Investigate the Earth’s Roundness

January 14, 2016

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

I've always been uncomfortable with the common refrain from the climate-realist camp saying that "97%" of scientists accept human-caused global warming. I always thing, but what's up with that 3%? Well, according to this really fascinating piece at Skeptical Inquirer by James Lawrence Powell, that figure is wrong. The real number? 99.9%, verging on total unanimity. Now I feel much better.  

Indian comedian Kiku Sharda is arrested for "offending religious sentiments" when he performed as guru Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh (the "guru in bling") on TV, who is himself under investigation for urging followers to undergo castrations. Yowza. 

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Love the Method

January 13, 2016

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

Yesterday we found out that award-winning Saudi human rights activist Samar Badawi, sister to Raif and wife to Raif's one-time attorney Waleed Abu al-Khair (both in Saudi prison), was arrested for allegedly using her husband's Twitter account. We did not take kindly to this, and spoke out strongly. Samar is an ally and friend of ours, and Michael De Dora has been keeping close track of what's happening. Our response and our ability to confirm particular details were noted by the APThe GuardianThe Independent, and others. We just moments ago found out that she's been released for now, but will be appearing before police tomorrow.

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Brutal, Fear-Driven, Apocalypse-Based

January 12, 2016

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

Turkey is "disturbed" by the rhetoric against Muslims in the GOP presidential race, and, well, I don't blame them. Of course, I'm pretty disturbed by a lot of what Turkey does and says lately, too. So.

800th time's the charm? Michael Newdow is suing to get "In God We Trust" off the money, this time using RFRA.

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A Hyperactive Productivist Churn

January 11, 2016

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

David Bowie is dead at age 69, and it looks like people are going to have some trouble coping with it today. I get it.

Danielle Teller at Quartz explains that Americans' failure to recall basic scientific facts isn't the core problem with "scientific literacy," it's really about taking a rational approach to questions...

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In the Pocket of Big Egg

January 08, 2016

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

A working group of 24 geoscientists says, welcome to the Anthropocene epoch. It still remains for the International Commission on Stratigraphy (say that three times fast) to make it "official." You can read more about the Anthropocene in the Feb/March 2013 cover feature of Free Inquiry.

Joel Baden and Candida Moss look at the efforts of the Green family (of Hobby Lobby infamy) to buy up rare biblical antiquities. Once again, I refer you to previous coverage of said subject in Free Inquiry (subscribers only).

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Our Goal is Eternity

January 07, 2016

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

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore tells state courts that they may not issue same-sex marriage licenses. Refusing to do so is a "ministerial duty," he says. WHAT A GUY.  

Marco Rubio goes the Full Jesus in a new ad, in which he says, over a sweet and mellow piano underscore...

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A Codification of Common Sense

January 06, 2016

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

Good morning. Oh hey, North Korea says it successfully tested a hydrogen bomb. So. The AP has a running post of updates on developments, condemnations, expressions of outrage, skepticism, and the like.

Yesterday, we filed a brief with the Supreme Court on the case of Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole, a.k.a. the big Texas abortion case. But rather than advancing the general cause of a woman's right to end her pregnancy (which we of course wholeheartedly support), we are joined by a dream-team of scientists and the Dawkins Foundation in arguing that the evidence being presented by the state in favor of onerous restrictions on abortion providers is based largely on pseudoscience and manufactured controversy, and that there's no way the Supremes can make an informed judgment about constitutional rights based on nonsense faux-evidence.

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Validated by a Flock of Geese

January 05, 2016

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

Our boss Ron Lindsay, rather quick on the draw I'm happy to say, takes to Huffington Post to confront the latest madness from Antonin Scalia, and the idea that government ought to favor religion over nonreligion:

Neutrality between religion and non-religion is for Scalia not only something that lacks constitutional warrant, but, disturbingly, he also maintains that such neutrality risks incurring the wrath of God or, at best, his indifference. Apparently, the United States cannot expect to prevail in any future conflicts if we show equal respect to theist and atheist alike.

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Sucker Bet

January 04, 2016

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

Happy new year. Not looking good so far:

Saudi Arabia executes 47 people for "terrorism," including Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, a Shia religious leader, charged with leading anti-government demonstrations. (We were among those protesting his sentencing in November.) Iran is extremely pissed about this, and while also fuming over the massive death toll of the hajj stampedes in September, cuts diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia. So I'm sure this will all work itself out calmly.  

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In the Year of Our Trump

December 31, 2015

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

If ever there was a year that needed to be kicked out into the cold, dark night, it's 2015. Or, as future historians will one day refer to it, 1 BT (Before Trump). 

RNS's Lauren Markoe rounds up some of the notable figures in religion who died in 2015, and perhaps due to a friendly tip from a certain heretical link-blogger, the list includes Avijit Roy, "a champion of secularism." 

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