Repeat Our Lives in the Sky

November 12, 2013

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

CFI, through its SHARE program, asks that you donate to help the millions affected by the Typhoon Haiyan.

Lindsay Beyerstein gets her first go-around as a new host of Point of Inquiryinterviewing Katherine Stewart at the CFI Summit on fundamentalists' attempts to infiltrate public schools.  

IHEU sounds the moral alarm over a campaign in Nigeria, "Witches on the Run." 

The son of Sen. James Inhofe, Dr. Perry Inhofe, dies in a plane crash

An Indiegogo campaign seeks to raise funds for a standalone social network devoted to atheist and humanist Arabs, for "protecting our content from being flagged by those religious people who don’t respect the views of those who disagree with them." 

Julia Ioffe at The New Republic blames Jenny McCarthy and her ilk for this:

So thanks a lot, anti-vaccine parents. You took an ethical stand against big pharma and the autism your baby was not going to get anyway, and, by doing so, killed some babies and gave me, an otherwise healthy 31-year-old woman, the whooping cough in the year 2013

This has been a thing for a while, but I'm just now getting to it: The new atheist-inspiration book A Better Life, full of anecdotes and testimonials from famous and not-famous nonbelievers, including our own Michael De Dora. 

Roy Speckhardt makes a case on Veterans Day against sectarian war memorials

CNN's Daniel Burke rounds up theological responses to the horror of Typhoon Haiyan. 

Cathy Lynn Grossman wants to know if you think secularism "works":

Last year, the number of people who claim no religious identity reached one in five in the USA. But what impact is that having on the wider culture and where does America fit in the global picture? 

Isaan Chotnier tries to get from Malcolm Gladwell what is so religious or spiritual about his new book, as Gladwell has been insinuating of late, and comes up pretty much empty

George Dvorsky facepalms over this Toys 'R' Us ad, which I think is more offensive for its exacerbation of stereotypes (boys pick bug guns, girls pick dollhouses and princesses) than for being "anti-science." But I get it. 

The amazing "coral castle" in Florida was probably not built by telekinesis

Paul Offit gets to lay into alt-med in a long piece at WaPo:

[T]here’s no such thing as alternative medicine. If clinical trials show that a therapy works, it’s good medicine. And if a therapy doesn’t work, then it’s not an alternative. 

Reuters reports on the persecution faced by members of the Baha'i faith in Iran:

The United Nations office of the Baha’i International Community, a non-governmental organization, estimates that more than 2,000 homes, shops, orchards and other properties were seized from its members in Iran up to 2003, the most recent figure available. The property was then worth about $10 billion. 

Daniel Finke expounds on how his enthusiasm for defending atheism informs his work as a philosophy teacher, encouraging his students to challenge him every step of the way.

The bones of St. Peter are going to be put on display. Ew. 

58% of Canadians accept that humans are a prime cause of global warming, with 23% blaming humans and other factors, as opposed to 40%/36% in the U.S. 

Does Jesus want you to eat animals? Charles Camosy speculates

Message board AtheistandSecularDebate hosts a clearinghouse of atheist meetups.  

It appears that a "mystery atheist" hijacked Ray Comfort's Twitter account.

Quote of the Day

As a boy, having screamed for Salman Rushdie's death, Adnan Sarwar now finds his nerve and apologizes:

Growing up we made enemies that were never there. Old men, wise old men used to tell us things and we’d listen, but why, when it’s the young who have the new ideas? Those old men believed that we’d repeat our lives in the sky and that Salman should die. I don’t want to be that old man. I want to be the new.    

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