19th Century Misunderstandings

May 21, 2015

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

Hey look! It's our own Michael De Dora on a religious freedom panel at the Newseum!

Transhumanist philosopher Zoltan Istvan is running for president, which spurs me to write about some of my own concerns about transhumanism

Philip Ball at Nautilus looks at the often-troublesome human equation in the practice of science

Ugandan pop singer Jemimah Kansiime has been in jail for weeks, arrested for her music video, which the AFP describes as "a music video that gives a lingering and generous focus on wet and soapy buttocks." Thanks, AFP.

Berkeley, California is afraid of cell phones. Of course they are. 

Andrew Wakefield is still trying to scare parents about vaccines

A federal judge allows student-led prayers at high school graduations, but not school-led. 

A bunch of big news outlets are reexamining or retracting a story about gay marriage attitudes that was based on fraudulent data

Deepak Chopra is....oh man, you know. Here's Valerie Strauss at WaPo, who's just had it:

Not surprisingly, his claims about the role of “consciousness” in evolution do not hold up to even cursory scrutiny. What Dr. Chopra seems to mean by his usage of “consciousness” is very broad and difficult to pin down. The word is used as if its meaning was plain, its implications undeniable, and its existence unchallengeable. Many scientists, without denying the phenomenon of consciousness, see it as a continuum, a trait which evolves, not as a trait uniquely granted to humans by some mystical force. Indeed, the idea of a unique human “consciousness” echoes 19th century misunderstandings, both the debunked notion of vitalism and the vision of biology which placed human beings at the apex of a single ladder of progress.

A Redditor meets Joe Nickell and gushes. 

Has anyone seen Dr. Corrigan? Oh, look, he's been doing LSD in a basement for 30 years. Looks like I've been duped

Quote of the Day:

Dave:

It’s beginning to look like I’m not going to get the Tonight Show.  

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Original image by Shutterstock.

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