Latin for Waffle

April 8, 2016

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

Students protest in Bangladesh over government inaction to the killing of Nazimuddin Samad and other secular writers. We have put out an action alert urging passage of House Resolution 396, which demands that Bangladesh affirm its secular constitution, protect minorities, prevent the growth of extremism, and guarantee human rights for all.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-Justice League) introduces the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act (REHYA) which supports comprehensive, reality-based sex education, and CFI is one of the bill's supporting organizations.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is at odds with Amnesty International over the strategy for helping to save Raif Badawi. 

California parents have been trying to reach their son and daughter, both enmeshed in Scientology for years, and have now turned to placing giant billboards pleading to hear from them.

Chino Valley, CA school board members proseletyzed at school board meetings, and were successfully sued by FFRF. Now the editorial board of the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin urges the Bible-thumping officials to pay the legal fees they now owe out of their own pockets rather than from district funds.

The magazine Humanist Perspectives has a special feature on physician-assisted dying, with pieces from right-to-die activist John Hofsess that include his farewell note.

Ben Radford examines the video that purports to be a sea monster in the Thames, and says it's almost certainly a mammal like a seal, or maybe simply faked.

Leslie Mann at Chicago Tribune looks at the science of alcohol use disorder (the more technical term for alcoholism), with quotes from Jim Christopher of Secular Organizations for Sobriety, a former project of CFI which is now operating on its own.

Derek Araujo, a former CFI-er, profiles astronomer David Helfand, author of A Survival Guide to the Misinformation Age: Scientific Habits of Mind, for Skeptical Inquirer

Pope Francis, in his Amoris Laetitia, sort of kind of somewhat gets fluffy about how divorced Catholics could maybe still take communion. Ron Lindsay tweets:

As predicted pope has issued a 256 page document that says whole lot of nothing. Amoris Laetitia is Latin for waffle

Fluff? Bernie. Bernie? Fluffy. 

Researchers at UC Berkeley set out to test what a discredited 2014 study purported to show, that one-to-one conversations can move the needle when it comes to people's opinions and prejudices about LGBT people:

"Most people don't change their minds; it's not like a silver bullet," says Broockman [one of the researchers]. They estimate that about one in 10 people who were canvassed became less prejudiced. On the 1-100 feeling thermometer scale, their attitude toward transgender people rose 10 points after the conversation. 

A panel discussion of experts at Texas Tech University explored the tension between religion and acceptance of climate change, and whether that tension ought to exist at all. 

Boko Haram is using some of the women it captures as suicide bombers. Dionne Searcey at NYT:

Bombings by women have become so widespread that even humanitarian groups are rethinking how they distribute food, water and other help to them. What if one of the women is hiding a bomb? 

A few weeks after the Reason Rally, an Evangelical event called "Together 2016" aims to get ONE MILLION people to come to the National Mall for Jesus. They are reportedly "reaching out to Catholics and mainline Protestants as well." Yeah I think you're gonna need 'em.

Dinesh D'souza d'splays his d'sappointing d'earth of erud'tion about d'sbelievers.

I LOVE SCIENCE KOMBAT even though I suck at it. I love the music especially. 

Quote of the Day:

At the CFI blog, Ben reminds us that, very often, things we don't understand aren't really understandable to begin with, because they're nonsense:

Too often we are embarrassed to admit that we don't understand what we are told. We don't want to appear stupid to the speaker or others in the audience. But more people should ask questions, because other people may be just as confused but not want to speak up. There is no shame in not understanding something, and it's a good lesson to remember. Asking for clarification not only helps both the speaker and listener communicate more effectively, but is also a powerful tool in revealing bullshit.

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Original image by Shutterstock

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Comments:

#1 Randy (Guest) on Friday April 08, 2016 at 11:07pm

“other people may be just as confused but not want to speak up”

Or worse, other people are all too willing to wallow in the bull—-t.

Particularly when it comes to the courts, we can’t be content with just learning an accusation of some vague crime.  There must be specifics as to what the crime actually is, who the victim actually is, and th evidence linking it all together.  Oh, and it helps if the crime is in the past…

#2 Randy (Guest) on Friday April 08, 2016 at 11:26pm

“What if one of the women is hiding a bomb?”

Easy!  We send a university student, who will tell her that she can’t possibly be hiding a bomb, because such a possibility implies we’re racist.  In order to protect us from any latent racism (which is every bomb’s first objective, as we all know) the bomb and its maker will of course pop right out of existence.  Simple as that!  It’s quantum postmodernism.  Just listen and believe.

#3 Randy (Guest) on Friday April 08, 2016 at 11:33pm

I can’t tell what I’m more mystified by… the Vatican’s continued incompetence to even agree on basic things like whether they invited someone there… or Bernie actually trying to compartmentalize the Pope and praise only the parts he agrees with—within hours of when the Pope delivered yet another smackdown to gay couples.

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