The Ire of Some Tedious Nerd

February 10, 2014

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

The Justice Department will now be extending federal marriage benefits to same-sex couples.  

Michael Kirkland at UPI has a good summation of what's at stake in Greece v. Galloway, the prayer-at-government-meetings Supreme Court case. CFI has filed an amicus brief

Prospective NFL-er Michael Sam comes out as gay, and might wind up being the first openly-gay pro football player. 

CFI's Michael De Dora took part in a panel presentation at the Coalition for Liberty and Justice's conference discussing religious liberty, and the video is up

Over the weekend, Freethought Blogs, Skepchick, and the Feminist Frequency were DDOS'd, knocking those sites down for a period of time. PZ:

I can’t imagine what those three sites have in common, or what they would be promoting that would rouse the furious ire of some tedious nerd somewhere. 

Global poll of Catholics shows that on some big issues the vast majority of Catholics aren't very, well, catholic. 

Atheist group at London South Bank University has its FSM display banned for being 'religiously offensive.'

Llewellyn Hinkes-Jones at The Awl castigates TED for allowing talks that are "blatant pseudoscientific garbage," and get specific. (I know this is from last month, but I just saw it.)

Wednesday is Darwin Day, and there's a naturalselectionpalooza of events all over the place. Our On Campus team has a page full of resources for students. Local branches are doing all sorts of events and activities:

CFI-Indiana is having a Darwin Day party

- CFI-Michigan has a presentation on the evolution of flight, and the day after celebrates at "Charlie’s Evolution Emporium" 

- This Sunday CFI-LA hosts Cameron Smith for "The Evolution rEvolutiuon

In case you were wondering, yes, vouchers in Indiana are paying for the teaching of creationism.

Brutality and horror in Nigeria, where homosexuality is newly illegal. The scene at a Shariah court:

The mood is unforgiving in this north Nigeria metropolis, where nine others accused of being gay by the Islamic police are behind the central prison’s high walls. Stones and bottles rained down on them outside the court two weeks ago, residents and officials said; some in the mob even wanted to set the courtroom ablaze, witnesses said. 

Secular Coalition bestows the honor of "Secular Artist of the Month" on Roderick Bradford and our own Tom Flynn for the American Freethought documentary in its weekly call. Want to help spread it around? Tell your local PBS station to air it! 

Quantum theory proves life after death. Ho boy. 

Everyone is scared of the Saudi religious police, but Manal Al-Sharif says there may now be an opportunity to lessen their influence.

Philosophy professor Alvin Platinga has a really bad analogy for an argument for agnosticism over atheism, I think:

[L]ack of evidence, if indeed evidence is lacking, is no grounds for atheism. No one thinks there is good evidence for the proposition that there are an even number of stars; but also, no one thinks the right conclusion to draw is that there are an uneven number of stars.  

Managers in Norway are apparently getting "fed up" with religious workers (usually women) who "refuse work" on religious grounds. Hmm.

Some say the wave looks like Jesus, HuffPo says it looks like Swayze. 

Michael Zimmerman of the Clergy Letter Project (not to be confused with The Clergy Project) says that the conflict between religion and science is "a manufactured controversy." 

Telegraph profiles a Virginia Tech atheist group

Levy County, Florida officials reject an atheist counter-monument to the existing Ten Commandments because "None of the texts on the proposed monument appear to be a reproduction of the entire text of any document or person, as required in the (county) guidelines." 

James McGaha and Joe Nickell bring their expertise to the "Valentich disappearance" UFO mystery for Skeptical Inquirer.  

If you think #sochiproblems is funny, just wait until global warming makes it so that there can't be any more Winter Olympics. That'll be hilarious. 

Bank in Holland won't trust you with the money unless you make a promise to God

This skin-walker thing is a hoax, and thank goodness because it scared the crap out of me. 

So what's up with the Bermuda Triangle, anyway? Let's ask the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. And the answer is? Nothing

Ars Technica did a good piece on the Nye-Ham debate, pretty well summing up the evening.  

Morgan "Super-Size Me" Spurlock leads Sunday Assembly services in Nashville. 

A guy who's been charged with animal cruelty for sacrificing chickens may have a religious freedom case

Quote of the Day

Emily Willingham on the pollution of science education by religious influence:

In our multicultural democracy, no one conception of faith, spirituality, or belief has right-of-way in taxpayer-funded education. And when our students learn about how the natural world works, the only concepts that should have the right-of-way are evidence-based findings, established theories and laws, and testable hypotheses. If people don’t learn that testability and evidence are essential features of science, they won’t understand whether it’s science they’re being sold because they won’t have a good understanding of what science is. 

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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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Comments:

#1 Randy (Guest) on Monday February 10, 2014 at 8:01pm

“None of the texts on the proposed monument appear to be a reproduction of the entire text of any document”

That’s their claimed problem with the atheist monument?  The commonly known ten commandments are excerpts from larger books (Exodus, Deuteronomy, and for some Mosiah). And there aren’t even ten of them, which is why various religious groups number them at least eight different ways.  And rarely do the ten commandments actually include the full text.

#2 Randy (Guest) on Monday February 10, 2014 at 8:06pm

(wish I could edit my comment)
Checking the image of the ten commandments monument at the Levy county courthouse, it does not contain the entire text, even of the ten commandments, much less the books of Exodus or Deuteronomy they are excerpted from.

#3 dewdds on Monday February 10, 2014 at 8:41pm

I noticed how the article about the ‘workers’ in Norway fails to mention the religion (Islam) of those who seem offended at any job activity banned by their beliefs. Apparently this is not just a problem in Norway, but also in the some Islamic nations. Managers in KSA have recently complained that workers allowed time to go to the mosque for the mandatory prayers often never return for the day. Nothing makes a better deadbeat than an insanely devout religious nut.

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