March 30, 2016
The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
Jaweed Kaleem at The Atlantic looks at the homeschooling phenomenon among atheists.
Utah goes off a pseudoscience deep end, passing a law requiring anesthesia for abortions performed after 20 weeks, all in a pointless move to keep the fetus from feeling pain, which it can't anyway, and thereby putting the woman's health at risk -- a risk that the law says women aren't supposed to know about. Samantha Allen writes:
In other words, Utah now legally requires doctors to lie to women so they can administer medically unnecessary anesthesia without delivering full information about its risks. That’s not a law—it’s a lawsuit waiting to happen.
Mohamad Bazzi at Reuters looks at the Islamic scholars from history who are the main sources of ISIS theology today.
A teenager is caught on video stealing a "UFO" from a Roswell museum, or at least that's what they want you to believe, but of course they'll never declassify those files.
The Supreme Court releases an unusual court order in the Zubik case, asking the parties to make an attempt figure some of their business out, which made our legal director Nick Little say, "Wow.":
The parties are directed to file supplemental briefs that address whether and how contraceptive coverage may be obtained by petitioners’ employees through petitioners’ insurance companies, but in a way that does not require any involvement of petitioners beyond their own decision to provide health insurance without contraceptive coverage to their employees.
The man who signed North Carolina's loathsome anti-LGBT bill (because "etiquette") accuses critics from Apple to the NBA of a "vicious nationwide smear campaign." Sir, you have smeared yourself without anyone's help.
Apple and Google are among those adding light-adjustment features to their devices in order to reduce blue light at night, which is supposed to help you sleep. But is there actually any, like, science behind it? Elizabeth Lopatto at The Verge takes a deep dive, and the answer is, only maybe kind of, maybe.
Citing Skeptical Inquirer, Sally Satel and Scott Lilienfeld at Forbes wonder what is up with the government's support of Thought Field Therapy (TFT), a kind of "psychological acupuncture" for treating bipolar disorder.
Ted Cruz, heal thyself:
I ... think that those in politics have an obligation not to wear their faith on their sleeve. There have been far too many politicians that run around, behaving like they’re holier-than-thou. And I’ll tell you: My attitude as a voter when some politician says, “I’m running because God told me to run,” my reaction as a voter is, “Great! When God tells me to vote for you, we’ll be on the same page!”
SCA has its winner for Worst State Bill, and it truly is a doozie: a Mississippi bill that would allow churchgoers to kill intruders. And it's probably going to become law. Nothing makes sense anymore.
Ben Radford looks at the phenomenon of grave-robbing, specifically in the case of Shakespeare's maybe-missing head. What? Yes.
Quote of the Day:
Let's make it be a video today, Carl Sagan talking to Studs Terkel about aliens.
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#1 Richard (Guest) on Wednesday March 30, 2016 at 7:55am
I hope the lawsuit comes quickly. It’s time to put Holy Gary Herbert in his place.
#2 Randy (Guest) on Wednesday March 30, 2016 at 9:43pm
“Apple and Google” Cyanogen has had this feature for some time… I can’t say I’ve noticed any effect. But it doesn’t bother me either, so I’ll continue with it because why not?