Scratching, Licking, and Chewing

August 11, 2017

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

Apparently Trump got ahold of a wackadoodle national security memo from former NSC staffer Rich Higgins that made all sorts of bizarre claims about the "political warfare" being waged against the president by "‘deep state’ actors, globalists, bankers, Islamists, and establishment Republicans." Foreign Policy has the whole thing, and reports:

The memo calls out those pushing for rights “based on sex or ethnicity,” which is a “direct assault on the very idea of individual human rights and natural law around which the Constitution was framed.” It also says that “transgender acceptance” is “denying a person the right to declare the biological fact of one’s sex.” 

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The Patagotitan in the Room

August 10, 2017

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

BuzzFeed wanted to know what was really in the supplements hawked by Alex Jones on Infowars (Goop for men!™), so they had an independent lab test them -- in triplicate -- and the results are not surprising. While they more or less contain what they claim to contain, and seem to be safe, they don't actually do anything.

Here's something Infowars and Goop may want to look into: The eggs of parasitic worms (specifically, Trichuris suis, the pig whipworm). 

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This is an Amazing Soufflé

August 09, 2017

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

Despite the best efforts of our president, life on Earth has not yet been extinguished. But, you know, give it a day. Besides, Pastor Robert Jeffress says, "God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong Un," and that he may use "whatever means necessary." Well, if we're sure that God is cool with it...

And here's a thing. You knew Carl Sagan was pretty damned smart. But did you know he was a prophet

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The Old Fringes

August 08, 2017

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

Please imagine now that I am dressed in a silver wig and oversized glasses, not unlike one Sophia Petrillo/Estelle Getty from The Golden Girls. Actually, exactly like that.

Picture it: Earth. 517 A.D. The Year of the Consulship of Agapitus and Paulus. The Byzantine Empire is in tumult, Aryabhata is figuring out the planet's axial rotation, and the people of Illyria are blissfully unaware of the earthquake that will soon destroy the city of Scupi...

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RFID of the Beast

August 07, 2017

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

And we're back. I returned home from my vacation literally 12 hours before starting this post, so I'm a little out of step with what's going on in the news. Here's a stab at catching both you and me up. 

Our own Joe Nickell gets a big profile with a lot of fantastic young-Joe photos in the UK's Daily Mail.

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I’m Going to Burn This

July 27, 2017

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

Quick housekeeping note: I, your Morning...Heretecist(?) will be on vacation starting tomorrow, and all through next week. And let's be honest, considering the news environment, I'm kind of giving you a vacation too. Enjoy your increased sanity while I'm away. It won't last!

Nothing does!

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A Demonic Brew

July 26, 2017

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

Jack Jenkins at ThinkProgress does a thorough job of reporting on the GOP's sneaky moves to defang the Johnson Amendment through the budget process, and open the floodgates for churches to turn into secret PACs. And naturally, he talks to CFI's legal director Nick Little, who tells him, "You could have unlimited dark money flowing to a campaign if this gets passed, and there is nothing the IRS could do about it. They would be getting a double benefit."

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Narcissism, Impulsivity, Poor Attention Span, Paranoia

July 25, 2017

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

After the Australian Broadcasting Company's big exposé on the abuse suffered by women within Christian church communities, church leaders are finally making some noise about taking meaningful action. Julia Baird and Hayley Gleeson report:

The Anglican Primate of Australia, Archbishop Philip Freier, said he supported an unequivocal apology expressed this week by an Anglican priest to victims of domestic abuse in the Church. "I'm hoping that there will be some words of apology to people who have experienced domestic violence and any failure from the Church at our General Synod, coming up in September," the Archbishop said...

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Never Date a Cancer

July 24, 2017

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

KPFA in Berkeley, California cancelled a Richard Dawkins event, totally out of the blue, because of what they said were views they disagreed with and what they called "abusive speech," all without providing any examples of evidence. Prof. Dawkins wrote a response in an open letter to KPFA, and we did our own public response as well. As you can imagine, this conflict has lit the bonfire now for the cooking of many hot takes -- a great many of which are coming from right-wing sites who delight in seeing progressives at odds with each other.

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[garbled]

July 21, 2017

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

Sorry I'm late with this. But check this out! The National Health Service of England announced a ban on homeopathic and herbal medicines, saying, "At best homeopathy is a placebo and a misue of scarce NHS funds which could be better devoted to treatments that work." NICE. 

In a poll by the Royal Society, Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene tops a list of the most influential science books of all time.

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