The Inexorable Infinity of Death

January 8, 2014

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

Zora Neale Hurston, featured in our African Americans for Humanism campaign, got a Google Doodle yesterday

Sarah Pulliam Bailey looks at NYC's new mayor, Bill de Blasio, "perhaps the nation’s most visible 'none'." 

Extremely murky "strengths and weaknesses of science" education bill introduced in Virginia.

Kick back and read a paper from the Annals of Internal Medicine. Or just dig the line-in-the-sand title: "Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements"

Ben Radford on the latest "crop circle" dustup:

This hoax also reveals an embarrassing truth about crop circle research: that so-called experts cannot distinguish a supposedly real crop circle from a fake one.

CFI-Indiana will host a "Freethinker's Celebration of the Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr." this Sunday. 

As of right now, Hemant Mehta has helped raise over $19,000 for the pastor who was fired for experimenting with "atheism." 

David Gelernter at Commentary attempts to really stick it to those jerks, scientists:

[W]hen scientists use this locker-room braggadocio to belittle the human viewpoint, to belittle human life and values and virtues and civilization and moral, spiritual, and religious discoveries, which is all we human beings possess or ever will, they have outrun their own empiricism. They are abusing their cultural standing. Science has become an international bully. 

New Gingrich calls himself an "amateur paleontologist," and declares that higher average temperatures are just fine because the dinosaurs...oh, I just can't

Speaking of which, Alexander Nazaryan at Newsweek looks at a new book about this very inability to grapple with the Big Things That Are Going to Kill Us AllHyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World, by Timothy Morton. Nazaryan writes:

Then there are the things you could not possibly think about, even if you had the time. Maybe you can conceive of the inexorable infinity of death, but I am close to certain that no human mind can grasp the not-quite-infinity of 4.468 billion years, which is the half-life of uranium-238. Or 210 million gallons of oil, the amount deposited in the Gulf of Mexico by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. The World Wildlife Fund says we may be losing as many as 100,000 species to extinction each year. That number is alarming, but so large that it passes quickly from the astounding to the incomprehensible, before collapsing into irrelevancy. Same with the number of Americans estimated to have gotten cancer in 2013: 1,660,290. You probably don't know or care about 1,660,289 of them.  

AARP's magazine looks at the beliefs of folks over 50, and while they are more skeptical of the paranormal, they buy into things like heaven and angels more than other age groups. 

My wife found this one: Last summer, Death and Taxes reported on a support group for alien abductees.   

Pope Fluffy tells regular priests to stop calling themselves "monsignor." CFI boss Ron Lindsay yawns:

Wake me up when Catholic Church undertakes real reform, like allowing Catholic hospitals to advise women of all their health options. 

Tim Binga exposes 20th-century humanist luminary Corliss Lamont for what he truly was: A musical theatre geek

Groundwork begins on the Secular Safe House project. 

Religion & Politics hosts a series of articles opining on the wisdom of religious instruction in schools. 

Ogopogo, the most polite sea monster.

Someone stop Dan Fincke before he blogs himself to death. 

Quote of the Day

In Florida (of course), atheists and Christians unite in their support of Satanists. Pam Olsen, president of the Florida Prayer Network, doesn't like the Satanists' proposed monument, but says sportingly:

I would have been okay with it because I'm not afraid of what they're saying.   

Amen. 

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Image via Shutterstock

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