Meet the New Year, Same as the Old Year

January 2, 2015

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

It's 2015, and wow, everything feels different! A universe of fresh possibility! It's a whole new plane of existence! It's...nah, I'm just kidding. Everything is the same. Happy New Year anyway.

Snopes rounds up the 25 most widely-circulated urban legends of 2014. It's amazing how many of them have to do with body parts and fluids of various species.  

The Monterey Herald covers SkeptiCamp, with a nod to CFI-Los Angeles, Skeptical Inquirer, and the Independent Investigations Group. 

Brian Tynes checks in on some of "Psychic Nikki's" predictions for 2014 to see how they panned out. For example, the Empire State Building did not, repeat, did not tip over. The "correct" predictions are pretty dubious. Oh look, there was a sex scandal in Washington. Only the powers of the great beyond could explain that prediction.

Egypt is busy banning things, including a Jewish festival and the film Exodus

Kara Loewentheil sets up three religious exemption issues to watch in 2015. 

Andrew Revkin at NYT looks at what seems to be a serious push from Pope Francis on climate change

Troy University's chancellor sends an email to students and faculty which includes a video about how God-belief is imperative to a functioning democracy. "If you take away religion, you can't hire enough police." Wow. Troy is a public university.

This city in the Philippines mandates that taxi drivers adorn their cabs with Bible verses for morality or something. 

Muhammad Abdul Bari on the grim state of political affairs in the Muslim world:

The bloodletting between diehard secularists and inexperienced hard-line Islamists in some countries is a boon to entrenched dictators to dig their heels and hegemonic powers to milk national wealth. 

Micahel Luciano at The Daily Banter wonders at the deference given to ultra-Orthodox Jews who refuse to be seated near women on airplanes, and says that instead they should be arrested:

By any measure, the haredis’ behavior is an asinine display.  That one would board a plane fully expecting the crew and passengers to accommodate their wish to not be seated next to a member of half the human race is entitlement in the extreme. And yet not only are these unruly passengers who are disturbing the peace not kicked off the plane and arrested, but they are accommodated because they say those three magic words that in one breath excuse a host of idiocy, ignorance, and irrationality: “It’s my faith.”

Miss boarding a doomed plane? God must like you better.

Jennifer LeClaire at religious outlet Charisma News, responding to Ryan Bell's deconversion, wonders why the heck all these Christians are turning atheist? Answer - The End Times:

I believe it's a sign of the times and may be part of the Great Falling Away. ... Jesus said that in the last days, the love of many would grow cold because iniquity will abound (see Matt. 24:12). When a God-fearing pastor becomes a godless champion for faithlessness, love has grown cold. 

This is over a year old, but I just saw it this week, a roundup of some of the pseudoscience of consumer audio equipment, and responses to various claims, such as myths about "burn-in" and the human ability to percieve super-high-resolution music file formats. 

This psychic uses asparagus to predict the fu----oh never mind. 

Quote of the Day

Mario Cuomo, 1932-2015:

I protect my right to be a Catholic by preserving your right to believe as a Jew, a Protestant or non-believer, or as anything else you choose.  We know that the price of seeking to force our beliefs on others is that they might some day force theirs on us.

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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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