40 Proof Laxative

October 28, 2015

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

Point of Inquiry this week features religion journalist extraordinaire Sarah Posner, who chats with Josh Zepps about Trump, Ben Carson, and how weird it is that these guys are managing to appeal to evangelicals. 

Allen Rappeport at NYT does a deep dive into Carson's Seventh-day Adventism in the context of the presidential race.  

Yesterday, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, David Saperstein tweeted, "On Int'l #ReligiousFreedom Day, we affirm the right to hold no religious beliefs at all, and to do so free of persecution & fear." We liked it so much, we meme'd it

Ensaf Haidar is reporting that floggings might very soon resume for her husband, Raif Badawi. We've not confirmed this, and as you might know, it's very hard to know exactly what's going on within the Saudi legal and penal systems.

Ella Morton at Atlas Obscura cites Skeptical Inquirer to determine how long it would take vampires to destroy humanity, and thus, likely, themselves. (3 years. #savedyouaclick.) 

Also from Atlas Obscura is this longread on "the most haunted road in America," Clinton Road in New Jersey.  

A 7th-grader in Texas accuses her teacher of insisting to her that God is not real. I'm skeptical.

This may not be surprising, but research shows that a fearful disposition and belief in the paranormal are closely associated. Ugh, and 41.4% of Americans think ghosts are real. Sometimes I wonder.

At NYT, Sylvie Kauffmann of Le Monde compares and contrasts the two very different takes on secularism in France and India, both with an eye on limiting Islam's influence. 

Focus on the Family and the Southern Baptist Convention are set to hold a big "Evangelicals for Life" (as in "pro-life") convention in DC in January, building off of the primarily-Catholic "March for Life." 

Some folks are really mad at NYT columnist Ross Douthat for accusing certain Catholics of "heresy," a word that I thought I owned. 

Whole body cryotherapy, which Carrie Poppy recently endured for Skeptical Inquirer, has now caused a death, and Steven Novella explains what's going on. 

A psychic (chortle) sues New York state for not giving him the reward money he says he deserves for allegedly helping to catch the two prison escapees earlier this year. [Insert "didn't he see this coming" joke here] 

Thanks to Yvette d'Entremont ("the Science Babe"), we know that CVS's "homeopathic" constipation remedy is actually a 40 proof alcoholic concoction. Guess who's doing nothing about it? The FDA.

Shaun Raviv at Deadspin looks at the real life of the guy the Ghostbusters fought a painting of in their sequel movie: Vigo the Carpathian

Slender Man for Android. Imma have to drop 3 bucks on that I think.   

WTF, UFO? ESA: SMH. 

Quote of the Day:

The big news that's shocking the whole world is that bacon will kill you! Except, as Loren Grush at The Verge explains, this isn't really news, and it won't really kill you unless you're eating it, like, all the time:

Yes, there is a link between consuming these foods and cancer, but the risk is incredibly small — much smaller than smoking cigarettes or being exposed to other known carcinogens. ... So the main takeaway from this report is that moderation is key.

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Original image by Shutterstock

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