense that it sees the American project as defined by a set of ideals, as opposed to being defined by a set of accomplishments. So if you imagine America as this great nation which has achieved all of these things, and you list all of the things that it’s achieved, in a way you’re already a little bit on the slippery slope toward idolatry.  

The Humanist Examiner covers Friday's protest for Alexander Aan, as Human Rights Watch tells the Jakarta Globe that this is just the beginning, as religious intolerance is only getting worse in Indonesia. 

WaPo on the enormous role religion plays in the lives of African American women:

. . . in times of turmoil, about 87 percent of black women — much more than any other group — say they turn to their faith to get through. 

Stephen Law engages in one of my favorite old pasttimes, which I really need to pick up again, diffusing the pronunciations of Karen Armstrong. 

NatGeo gives us eight examples of moon-landing myths that have been supremely debunked. 

The Revealer bemoans some cliches of religion journalism. 

Damian Thompson in The Telegraph on the weird similarities between those recently-made-up religions, Scientology and Mormonism. 

Kylie Sturgess interviews Bridget Gaudette about the new Secular Woman group. 

Oops. South Korea is NOT becoming a creationist haven. 

Sara Robinson at AlterNet argues for tapping into religion for progressive change.  

Well this bodes well: Sudan president and international bad guy Omer Al-Bashir promises to trash the country's "secular" constitution for an Islamic one. 

Pfizer: Okay, well, maybe those vitamins don't have anything to do with "breast health" or "colon health." (h/t Sharon) 

Hemant has what might be the best cable guide show description ever.

BoingBoing: Here are some homeopathic remedies that will change your life: Berlin Wall and kitten chlamydia! No really. 

Looks like the UFO crowd has a similar lack of cohesion that we in the atheosphere have. On the anniversary of Roswell, Aaron Clark tells the Sun News

There's a lot of knowledge and information out there that that [some people] have been holding back because of fear of negative affects on their personal lives or their careers. We're also trying to promote more cooperation between the different UFO groups. We feel there hasn't been enough of that.

Meanwhile, a former CIA guy tells HuffPo's UFO fabulist the TRUTH about Roswell:

"It was not a damn weather balloon -- it was what it was billed when people first reported it," said Chase Brandon, a 35-year CIA veteran. "It was a craft that clearly did not come from this planet, it crashed and I don't doubt for a second that the use of the word 'remains' and 'cadavers' was exactly what people were talking about." 

Literally no one sells more magazines than Dr. Oz. Awesome quote:

“No one buys magazines because Dr. Phil is on the cover.”  

Quote of the Day      

Greta Christina tells us who in our secular-skeptic community she looks up to the most, and she answers "the organizers." I can't agree with her more strongly, particularly for these reasons:

These are the people doing the work that:

a) I don’t want to do;

b) I suck at;

and c) desperately needs to be done.

Check, check, and check. 

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

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

Comments:

#1 Old Rockin' Dave (Guest) on Monday July 09, 2012 at 6:50am

Thank you for using the word “diffuse” correctly. I hate to see it confused with “defuse”, ruining two very different and useful words.

#2 Giuliana (Guest) on Monday July 09, 2012 at 7:08am

At the World Skeptics Congress that recently took place here in Berlin, all the speakers got some Berlin Wall homeopathic remedy as a memento Yes, it had to be ordered from the UK.

#3 Paul the Morning Heretic on Monday July 09, 2012 at 7:15am

Dave - I am glad you notice things like that. Though now that I read it I think I need a better word, or a way to clarify “exploding apart to see all its components” or something. Ah well, life is short, moving on.

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