Kicking at Your Screen

January 20, 2016

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

Point of Inquiry this week has host Lindsay Beyerstein in conversation with Dr. David Grimes, author of Every Third Woman in America: How Legal Abortion Transformed Our Nation

At Skeptical Inquirer, Matan Shelomi shows how we humans share something in common with produce at the grocery store: we may all be, in a way, GMOs...

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We Should Brace for Change

January 19, 2016

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

Skeptical Inquirer's cover story about the dismantling of the Bermuda Triangle mystery 40 years ago by Larry Kusche is now online, and it's good stuff. 

Alexander Stille at The New Yorker looks at the "what did he know and when did he know it" question about Ratzinger and the sexual assault of children by priests. Ratzinger does not come off well, but this is also of note:

Though the sexual-abuse crisis reached its peak in the public sphere during Benedict XVI’s papacy, the single figure most responsible for ignoring this extraordinary accumulation of depravity is the sainted John Paul II.  

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Get Helen Mirren to a Safe House

January 15, 2016

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

Tomorrow is Religion Freedom Day, marking the 230th anniversary of the  Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. So we have an action alert we want you to sign on to, to tell Congress to honor the spirit of that statute, the wall of separation, and civil rights for all no matter their beliefs.  

Embodying the opposite of those principles, Saudi Arabia hands a death sentence (yes, another) to Ashraf Fayadh, a poet charged with apostasy. Yes, they're going to kill him for "abandoning Islam."

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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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