The Loch Ness Lindbergh Baby

March 27, 2017

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

First things first: Catch up with a very full fortnight of freethought with the latest Cause & Effect newsletter. There's a lot about Michael De Dora at the UN Human Rights Council, and Michael has even more on his adventures there in this update

Things are getting absolutely bonkers in Pakistan. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan seeks to assemble a coalition of Muslim nations to devise a global strategy for "dealing with" blasphemous content on social media. 

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Subsequent Profuse Sweating

March 24, 2017

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

CFI's Michael De Dora is quoted in the Associated Press's piece on Pakistan's request to Facebook for the personal information of those they consider to be blasphemers. 

Pakistan arrests two men for posting "blasphemous" content to WhatsApp (that's right, not Facebook or Twitter but WhatsApp, which Facebook owns). Islamabad High Court Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddqui seems to be sick of all this heresy, and says social media could be banned in Pakistan altogether. "It will not make any difference if selfies and pictures of food are not shared with others," he said, which, if it were not so chilling, would be kind of funny.

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Point-Zero-Zero-Four Percent

March 23, 2017

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

A man plows an SUV into dozens of people in London, killing two, and stabs a police officer to death outside Parliament, before being shot himself. ISIS claims he's one of theirs, but they always do that, and nothing has been confirmed.

Here comes the flood: The House "Science" Committee is going to start holding hearings meant to delegitimize accepted climate science.

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Sensitivities

March 22, 2017

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

Facebook is going to meet with Pakistani officials to discuss the country's request for the personal information of users Pakistan deem to have posted blasphemous content, and we asked Facebook to stick to its guns:

Facebook should use its leverage to encourage the government of Pakistan to abandon the theocratic, reactionary scapegoating of critics and dissidents, embrace the equal dignity of its people, and encourage the free and open exchange of ideas.

CBC investigates chiropractors in Manitoba making outlandish claims about what they can treat and cure, including autism, cancer, Alzheimer's, and more.  

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Stupid and Even Cruel

March 21, 2017

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

I forgot to mention yesterday that the day before that was the 5-year anniversary of The Morning Heresy as a web-published thingy. Here's the first one to appear on the web, and as you can see, the quality has not diminished one iota. Nor has it increased. That's the kind of excellence you can expect from, um, whatever we were just talking about. 

Here's some encouraging news. A study from North Carolina State University suggests that studying the humanities can make one less likely to believe in pseudoscience.

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Parents in Pajamas, Secular Humanism, Mass Hysteria!

March 20, 2017

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

The State Department says the U.S. is boycotting the UN Human Rights Council debate on "agenda item seven," which is about Israeli human rights abuses against Palestinians.

In India, a man named H. Farook is hacked to death by men with sickles for posting atheistic content to Facebook and WhatsApp. 

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The Lee of the Stone

March 17, 2017

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

The Trump budget"Cuts" don't do justice to what this would mean if it passed. Gutting science (specifically climate science), diplomacy, help for the poor, the arts, even local police. It's like the plow coming for the Frisby home while Timothy is sick. 

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One Can Demonstrate Animus

March 16, 2017

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

Yesterday, CFI's Michael De Dora told the UN Human Rights Council that the U.S. is "regressing" in its role as a human rights defender, saying, "We have been disturbed by the recent rise in baseless, xenophobic rhetoric and actions by political leaders, and heightened social hostilities, in many states — including our home country."

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Constant as the Northern Star

March 15, 2017

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

The end of an era for our wider secular movement, as Rev. Barry Lynn announces his coming retirement from Americans United for Separation of Church and State. I can hardly imagine him not being on the scene! He's certainly earned a break after 25 years. Hats off to you, sir.

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Permanently Post-400 Parts Per Million

March 14, 2017

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

The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has made its biggest recorded jump ever last year, now at 405 parts per million. Before the Industrial Revolution, the average was about 280. Chelsea Harvey reports:

... we’re now living in a permanently post-400 parts per million world. In September 2016, the time of year when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are usually at their lowest, scientists observed that the monthly average concentration still remained above this threshold. And now, the new NOAA measurements further indicate that carbon dioxide levels are only continuing to grow — and they’re rising at breakneck speed. 

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