Squeezing into Increasingly Smaller Gaps

April 10, 2015

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

I broke a lamp in the new house that my wife really likes, which is why the Heresy is late today. You all, my wonderful wife especially, have my apologies.

Also, the college play I'm directing opens tonight, and I'm 99% certain none of them read or even know about this blog, but I will take this opportunity nonetheless to tell them that I'm so freaking proud of them, and they're going to kick a lot of theatrical ass tonight. 

Soooooo anything else interesting going on no okay let's get on with the links.

The Atlantic has a big feature by Gabrielle Glaser on the "debunked central tenets" of Alcoholics Anonymous

And speaking of substance abuse treatment, you know how Point of Inquiry recently had Johann Hari as a guest to talk about the ugly and completely absurd war on drugs? Cool. Hari was also interviewed by Sam Harris, which I'll read later. (You can also check out Josh Zepps' interview last year with Stanton Peele on drug addiction following the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman.)

Great news: A California State Senate committee has approved a bill to remove personal belief exemptions from vaccination requirements. That means the pressure we're applying is working. Make sure that if you reside in California you contact your state senator

Meanwhile, a Connecticut dad has been granted the right to make medical decisions for his kid due to the mother's objections to vaccinations. 

And hey, you know what's still a thing? The plague

Turkish journalists Ceyda Karan and Hikmet Cetinkaya face prison terms for “insulting people’s religious values” by publishing Charlie Hebdo's cover image of Muhammad. 

The Director-General of UNESCO condemns the killing of Washiqur Rahman: "Freedom of expression and free debate cannot thrive in a climate of fear and self-censorship." 

A Wiccan priestess delivers the opening prayer for the Iowa House of Representatives, during which GOP Rep. Rob Taylor asks himself "What would Jesus do," which of course he would know, and decides Jesus would turn his back on the woman and pout. 

Joe Nickell writes about Jesus being seen in a mudslide, and throws in as many mud-puns as he can. 

Marcelo Gleiser writes about the theology of the "God of the gaps" in regard to Isaac Newton, and how Newton's God had to "[squeeze] into increasingly smaller gaps due to the advances of the science he had created."

Looks like a little over half of Americans think the right-to-discriminate RFRA laws aimed at LGBT folks are crap. 

Scott Gavura surveys the "wild west of health," supplements:

Until consumers and health professionals alike have confidence that supplements are of uniform and consistent quality, it’s not possible to use them safely, or to expect that they will deliver any predictable effects. 

Is there a Catholic position on Transhumanism? Maybe? Here's Fr. Tadeusz Pacholczyk:

Catholics cannot accept a vision of man which presupposes an outright ‘unacceptability’ of his basic human nature, nor a vision that labors to replace it with an alternate bodily structure that is engineered to be 'post-human.' ... Even if our nature were to be radically re-engineered and modified, our innermost self would retain fundamental shards of incompleteness. 

Pennsylvania 8th-grader is refused care by the school nurse after the student opts out of the Pledge of Allegiance. I guess because the student might be a Cylon? I dunno.

Quote of the Day:

David J. Eicher at Astronomy on the asteroid threat, because I'm having that kind of day: 

A 1-kilometer asteroid will impact Earth once every 700,000 years, on average, according to Chodas, impacting with the force of 100,000 megatons and causing a possible global catastrophe. Every 30 million years, on average, a 5-kilometer space rock will impact Earth, unleashing 10 million megatons and causing an event above the threshold of a global catastrophe. And as we’ve seen, once every 100 million years, on average, a 10-kilometer asteroid like the one that did in the dinosaurs will strike Earth, unleashing 100 million megatons of energy and causing a mass extinction.  
 
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Original image by Shutterstock.

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