It’s Going to Be Worse

June 22, 2016

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

Yesterday we announced a big change to our membership program, a change that makes things way easier and more, like, cosmic. Marc Kreidler from our web team made this awesome graphic which really justifies the whole thing. 

Naga Munchetty of BBC's Sunday Morning Live interviews Richard Dawkins (who's looking so much better) about how he came to reject religion, the means by which he criticizes belief, and mortality. Also of note: Dawkins was serious about not matching his socks. #revolution

Donald Trump, speaking to a meeting of evangelical leaders, openly questions Hillary Clinton's Christianity, saying that there's "nothing out there" about her religious beliefs or practices (not true at all), and claims to be concerned about Christianity being sold "down the tubes":

It's going to be an extension of Obama, but it's going to be worse because with Obama you had your guard up, with Hillary you don't. And it's going to be worse. 

Seriously, what the hell is up with all these atheist and ex-Muslim pages and accounts being taken down by Facebook? Seriously. 

Pakistani TV personalities Hamza Ali Abbasi and Shabbir Abu Talib are booted off the air for discussing blasphemy, whether the government can decide who is and isn't a Muslim, and generally for "broadcasting unprofessional and irresponsible discussions on sensitive matters."

David Koepsell explores the extra-legal role of ostracism and shunning in the pursuit of law, order, or social justice. 

Ben Radford interviews comedian Ian Harris for Skeptical Inquirer. (I give Harris props for coining the excellent terms "doctorologist" and "scientographer.")

Ben also reviews The Conjuring 2, which he says unneccesarily lionizes the scientographers/ghost hunters, and, "The hoaxing in the real-life case was so obvious, in fact, that the screenplay had to deal with it." Not well, apparently.

AND Ben also gets a mention in this NYT piece about the cryptid-enthusiast publication, The Fortean Times

Remember the parents whose toddler son died of meningitis because they refused to give him actual medical attention, and instead gave him maple syrup and whatnot? They're blaming the emergency ambulance crew for not using the correct devices to save their son. You'll be shocked shocked shocked to hear that the couple told this to the producer of the film Vaxxed, and claim to believe themselves to be victims of a government conspiracy. Why not, right?

Texas textbooks, Francis Collins, Facebook atheists and more are in the latest Dawkins Foundation newsletter

Carol Costello at CNN seems not to buy into Ken Ham's crap.  

Jeffrey Tayler at Quillette does a lengthy defense of Ayaan Hirsi Ali against her detractors on the left:

So-called progressives who denigrate Hirsi Ali for criticizing a faith they themselves do not profess traduce reason and every ideal of the Enlightenment, to say nothing of common sense.  Theirs is not a principled opposition, but, rather, either a stance based on confusion or a cowardly retreat from uncomfortable truths about absolutist Islamic doctrines engendering violence and oppression, a retreat made under cover provided by assassins — the very assassins who imperil Hirsi Ali. Most likely, it is both. 

Minnesota Public Radio profiles the fruitless Bigfoot hunting of Michael Hexum, who thinks he saw the beast when he was 14, and has been waiting ever since. "Bigfoot hunters are undeterred by the lack of scientific proof to back up the legends," writes John Enger. 

The sea monster on Google Earth? It's a rock

Angels are from Mars, which makes sense, since Venus is a lot like hell. 

Quote of the Day:

State Rep. Brian Sims of Pennsylvania speaks against a bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks, referring to himself as "an attorney, as a civil rights advocate, and as a legislator that has sworn to uphold the Constitution and not the Bible or any other religious document": 

As Congressman Barney Frank so eloquently put, “If you don’t have a seat at the table, you are probably on the menu.” Once again, Mr. Speaker, we are confronted with the reality that in a state that is a majority of women, this legislature body that is 82% male will be once again putting women on the menu. ... How could any person charged with upholding the laws of our civil nation believe it to be their duty to subvert those laws and replace them with their own personal interpretation of their own religious ideology?    

This law passed overwhelmingly, of course, but is unlikely to be signed by the governor. 

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Comments:

#1 Jim Linville (Guest) on Wednesday June 22, 2016 at 8:40am

Oh Noes! There’s a rock monster in the sea!

#2 Randy (Guest) on Wednesday June 22, 2016 at 11:15am

“the fruitless Bigfoot hunting of Michael Hexum,”

They should seek the help of Jane Goodall.  She’s a believer, so maybe she can improve the tracking.

#3 Randy (Guest) on Wednesday June 22, 2016 at 11:20am

“doctorologist” and “scientographer.”

The truthiness is strong.

#4 Randy (Guest) on Wednesday June 22, 2016 at 11:33am

“what the hell is up with all these ... pages and accounts being taken down by Facebook”

Fixed it.  This isn’t a problem just of atheists and ex-Muslims.  Many unpopular movements have had their pages removed.  Conservatives, for example, are among the current victims. 

Facebook should be regulated as the utility it obviously is, and should be required not to censor anything whatsoever, for any reason.  It shouldn’t be in the censorship business, creating an expectation that the internet will be censored.  (Competitor Google is also now probably the largest censor on the internet)

Fortunately, the next internet will solve this problem, and finally end some corrupt business models.

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