They Said That Queens Could Stay, They Blew the Bronx Away

April 28, 2015

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

Point of Inquiry this week has the one and only Peter Singer, talking with Josh Zepps about using reason to answer questions about morality and doing the most good possible. Please enjoy this duet of Australian accents.

Today SCOTUS hears arguments in the big same-sex marriage case Obergefell v. HodgesCFI submitted its amicus brief on the case with the American Humanist Association back in March.    

John Oliver goes after Dr. Oz. Good stuff. 

Dr. Saurabh Jha at Quartz says we more or less get the Oz we deserve:

Oz is a product of the masses. He exists because of our love for the circus, and our frustration with uncertainty. Uncertainty is the DNA of science. He exists because science can’t cure our existential angst. If Oz didn’t exist, he would have been invented. If he were not at Columbia, he would have been at Stanford. 

CFI-L.A.'s Jim Underdown checks to see if conference-going skeptics have any psychic powers. Alas. 

Trip Gabriel at NYT looks at the big role religion plays in the life and politics of likely presidential aspirant Scott Walker.

Iranian women's magazine Zanan-e Emrouz is banned for positively reporting on cohabitation out of wedlock. Gave the authorities the vapors! 

Ben Radford at Discovery News reports on the eight-limbed baby in India heralded as a reincarnation of a Hindu deity:

For most Indian children the deformity is anything but a sign of providence; a story on the “Medical Daily” web site noted that the defect was likely the result of chemical contamination: Doctors say the deformity “is most likely triggered by a gene mutation from malnutrition and heavy pollution levels in the area.” 

On Friday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold hearings on religious extremism in Bangladesh

Coral Davenport and Laurie Goodstein at NYT report on the pope's climate change push:

As Francis prepares to deliver what is likely to be a highly influential encyclical this summer on environmental degradation and the effects of human-caused climate change on the poor, he is alarming some conservatives in the United States who are loath to see the Catholic Church reposition itself as a mighty voice in a cause they do not believe in. 

The United Church of Bacon is protesting Wells Fargo for refusing to notarize church documents, claiming discrimination. 

So now Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg is not an atheist, but open-minded to God. Okay. 

Ed Miliband, meanwhile, says he wants to toughen laws against Islamophobia, which I find confusing.  

Quote of the Day:

Bronx residents see a UFO, and one has a guess as to why the aliens are here:

To study us. Maybe they want to learn to break dance.

My guess is that they intend to let Queens stay, they'll blow the Bronx away, and sink Manhattan out at sea. See you in Miami in two years.

 
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