You Can Have My Stickers

November 6, 2015

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

Lauren Markoe reports on how, surprise, politicians have no idea yet what to do with the growing population of religiously unaffiliated voters

Canada, Canada, Canada! Half of your new cabinet ministers skipped the "so help me God" part of their oaths of office.

The latest AtheistAus Podcast is out, and I perform my "foreign correspondent" duties, and the episode also features some guy named Sam Harris who some people have feeings about.

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman of New York begins an investigation into Exxon and what it knew about climate change, and didn't say. 

At Skeptical Inquirer, Sadri Hassani deconstructs the foggy pseudoscientific claims of so-called "post-materialist" science

Maryam Namazie's once-thwarted address to Warwick University is now online

Carlos Lozada lists the times Ben Carson says God intervened in his life. (Like giving him answers on a chemistry test!)

David Corn defends the idea of questioning a candidate about his or her faith, especially if said candidate "trumpets" it as Ben Carson does. 

Ben Radford offers some alternative explanations for what folks think is "spontaneous human combustion." 

Phil Plait cheers for vaccines as polio is on the verge of global eradication

Turkey’s Atheism Association launches a petition for equal treatment, in hopes of influencing the country's parliament.  

This is just kind of funny. When asked what non-politician he'd most like to have a beer with, he answered "Malala," an underage Muslim. To have beer with. Now, I don't think we need be too hard on Marco for this, I mean, it's a well intentioned answer. But still kind of funny.  

I'm actually kind of skeptical about the significance of this, but nonetheless a new study indicates that children raised nonreligiously are more generous to anonymous peers than kids from religious households. With stickers, anyway. I think they need to try that experiment again with candy, and see just how greedy all children really are. Yes, I have two of my own, why do you ask?

Sometimes, even Neil deGrasse Tyson can't make for a fruitful discussion of science-versus-religion on TV

Quote of the Day:

Ben Carson is disappointed in those rascally "secular progressives" who think his pyramid theories are silly. You know who also thinks he's being silly? Archaeologists. Kristina Killgrove explains why this actually matters:

In the end, does it really matter what Carson thinks about the Egyptian pyramids?  There will always be science deniers, there will always be people swayed by pseudoarchaeology, and there will always be people who believe what they want no matter the facts.  It does matter, though, because Carson is vying for the job of representing the United States. So it matters that Carson casually rejects hundreds of years’ worth of research because in denying science, he throws the U.S. back into the past.  It matters that he brazenly denies the Egyptian people their rightful history because this marginalizes an entire culture and makes the U.S. look like an ignorant bully.    

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Comments:

#1 Randy on Friday November 13, 2015 at 7:21am

“Malala, an underage Muslim.”

Actually, Malala is 18, so she is an adult.  To the extent there remain any age limitations to her right to drink alcohol, that’s something that ought to be rectified by the courts or legislatures.  In the vast majority of the world (although not the US or Pakistan) 18 is the drinking age.  And in many places, including in the US, even children can drink alcohol if supervised by parents or guardians.

Now, having Islam, Malala may refuse to drink beer.  However, it’s reasonable to ask anyway.  Malala is a symbol of change within Islam, so drinking would be in line with bringing Islam into the 18th century or whatever.

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