November 2, 2015
The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
Bangladesh. Every day when I start work, I have this quick thought: "Did they kill another one?" This past Saturday, yes, they did. Faisal Arefin Deepan, a publisher of secularist books, was hacked to death in his office. This is five dead this year. Three other publishers at another company were also attacked, but thankfully survived. In our statement, we press the point that something affirmative must be done. Time, NPR, and the Dhaka Tribune pick up our response.
Poppy McPherson has a piece at BuzzFeed on the horrifying impact these killings are having.
On a lighter note, Joe Nickell puts a new twist on the annual Houdini séance for Point of Inquiry, with a new focus on the woman who made his work possible, Rose Mackenberg.
Also, check out the good news from the past couple of weeks in our newsletter, Cause & Effect.
Michael Nees looks at the pseudoscientific study of "electronic voice phenomena (EVP) in order to "investigate" ghosts, showing how the use of real-world technology does not equal the practice of science.
The most powerful people in tech are apparently drawn to the Kainchi Dham ashram in India, where The Steve once searched for the meaning of life or something.
So Turkey's Twitter-hating Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan just won another electoral victory, with help, apparently, from "a sexed-up, Disney version of Islam" from "a surreal world where religious piety meets psychedelic softcore porn." Well.
At Skeptical Inquirer, Brian D. Engler and Eugenie V. Mielczarek look at two federal grant programs for small businesses, and find:
The very nature of these programs means that individual grants tend to rely on cutting-edge technology. ... However, scientific substantiation seems to be in short supply in many of the projects we examined.
Tom Dart at The Guardian goes into a Texas "hell house," where young Christians are scared out of their sinfulness.
Speaking of Texas and Hell, the Satanists open up a church in Texas, followed by obligatory protests.
Ted Cruz really has no idea what the words "religion," "science," "blasphemy," and "heretic" really mean:
Climate change is not science. It’s religion. ... Look at the language, where they call you a denier. Denier is not the language of science … Any good scientist is a skeptic; if he’s not, he or she should not be a scientist. But yet the language of the global warming alarmists, ‘denier’ is the language of religion, it’s heretic, you are a blasphemer.
Ben Carson, meanwhile, explains why rejecting evolution has been good for him and his work:
Well, you know, it’s kind of funny. But I do believe God created us, and I did just fine. So I don’t know where they get that stuff from, ya know? It’s not true. And in fact, the more you know about God, and the deeper your relationship with God, I think the more intricate becomes your knowledge of the way things work, including the human body.
The Loch Ness Monster was a conspiracy to cover the truth about a conspiracy to cover the truth...the whole time!
"UFO blogger" Scott Waring on the baby bear that NASA knows is on Mars:
There is a reason NASA puts photos into black and white. To hide the living creatures and plants that are an obvious color.
Quote of the Day:
My 5-year-old son, excited about going to the school book fair:
Books are amazing!!! You learn so much about science!!!
Original images by Shutterstock.
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