Malaysia v. Amazing Mumford

October 15, 2013

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

Bill Nye talks to the Tacoma News Tribune for a front-page interview about the CFI Summit

Q: How does the Center for Inquiry fit with your own beliefs?

A: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. We want everybody in the world to be aware of that message. … The Earth is round. The universe is not only expanding, it’s accelerating. … These are extraordinary things, and they can be proven. When someone says I can determine your personality by the date of your birth, that can be shown to be absolutely not true in any way.

At Discovery News, our own Ron Lindsay casts doubt on the recent Jesus-as-hoax claims:

The reality is we are unlikely ever to know the ‘facts’ about Jesus . . . On the one hand, we have many who will take things on faith, accepting some subset of the stories as unquestionably true. On the other hand, there are those who insist that Jesus is an invented figure, a myth or a hoax. I think both of these extremes are almost equally implausible. 

Oprah, in a conversation with ultra-swimmer Diana Nyad, determines that if you feel a sense of wonder, you're not an atheist:

DIANA NYAD: I can stand at the beach’s edge with the most devout Christian, Jew, Buddhist, go on down the line, and weep with the beauty of this universe and be moved by all of humanity, all the billions of people who lived before us, who have loved and hurt and suffered. To me, my definition of God is humanity and is the love of humanity.

OPRAH: Well, I don’t call you an atheist then. I think if you believe in the awe and the wonder and the mystery, then that is what God is. 

And if that's not enough to stir some atheist ire, here's T.M. Luhrmann at the Times, making a case about how much work theistic belief is, and trotting out the Worst of All Canards:

While the idea of God may be intuitively plausible — just as there are no atheists in foxholes, there are atheists who have prayed for parking spots — belief can be brittle.  

Ken Fisher at Ars Technica says PopSci and SciAm are blowing it online.

Sarah Posner reports on the intense campaign by Catholic organizations to combat contraceptive coverage, even where they contract with the government for aid to immigrants:

For immigrant advocates and health-care providers at the Texas-Mexico border, though, the ferocity of the bishops’ insistence on religious exemptions as a condition for serving this vulnerable population is a misguided sideshow.  

A court in Malaysia rules that only Muslims may use the world "Allah" to describe God. A ruling on The Amazing Mumford being allowed to say, "A-la peanut butter sandwiches" is still pending.

Alex Morris at Rolling Stone covers the expulsion and persecution of gay students at private schools that get taxpayer money through vouchers.  

Be touched by His Noodly Appendage by eating some noodly appendages with CFI-Indiana on October 19 for a Flying Spaghetti Monster Feast, some volunteer recognition, and a magic show. 

Greg Lammers notes Freethought Day, denoting the beginning of the end of the Salem Witch Trials. 

Gary Habermas delivers a speech to an apologetics conference on the reasons atheism has fallen. Wait. We did? 

A ghost-planet-looking thing is rocket exhaust

"Ex-gay" group "demands" that Virginia universities offer information on how to become not-gay. 

CFI's Cody Hashman finds some choice freethinkers' lines in a Jay Z track:

Conspiracy theorist screaming Illuminati
They can’t believe this much skill is in the human body

Question religion, question it all
Question existence until them questions are solved

I’m secular, tell the hecklers settle down
Y’all religion creates division 

Quote of the Day

Radio personality Cory Cove to fake-psychic Chip Coffey:

Chip, if there was ever proof that a psychic could actually do what it did, and it was peer-reviewed, you would win the Nobel Prize for proving the afterlife.   

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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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