Space Beer

April 13, 2018

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

I forgot to tell you! We announced the release of our yearly Progress Report, and it's a real beauty folks. Go check it out

This is scary and disheartening: 31% of Americans think fewer than 2 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, and 41% don't know what Auschwitz was. Worse, the numbers are more abysmal among millennials. We have to do better than this.

A Rasmussen poll shows that 13% of Americans have known someone who has seen a UFO, or say they have seen one themselves. Interestingly, the aliens piloting those UFOs leaned heavily Republican, and Karl Rove is still certain that the aliens won Ohio.

Side note: Rasmussen is also the firm that gave us this jewel of information last year:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that just 11% of American Adults say they are more likely to buy a beer that is brewed on Mars. Thirty-three percent (33%) say they’re less likely to buy a space beer, while 45% say the beer’s origin would have no impact on their beer-buying decision. Another 11% are not sure.

Well I'll tell you where the aliens most certainly will not be showing up: The 2018 Out of This World Festival and Conference in Edinberg, Texas. (A laser show is promised.)

Canadian naturopath Dr. Anke Zimmermann suggests treating hyperactive kids with a homeopathic remedy based on rabid dog saliva. Now you'd think I just made that up because it's so patently ridiculous, but you'd be wrong. Zimmermann wrote:

Why are some kids so aggressive? Maybe they were bitten by a dog! This four-year-old boy with sleep and behavioural problems, including aggression and violence towards school mates as well as hiding under tables and growling, improved dramatically with a remedy made from a rabid dog's saliva. 

Now this is an interesting problem. In India, there is a push from the pro-alternative medicine government to get alt-med more legitimacy, and therefore want more alt-med treatments to undergo human testing and clinical trials so it can earn that legitimacy. But the research bodies that sort of "run" alt-med practices in India don't want those tests and trials. I WONDER WHY.

The Guardian's Science Weekly podcast interviews ex-naturopath Britt Hermes and skeptic Simon Singh about, yes, alt-med.

Okay, I have to hand it to the Christian right. They're wrong about everything more or less, but this...this is some creative claptrap. Like, just as a student of rhetoric and persuasion I'm impressed by this little bit of jujitsu. Right wing radio host Michael Brown writes in the Christian Post that by banning gay-conversion therapy for kids, states are...get ready for this...FORCING kids to STAY GAY. Now that's...that's just amazing. Well done.

Now go away you goddamn monsters. 

Meanwhile, California is looking at legislation declaring gay-conversion therapy a "fraudulent practice." Probably because it is. 

Oklahoma's gonna Oklahoma: the state's House unanimously passes a resolution declaring Christian band MercyMe's song "I Can Only Imagine" as the state's official inspirational song. What is in the water over there?

Case in point: Oklahoma's own Scott Pruitt (Destroyer of Worlds) apparently wanted the EPA's logo changed to include a Bible verse. Because that makes sense.

Wendy Vitter is Trump's judicial nominee for the Eastern District of Louisiana (and yes, that's the wife of philanderer and former senator David Vitter), and seems to have failed to disclose some important facts about her views, for example, that Planned Parenthood has "killed 150,000 females a year, and that she promoted a pamphlet saying that women who use contraception are more likely to be murdered.

A former Trump Tower doorman says he was paid to keep quiet about one of Trump's affairs, but the doorman's ex-wife says not to trust him:

He’s infamous for making up stories. He’s seen the chupacabra. He’s seen Bigfoot. One of our friends who passed away, he saw him too, walking down the street. 

Sounds to me like this guy is really perceptive and always in the right place at the right time! What else has he seen? 

Business Insider looks at some of the old conspiracy theories about what really happened to the Titanic, which includes a mummy, a u-boat attack, and angry Catholic workers who didn't like what some upside-down numbers implied.

The crypto-currency community, which is a thing, is incensed by the organizers of the Ethereal Conference's decision to have Deepak Chopra as a speaker. Seems a good fit to me: Both cryptography and Chopra are known for being utterly incomprehensible.  

Quote of the Day

Evangelical leader Doug Birdsall, reaping what his movement has sown:

When you Google evangelicals, you get Trump. When people say what does it mean to be an evangelical, people don’t say evangelism or the gospel. 

He's right. I just googled it, and there was a lot of Trump on the first page. But Google being algorithm based, it may not be the same for everyone. Just FYI. 

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