Rosetta at the Genius Bar

November 14, 2014

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

CFI's David Koepsell looks askance at some of the criticism over scientific accuracy in the film Interstellar:

Harping upon scientific ‘errors’ or complaining about the license taken by the storyteller in making his point risks undermining the philosophical value of storytelling.

David Moye at HuffPo consults with Ben Radford on the claims of a mother who believes her 4-year-old son is the reincarnation of a dead Marine. "When your parents tell you that you're possessed by a dead soldier, that's a profoundly scary thing," said Ben. "Especially for a young child." 

The CBC exposes a "naturopath" in Florida treating children with leukemia using things like cold laser therapy and Vitamin C injections.

Susan Gerbic reports back from this year's Skeptic's Toolbox, and concludes, "We need these face-to-face gatherings to reignite the flame, kick the embers a bit and get us thinking and networking with other people."

At my blog iMortal, I consider the prophetic aspects of H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds, seeing a little of our future selves in the Martians. 

There's a lot of science to be done by Philae on Comet 67P, but its battery may not last all that long. Should have bought AppleCare with that thing.

Cathy Lynn Grossman examines the effectiveness of Twitter hashtag campaigns in battling anti-Muslim sentiment and other causes. 

Hollis Phelps and Ryne Beddard note a sad double standard at play, when "religious freedom" is claimed when it comes to being allowed to discriminate, but not when religious groups try to do actual good.

Steven Novella has to keep shaking his head at the deluge of wrongness coming from the "Food Babe." 

The Seventh Circuit rejects FFRF's case in which they fought the tax exemption for clergy housing allowances.

Pope Francis commissions showers within the public restrooms under St. Peter’s colonnades for the homeless to wash in. 

Dominos Pizza's founder creates a perfectly Catholic, privately-owned town. Doktor Zoom at Wonkette says, "It was unclear whether apostates will be expelled from their homes or quietly wished into the cornfield."

Zack Beauchamp at Vox looks at why Russians are so keen on psychics and the occult:

The basic explanation offered by Bennets and others has to do with Soviet communism's collapse. Since the Warsaw Pact began falling apart in the late 80s, large numbers of Russians turned to psychic and spiritual beliefs to make up for the ideological void that communism left. 

Karen Armstrong finds the idea that religion causes violence "annoying." Aw. 

Quote of the Day

Dave Perry laments Americans' poor understanding - and rejection - of science:

Europe is flying probes to take a close look at comets. Americans are howling at the moon.  

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