200 Pills for Google

December 18, 2012

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

Pew has another big survey, and this time they tell us that one in six human beings on Earth, 1.1 billion people, are "Nones." Of course, 700 million of those are in China.

Alber Saber is released on bail

Hey! Dude! What are you doing Friday?? Oh yeah? Well instead of that (lame), why don't you head over to CFI's headquarters in Amherst, NY (The Fortress of Skeptitude?) and take part in a Winter Solstice party and clothing drive

The Pope gives a blessing to a sponsor of Uganda's kill-the-gays bill. And what's really scary is that it's probably one of the less awful things he's done.

Indiana University's Jessika Griffin recounts her experience teaching 7th graders about the godless for the CFI On Campus blog. 

Michael McGough at the LA Times notices the heavily religious tone of Sunday's memorial at Sandy Hook, and also notices that church-state separation groups (like us) are not making a stink about it

Nathan Phelps' statement on the Westboro Baptist Church's threats to protest the funerals of the Newtown victims: Let 'em yell, they become more irrelevant all the time. 

Atheists Giving Aid is collecting donations to help the families of the victims. 

Saudi dissident Raef Badawi, founder of a group looking to liberalize Saudi Arabia, to be charged with apostasy, a crime punishable by death.  

Reba's kid is an atheist! On TV! Like, on a network! And they don't kick her off the show or convert her! (Or they haven't yet.) 

Singularitarian-in-chief Ray Kurzweil is hired by Google to work on machine learning and language processing. I wonder if the Kurzweil regimen of 200 or so pills will be available in the Googleplex cafeteria.

Joe Nickell investigates the alleged haunting of a Shaker village in Kentucky for Skeptical Briefs

I don't even know where to go with this: Focus on the Family wingnut says that Bigfoot's existence is more likely than a biological predisposition toward homosexuality. In humans, not in Sasquatches. Augh! It's stupid in stereo! 

Whoa, you mean those fat-sucking undies don't make you lose weight? Sigh. 

At Science-Based Medicine, Harriet Hall explores the power of personal stories in the practice of medicine. 

Slate video: The Mayans think we're crazy.

SciAm: Thoughts of the apocalypse can be validating for the fatalistic. 

Wrongest wrong-wronginess of the day: Senator-designee from South Carolina, Tim "Not Herb Silverman" Scott:

The greatest minority under assault today are Christians. No doubt about it. 

Quote of the Day

Roy Speckhardt in HuffPo, citing the research done for Free Inquiry on the tax revenue lost to religion:

It's time to reconsider the huge tax benefits and government subsidies that are provided to government-recognized religions in this country. Beyond the obvious constitutional issues of the state giving preferential treatment to religious organizations, it just makes sense that in these times of budget tightening, the government can no longer afford to subsidize religious groups, their leaders, or their programs.

Linking to a story or webpage does not imply endorsement by Paul or CFI. Not every use of quotation marks is ironic or sarcastic, but it often is. 

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