Seven Whooping Coughs for Seven Brothers

April 15, 2015

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

Our boss Ron Lindsay addresses the practice of evaluating teacher performance based on students' test scores, "a policy not based on science, but rather politics and deceptive intuitions." 

Also at the Free Thinking blog, CFI-UK director Stephen Law does a deep dive into concepts of happiness and how (or whether) it motivates our behavior. Me, I'm mostly motivated by anxiety. But you should also read Jennifer Michael Hecht's The Happiness Myth. I need to read it again, because it's gangbusters.

Worst story ever: A women who runs a Dallas church starves a 2-year-old boy to get rid of a demon, the boy dies, and she tries to resurrect him. There's apparently a video to this piece which I have not watched, and I'd probably recommend you don't either. 

Jahed Ahmed, website co-founder with Avijit Roy, writes about his friend and his surviving father, Prof. Ajoy Roy, a scientist and former freedom fighter.  

Neeraja Viswanathan rounds up 5 egregious anti-abortion measures working their way through states, which include lots of lies and unnecessary procedures.

A mom in Ottawa was anti-vax, and then all seven of her kids got whooping cough. I feel like there's a Broadway musical idea here somewhere. 

Ted Cruz's dad says educational standards "force the nation to accept secular humanism." Okay. 

Pastor Corey L. Kennard in NYT writes about the communication about faith between patients and doctors:

Unfortunately, too many doctors turn their noses up at the idea of miracles. This is largely because they are systematically trained to believe only in verifiable facts and clinical data.

"Unfortunately"? No, you mean "fortunately," or "correctly." 

Satanists in Oklahoma want to distribute their fine literature in an elementary school. Hehehehehehehehe. 

Even Tennessee's Republican governor thinks the whole "Bible-as-official-state-book" thing is a bad idea. A spokesman for him said, "The governor doesn't think it's very respectful of what the Bible is," which, you know, isn't the point, but whatever.  

Asra Nomani on the willingness to hear criticism of a religion or culture:

Too many Muslims are responding to critical conversations on Islam with snubs, boycotts, and calls for censorship, exploiting feelings of conflict avoidance and political correctness to stifle debate. As a journalist for 30 years, I believe we must stand up for America’s principles of free speech and have critical conversations, especially if they make people feel uncomfortable. 

Smile, Pluto! It's your first color photograph

This can't be real, can it? An Indiegogo campaign for a Kosher light switch.

Quote of the Day:

My good Twitter-friend Suzi Hansen, social media coordinator for CFI-Canada, gives an example of #HomeopathicResearch

Therapeutic High-Dose Homeopathy for Dehydration: a pilot study  

I see what she did there! 
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Original image by Shutterstock.

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