They Might Have Honked

October 17, 2016

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

After the Arizona Republic endorses Hillary Clinton, their first endorsement of a Democrat in over a century, the paper is deluged with harassment and death threats. The paper's president, Mi-Ai Parrish, responds with admirable resolve.

In a surprisingly huge climate agreement, 170 countries sign on to significantly cut the use of hydrofluorocarbons, which is used in refrigerators and air conditioners.

A radical Hindu group in India attacks a private meeting of atheists at the ashram of a former spiritual guru. 

Conatus News interviews Eric Adriaans, who just stepped down as head of CFI Canada. 

Evangelical campus organization InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, which won progressive praise when it endorsed Black Lives Matter, has made a new point of affirming its opposition to same-sex marriage and homosexuality. In so doing, it's losing allies, credibility, and employees. Brandon Withrow reports:

The statement complicates things for many of InterVarsity’s employees who are LGBTQ+ or affirming straight allies. Employees who disagree with the organization’s position are asked to tell their supervisors, after which a two-week process of “involuntary” termination is initiated.  

A same-sex couple in Indonesia is arrested for posting a picture of them kissing to Facebook.  

A suspect in the killing of Bangladeshi secularist and law student Nazimuddin Samad is arrested.

Turns out that dinosaurs probably didn't roar. In fact, they might have honked. I love that. 

Hyland's homeopathic baby teething products, which were pulled from U.S. shelves because they probably killed some kids, are still on sale in Canada.

Meanwhile, KWTV News 9 in Oklahoma has a dangerously irresponsible piece promoting homeopathy in place of real vaccines. Disgraceful. 

I missed this story when it came out a couple weeks ago: An anti-vax autism organization called "SafeMinds" funds a study which they JUST KNOW will prove that vaccines cause autism. The study, of course, shows that, once again, they do not. So of course SafeMinds says they must have screwed up or that the study was #RIGGED. 

CFI's Ben Radford is quoted in the New York Times on the topic of, you guessed it, scary clowns

Christian apologist Frank Turek says atheists turn away from God because we want to have a lot of sex. I clearly screwed something up, then. 

There seems to be disagreement within astrology circles as to the correct birth time of Hillary Clinton. Like, people actually care about this. Adults. 

The Daily Show calls HB2's bluff, and goes to North Carolina to deny food service to anyone they "believe" is gay. Two interesting side points:

1. Most people being denied service seemed more upset that they were being perceived as gay, rather than taking umbrage with the injustice.

2. Sam Harris tweeted this video, and got overwhelmed with followers berating him for falling for the mainstream media or something. Something ironic about followers of a leading atheist saying that by sharing anti-discrimination content, he has now somehow "fallen from grace" (actual words!)

Quote of the Day

Richard Dawkins is interviewed for Oxford University's student paper, Cherwell. This last quote from the piece is classic wonder-of-science Dawkins:

I am a passionate scientist. I am a passionate believer in scientific truth, and how wonderful it is that at the beginning of the 21st century we are so close to an understanding of the universe, where we live, where we come from, what life is about. That is a wonderfully exciting thing, and it is a wonderfully exciting time to be alive. We ought to be rejoicing about how much we do understand. Of course, there is an awful lot more to understand and that is exciting as well. It’s wonderful to be a scientist now both because of how much we already know and because of how much of a challenge it still is to find out more. I suppose my personal mission would be to try to convey that to young people and to try to inspire them with a love of science, with a love of understanding the universe and our place in it. 

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Photo credit: Fitzrovia via / CC BY-NC-ND

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#1 Randy (Guest) on Monday October 17, 2016 at 5:20pm

HB2… I agree with your selection of interesting side points.  Humans.  Argh.

#2 Randy (Guest) on Monday October 17, 2016 at 5:33pm

“in Canada”.  One glorious (and free) day, I hope to be able to read those words and not cringe.  Come on Canada. We can do better than this.

#3 Randy (Guest) on Monday October 17, 2016 at 5:54pm

“deluged with harassment and death threats”

What with the fire-bombed campaign headquarters in another state, and disappearance and/or muzzling of Assange, there’s a lot of seriously bad things to go around.

#4 Randy (Guest) on Monday October 17, 2016 at 6:04pm

“replace HFCs with more planet-friendly alternatives” which conveniently remain nameless.  I’m just going to assume they don’t exist.  Things that exist have names.

#5 dmbierlein on Monday October 17, 2016 at 6:42pm

“disappearance and/or muzzling of Assange” of which neither are factual.
WikiLeaks lost value when it decided to become partisan. If they had real concern for the American people, they would have hacked the Trump and RNC emails so a “Fair and Balanced” presentation would be available. (Although incompetence probably isn’t very exciting reading.)
Aaah, for the days when Civil Disobedience entailed a acceptance of arrest and jail to truly demonstrate the injustice of the system rather than this self-imposed exile so one can complain about how intolerable life is in the embassy.

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