Angling on Exoplanets

December 6, 2013

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

Apologies for the late posting - The Morning Heretic as All-the-time-Daddy had to go bring his Baby Heretic to the doctor, but all is well and Baby Heretic is blaspheming happily.  

Wow: Humanist Community Day declared by Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick. I guess he's not running for president. 

(Someone should tell this to Boston University, where the campus humanists were barred from the school's interfaith panel.)

Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis are going to name names of 29 priests accused of child sexual abuse. Sunday in Minnesota is going to be awkward.

On the flip side, the Vatican is thumbing its nose at the UN panel on the rights of the child, refusing to hand over requested information on abuse cases. 

Yesterday we announced that CFI had taken the reins of the Freethought Books Project, getting skepto-atheist books to prisoners, and Hemant is really happy about it

Now this looks cool: Available today is a new skeptics' documentaryA Journey to Planet Sanity.

Congressional clown Rep. Louie Gohmert says atheists should encourage Christian belief because America.  

Zoltan Istvan, who has the coolest name in the universe, says soon all atheists will consider themselves "transhumanists":

A Transhumanist Wager -- the challenging idea that everyone in the 21st Century must decide how far they are willing to go to use technology and science to improve their lives -- is loudly calling. And the faithless will answer it. 

We're asking Michiganders to tell their legislators not to prohibit health insurance providers from including abortion coverage.  

AHA clears a suspension off the record of a high school student who did some Bible-ripping in class. 

Ohio legislators are still cheesed about that Jesus portrait that a public school had to take down, and they're going to do some law-making in retaliation

Pentecostal pastors in Africa are duping people with HIV to pray it away instead of getting, you know, medical attention.

Deseret News looks at the varieties of homeschooling experience, which is not at all exclusively about religious indoctrination, but includes many nonbeliever families, and those who just think they can do a better job educating their kids. 

NPR profiles the music of the band Quiet Company, whose leader discusses his move from being a Christian rocker to atheist.  

Comedian Lowell Jensen releases a comedy album centered on being an atheist at Christmas. 

Say what you will about Florida (and oh, I will) but it's doing some good housecleaning of fake-psychic scammers.

Jerry Coyne isn't so interested in whether Einstein said nice things about religion:

The man was a great physicist, but he wasn’t infallible, and it baffles me to see people quoting his non-scientific pronouncements as if they are unimpeachable.  An expert in physics is not necessarily a doyen of philosophy. 

Measles. It's still a big problem. Says the CDC:

Fifty years after the approval of an extremely effective vaccine against measles, one of the world’s most contagious diseases, the virus still poses a threat to domestic and global health security. On an average day, 430 children – 18 every hour – die of measles worldwide. In 2011, there were an estimated 158,000 measles deaths. 

Hubble may have detected water on five exoplanets. How? They could see the fish jumping. I kid! 

There was a time in America when folks were losing their minds over Satanism and throwing people into prison over the panic. That time, of course, was the 1990s. But this week two parents, Fran and Dan Keller, accused of doing awful Satan-y things to their kid, were released after it was determined their jury was swayed by bad faux-expert testimony. 

Google's autocomplete is unkind to scientists

So the Kardashians might be part of some big Illuminati conspiracy as evidenced by hidden messages in...oh, I just can't. 

Glowing alien squid

Quote of the Day

Nelson Mandela, gone at 95, upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993:

Let it never be said by future generations that indifference, cynicism or selfishness made us fail to live up to the ideals of humanism which the Nobel Peace Prize encapsulates.

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Image found here

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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