Information Superhighway to Heaven
January 24, 2014
The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
Today is a very important day in my religion, it's the 30th birthday of the Macintosh. Relatedly, Pope Fluffy told us that the Internet is a "gift from God," but everyone knows the truth is that God only "took the initiative" in creating the Internet.
Though Virginia's AG is fighting a gay marriage ban, its legislature just passed a student prayer bill. One step forward, one step back.
Climate scientist Michael Mann was defamed and compared to Jerry Sandusky by writers at the National Review (classy, guys), sues them for it, and a judge is letting the case go forward:
Accusing a scientist of conducting his research fraudulently, manipulating his data to achieve a predetermined or political outcome, or purposefully distorting the scientific truth are factual allegations. They go to the heart of scientific integrity. They can be proven true or false. If false, they are defamatory. If made with actual malice, they are actionable.
Time magazine shows the most and least "godly" cities in the U.S., and Buffalo, home of the CFI Meatball Mothership, is the 6th-least-godly. We're catching up to you, Cedar Rapids!
Matthew Hutson gives PR advice to atheists:
A successful campaign might paint pictures of atheists doing good in the world. Clips of John Lennon singing “Imagine,” Daniel Radcliffe reading “Harry Potter” to kids, Angelina Jolie saving Africa one baby at a time.
NJ state senator Raymond Lesniak on a proposed vouchers program: "It’s toast. Put a fork in it and let’s move on." Apparently rural conservatives in other states don't even like vouchers because, well, there are no private schools.
The Reduced Shakespeare Company's production of The Bible: The Complete Word of God (Abridged) is cancelled in Ireland because it's "blasphemous."
Even more seriously, Mohammad Asghar, a British national in Pakistan who claimed to be a prophet, is sentenced to death for blasphemy.
It's apparently sacrilegious to show musical instruments on television in Iran, but someone slipped up.
"You start with a random clump of atoms, and if you shine light on it for long enough, it should not be so surprising that you get a plant." So says one scientist who may be on to the physics principles underlying life itself.
Nebraska state senator, atheist Ernie Chambers, wants churches to pony up to the state.
Emily Upton at Gizmodo ain't afraid of no Bermuda Triangle:
Because the number of disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle is no greater than any other similarly trafficked area of the world's oceans, they don't really need an explanation.
A Seattle Catholic school's vice principal a guy, marries another guy, and gets fired.
I hear the Galapagos Islands are pretty nice. Maybe you wanna go on a cruise to go see.
Dinesh D'souza in d'deep d'doodoo for d'onations.
The new savior has come, and it is a Chihuahua in a muffin.
Is that a hole in your hand, or are you just happy to die for my sins? Ben Radford looks at the (lack of) evidence for stigmata.
Quote of the Day
Damon Linker urges atheists to not "deny the struggle" for meaning in life, and focuses on Camus and Existentialism, writing:
Existentialism differs from the greeting-card version of atheism so prevalent today, in taking its cue from the realization that life without God is hard. ... Existentialists do not counsel despair. They seek, rather, to provide us with clear-sighted and candid guidance as we make our way through a disenchanted world.
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