March 15, 2016
The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
This is so wild. Louis Daniel Smith is sitting in prison right now for selling a fake cancer/AIDS/etc. cure that was made primarily of bleach, but as Matt Zapotosky at WaPo reports, devotees of the fake drug ("Miracle Mineral Solution"), have made it central to their religion, the Genesis II Church of Health & Healing. Now the Justice Department is trying to crack down on the operation. But holy crap, listen to these guys. One "bishop" of the church says:
As long as I’m just telling you about [MMS], it’s just education. And if they do lock me up, I know how to do out-of-body travel. I can go anywhere, see anything I want to see anyway.
Wow, right? Oh oh oh, and dig the last paragraph of the article:
At a recent seminar in California, an ABC7 Eyewitness news reporter found a [church] leader touting the product while outlining a broad array of conspiracy theories, including that the planes hijacked on Sept. 11, 2001, were government-created holograms and vaccines are part of a plan to reduce the world’s population.
Go get 'em, DOJ.
Also in religious hucksterism, Peter Popoff is being investigated by UK's Good Thinking Society, keeping track of every letter, solicitation, and "gifts" that his operation sends them.
ISIS claims responsibility for the stabbing death of Shia preacher Abdur Razzak in Bangladesh.
Steven Salzberg (winner of CSI's 2012 Balles Prize in Critical Thinking) was among the scientists who helped investigate the anthrax attacks of 2001, and was only recently authorized to talk about it. So he's posted video of a presentation on the whole frightening episode of American history.
Various skepto-atheist bloggers have coalesced into a new venture known as The Orbit. Lots of familiar names there, and I really dig the name and logo.
CFI–Indiana chief Reba Boyd Wooden is also president of Indiana's Health Access and Privacy Alliance (HAPA), and in that capacity she hand delivered a letter from HAPA to Gov. Mike Pence, urging him to veto HB 1337, a bill that would seriously obstruct a woman's right to abortion access.
Here's something that should surprise no one: Indonesians really don't like Donald Trump, and there's some rumblings that his continued anti-Muslim bloviations could "bring danger to American assets."
About 15,000 couples tie the knot simultaneously (3000 in person, 12,000 online) in a mass wedding presided over by Hak Ja Han Moon, window of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon.
If I'm rushed to the emergency room, you know what I want? Hundreds of needles stuck into me to regulate my energy flow or whatever. Well the Minneapolis Star Tribune has a nice fluffy piece on an ER doctor who provides said acupuncture services.
Get ready to have your mind blown! You think you know prime numbers? Well let me tell you, researchers have found that there are "unexpected biases in the distribution of consecutive primes." I KNOW, RIGHT?
If you think the nones are on the rise in the U.S., check out the Netherlands, where one quarter of the population is explicitly atheist, 68 percent are nones, and my favorite, "Only 13 percent of Catholics still believe in heaven and less than half believe that Jesus is the Son of God."
Charlie Crossley at Impact surveys the plight of atheists in Saudi Arabia, and urges cooperation between the religious and nonreligious to stand up for atheists' rights.
Now you can crowdfund a Borg-ish satellite designed to hunt for UFOs. If that's your thing.
The Trump-supporting Pastor Mark Burns said at a Trump event:
Bernie Sanders who doesn't believe in God. How in the world are we going to let Bernie? I mean really? Listen, Bernie gotta get saved. He gotta meet Jesus. He gotta have a come to Jesus meeting.
I think Bernie's fine. You can step away from Bernie.
Quote of the Day:
Josh Marshall on the Chris Christie-Donald Trump, um, relationship:
You know I had been thinking the same thing. Also about the prime numbers. That too.
Christie's humiliation greatest suffered by powerful autocrat since Tamerlane used Bayezid I as a footstool after Battle of Ankara in 1402.
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#1 Randy (Guest) on Tuesday March 15, 2016 at 11:16pm
“Only 13 percent of Catholics still believe in heaven and less than half believe that Jesus is the Son of God”
These people are doing it wrong. Not only aren’t they Catholic… they aren’t even Christian! I mean the very first book of the New Testament has Jesus describing himself as “the Son” and God as “the Father”. How far did they bother to read? It is 11 chapters in…
What a bizarre phenomenon.
#2 Randy (Guest) on Tuesday March 15, 2016 at 11:18pm
“unexpected biases in the distribution of consecutive primes”
What did Trump say now?
#3 Randy (Guest) on Tuesday March 15, 2016 at 11:22pm
Disappointed to see the term “integer” used in a report about prime “numbers” (i.e. natural, whole).
In that case, primes are not only divisible (without remainder) by one and themselves, but also by -1 and their negative.
#4 Randy (Guest) on Tuesday March 15, 2016 at 11:28pm
“this observation has nothing to do with the base-10 numbering system, and is something inherent to primes themselves.”
Really? So I can find a prime ending in 9 in binary? Because all those end in 1 (except 10).
I do hope someone with at least a high school diploma has written about this somewhere else. The linked article is a mess. Look at this:
“keep in mind that primes can only end in 1, 3, 7, or 9”