The Multi-Zayn Theory

April 27, 2015

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

WIVB television in Buffalo quotes our testimony to the FDA in a story on the regulation of homeopathic products.

Pakistani human rights activist Sabeen Mahmud is gunned down by unknown assailants immediately following an event for her campaign on behalf of those abducted by Pakistan's security forces. 

"Scientists" from the right-wing Heartland Institute don't want reality-based scientists confusing the pope with their climate change mumbo-jumbo, saying, "Humans are not causing a climate crisis on God’s Green Earth – in fact, they are fulfilling their Biblical duty to protect and use it for the benefit of humanity."

Tom DeLay, exemplar of morality and ethics, says we're "off track" because we forgot that God wrote the Constitution

Anti-gay cake-makers get booted from their crowdfunding scheme, because GoFundMe doesn't like helping people who have broken the law.

Looks like we have a disagreement with the ACLU, with whom we often make common cause. They are opposing the California bill that would remove the belief exemption for vaccinations, saying that it thwarts a child's right to an education. Robin Abcarian at the LA Times reports:

The ACLU does not take issue with the wisdom of vaccinating children against the full range of childhood diseases, nor with the fact that serious public health risks can occur when vaccination rates fall below what is required for herd immunity. But, [the ACLU's Kevin G.] Baker wrote, the bill does not explain why the state has a "compelling interest" in requiring that all students in every school be vaccinated. 

I figured that the compelling interest in not having huge outbreaks of deadly diseases was sort of obvious. 

You know who else in on the side of the anti-vaxxers? The Anti-Vax Alpha himself, Andrew Wakefield

And on this same topic, I think I'm done with Bill Maher

Bob Smietana at Christianity Today notes that atheists outnumber Southern Baptists in the U.S. military. (I'm linking to Hemant's post because the CT article won't load for me.) 

Scott Feschuk says that if governments did have evidence of alien life, they certainly wouldn't hide it:

In fact, the confirmed presence of extraterrestrials would give Barack Obama the biggest boost of his presidency. The opportunity to greet and/or explode alien species? History would surely give him a mulligan on his foreign-policy missteps if he were to ace interplanetary relations. Think about it: the first black President and the guy who ushered in an era of peace and partnership with the slug zombies of Zorgan 4? Good luck topping that, Hillary. 

Since the Hindu-nationalist government in India forbids the slaughtering of cows for the beef trade, traders in India are wondering if it's cool if they slaughter cows from New Jersey

Six members of the PEN American Center will refuse to show up at a gala honoring Charlie Hebdo for its "cultural intolerance" and "a kind of forced secular view."

GOP presidential candidates to Iowa Evangelicals: "Boo!" (I'm paraphrasing.) 

Ooh, I'd been hoping to come across something like this: The pseudoscience of "the golden ratio." 

Stephen Hawking reassures the millions of young girls who I'm told are upset about something called a "Zayn" leaving something else called "One Direction":

My advice to any heartbroken young girl is to pay close attention to the study of theoretical physics. Because one day there may well be proof of multiple universes. It would not be beyond the realms of possibility that somewhere outside of our own universe lies another different universe, and in that universe, Zayn is still in One Direction. 

Quote of the Day:

Iranian atheist Kaveh Mousavi:

So this is what good atheism has done for me: atheism has enabled me to wage a war to liberate those “the few cubic centimeters inside my skull”. It is ultimately a war destined to be lost – I will never not be the child of my time and my place, and I will never be entirely free in my thought. But it is a worthy war to wage nevertheless, for every battle won is a great victory in itself. 

 
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Comments:

#1 Bruce Van Dieten (Guest) on Monday April 27, 2015 at 2:04pm

It is always such a disappointment when our heroes, and Bill was one of mine, prove to be human.  His anti-vaxer comments were part of a string of claims and ideas that I found either wrong-headed, or disappointing.  I now watch, when I watch, strictly for entertainment purposes. Too bad.

#2 Mario (Guest) on Monday April 27, 2015 at 4:19pm

“Bob Smietana at Christianity Today notes that atheists outnumber Southern Baptists in the U.S. military.”

No surprise to anyone who has served.  I recall extreme hostility toward faith (men of faith weren’t real men, the collective logic went), which is why I’ve never believed for a moment the media fantasy of a fundie-dominated military.  Of course, that meme isn’t going anywhere.  Facts have no power to deter a good media myth.

Maher, no longer hip?  Never thought it was possible.  He is, after all, that holiest of secular holy men—a stand-up comic.

#3 Randy on Saturday May 16, 2015 at 3:37am

“And on this same topic, I think I’m done with Bill Maher.”

Well, that’s silly.  You expect every person to agree with you? 

Let Bill have his anti-vax thing.  He’s right on everything else, and he’s been great for atheism—far better than anything “official atheists” have done, in terms of getting the message out that religious bunk can actually be called out, right to their face.

Bill’s memory may be ... creative.  But I buy that he is not an anti-vaxxer today.  He’s calling for moderation.  This year’s flu vaccine WAS bad, and by targeting the wrong virus, it was not just a failed opportunity, but also somehow managed to make it more likely that vaccinated people would catch other flu, than unvaccinated people would.  That’s important to admit (unless the news I read was wrong, but it was my local paper’s copy of a wire story, not a right-wing rag).

I’m required to get a flu shot every year, for what I do.  But it’s ridiculous to do it when the formulation doesn’t change, or changes only very little.  And despite the claims that it causes no harm, and my belief in the general idea of flu shots, I DO get sick for about half a day, almost every time.  So I don’t want to get the shot if I don’t have to (i.e. nothing new in it).  The profit motive is interfering with proper distribution of the shot, and is probably distorting other parts of the process as well.  It is not tin-foil-hat to point out the obvious risks capitalism poses to all important ventures, including vaccination.

#4 Randy on Saturday May 16, 2015 at 3:41am

I take it back.  Maher is wrong on feminism.  But I still watch him anyway.

#5 Randy on Saturday May 16, 2015 at 3:47am

If I understand the ACLU’s position (as you’ve presented it here), then I agree with them, and you should too.  Being in school cannot be the threshold to be vaccinated, because there are other places where children interact with other children.  The line drawn is not rational—it’s merely convenient.  The vaccination requirement should apply to all kids, regardless of where, how, or even if, they are being educated.

#6 Randy on Saturday May 16, 2015 at 3:50am

“GoFundMe doesn’t like helping people who have broken the law. “

So, if GoFundMe had existed in 2001, they would not have funded anything gay whatsoever, at least not in several US states that banned same-sex sodomy.

Good to know who your friends are.

People who hide behind the law are scoundrels.

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