World War Generation Z

January 26, 2018

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

The Science and Security Board for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moves the Doomsday Clock forward 30 seconds, giving us 2 minutes to the End of All Things. Lawrence Krauss and Robert Rosner write at the Post:

We believe that the perilous world security situation ... would, in itself, justify moving the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock closer to midnight. But there also is a real threat posed by a fundamental breakdown in the international order that has been dangerously exacerbated by recent U.S. actions. In 2017, the United States backed away from its long-standing leadership role in the world, reducing its commitment to seek common ground and undermining the overall effort toward solving pressing global governance challenges. Neither allies nor adversaries have been able to reliably predict U.S. actions or discern between sincere U.S. pronouncements and mere rhetoric.

Why is it "doomsday" and not "doomday"? Why dooms-plural? Or is it supposed to be possessive, like "doom's day"? Or Dr. Doom's Day? 

The Barna Group, a religious research organization, releases new survey data on (ugh) "Generation Z" (come on, really?), born between 1999 and 2015. So Paul graduates college, and Generation Z is born. I'm so, so, so old. Anyway, of Generation Z teenagers (or, as I now feel compelled to call them, "Z-Teens"), 35 percent call themselves atheist, agnostic, or unaffiliated. 13 percent were straight-up atheist, as compared to 7 percent among millennials. 

This is unexpected: 12.5 percent of Britons say that atheists are more moral than religious people.

This is expected: Atheists, agnostics, and Jews are among the groups most likely to support abortion rights, but the number one group in support at 90 percent is the Unitarian Universalists. The most likely to oppose were the Jehovah's Witnesses with 75 percent saying abortion must be illegal. Catholics are split right down the middle.

Matthew Francis at Ars Technica reports on how scientists are looking to biomimicry, "turning lessons from the natural world into practice in engineering, technology, and architecture," to guide efforts toward bringing life to Mars. Jeff Goldblum is for some reason brought into it for a pop cultural reference...from 1999...when Generation Z was born.

The State Supreme Court of Washington rules in favor of a fireman who was fired (fireman fired...fired fireman...firedman...) for using the department's networks to promote his Christian firefighters group, citing "viewpoint discrimination."  

Ed Brayton notes with pride The Atlantic'feature about Secular Rescue, saying, "Everyone at the main [CFI] office in Amherst worked hard to make it a reality. Now we’re seeing the results of that work."

Nevertheless, its fundamental principle is the same: Christians must work toward a theocratic state in which Christians are in control. Or, as current congressional candidate (and fellow Barton enthusiast) Rick Saccone said in an interview last year with Pastors Network of America, God wants Christians “who will rule with the fear of God in them, to rule over us.” 

Matthew Crowley on fish oil supplements: Meh, can't hurt, but they probably won't do anything. (My paraphrasing.)

Apparently, people are being fooled by this satire web site's article claiming that a new law allows atheist doctors to refuse to treat religious patients. Oh, I see! Don't like it when the discriminatory shoe is on the other foot! 

You can now buy booze in Ireland on Good Friday. You couldn't take one day, huh, folks? I KID.

Rachel Bloom, star and creator of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (which truly does have moments of brilliance amid some who-cares soap opera stuff), seems to be one of us secular types, claiming as one of her favorite feminist moments:

[When] the constitution established a separation of church and state. That’s so important, because if you look at almost any religion, especially the major three, there is an oppression of women. I feel very lucky to be in a country with a more secular mindset. 

Clay Jones at Science-Based Medicine has a sad tale of a child who died from rabies because the parents didn't get him the treatment he needed in time.

CBS is producing a sitcom about a "lippy atheist" who friends God on Facebook. Just burn it all down. 

IQOS, the iPod nano of nicotine addiction, is likely to get FDA approval. 

Benjamin Radford is among the guests on the Crypto-Kid podcast.

Quote of the Day

Tara Isabella Burton at Vox (aka "NotoriousTIB") exposes the bullshit of pseudohistorian David Barton, the religious right's -- and "Ambassador" Sam Broanback's favorite faux-scholar:

As a dominionist, Barton is among those who believe the ultimate goal for American government should be a Christian theocratic state, which is necessary to properly usher in the apocalyptic End Times. Dominionism takes many forms, from the “hard dominionism” of R.J. Rushdoony, which advocated for a pure theocracy, to the “softer” Seven Mountains movement associated with Ted Cruz, among others, in which Christians are encouraged to take over the “seven mountains” of culture as a whole, from arts to education to government. ... 

Barton’s history is focused more on his vision for the apocalypse than on the actual past. And America is becoming more ill-informed for it. 

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