Now, I’m Not an Atheist, But I Play One on TV

June 3, 2013

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

Massimo Pigliucci notes CFI's opposition to Rep. Lamar Smith's transparent attempts to gut science funding, and gives a little credence to Smith's "guidelines" in the abstract. 

John F. Burns at NYT on the grief and angst over the broad daylight slaying of Lee Rigby in London by Islamic extremists. 

Recovery Recovering from Religion launches the Hotline Project, a way for folks with religious doubts to find someone to talk to about it. 

LARB reviews The Science Silence of Animals by John Gray, which posits that "faith in progress," as with any religion, "is a superstition we should do without."

Pew study shows that one good way to ease tensions between Islam and the West is to get more Muslims on the Internet.

Add Pope Francis to the list of people Bill Maher thinks is secretly an atheist

Robby Bensinger at the On Campus blog writes about his group's discussions concerning whether to have women-only events

Paris-based company to test a new Borg-like artificial heart that combines biology and technology. Can I just get one now? 

Raymond Tallis, who apparently wears red hats and scarves because why not, says science is in big trouble when it comes to the big questions:

The attempt to reconcile its two big theories, general relativity and quantum mechanics, has stalled for nearly 40 years. Endeavours to unite them, such as string theory, are mathematically ingenious but incomprehensible even to many who work with them. This is well known. A better-kept secret is that at the heart of quantum mechanics is a disturbing paradox – the so-called measurement problem, arising ultimately out of the Uncertainty Principle – which apparently demonstrates that the very measurements that have established and confirmed quantum theory should be impossible. 

Yeah well tell that to Eric Weinstein, a mathematical physicist who now does hedge funds, who thinks he can tie it all up.  

"Ghost hunter" Nick Duffy wants his field of investigation to tone down the theme park aspects:

Our aim investigation-wise was always to be objective, we didn’t want to get carried away. We would just go into places and do a stakeout. No psychics, no EMF meters, we have no use for all of that. These days, people have those things for novelty value. It impresses people, but it’s not worth much. 

Archaeopteryx, you might still be the first bird

Toothpaste for Dinner learns to stop hating other religions. 

Herb Silverman finds it odd that the religious are worried about belief in "superstition." 

I posit that the skepto-atheosphere could benefit from aping Montaigne

American Humanist Association goes after a religious veterans' memorial in California. 

"One small step fuhrr man." Armstrong didn't screw up, and neither did the transmission. That's just how Ohioans talk

Not even Saint Patrick can explain the Trinity. And he's confused by Voltron.

Bangladeshi court gives the green light to a trial of the atheist bloggers accused of blasphemy. 

Fawaz Rob in the Dhaka Tribune argues for cooler heads in Bangladesh: "I am not an atheist, but I don’t want to hang one." 

Alternate version from John Fugelsang: "Now, I’m not an atheist, but I believe in them. I also believe in God because, hey, you gotta blame somebody."   

Affan Chowdhry in the Globe and Mail on the anti-blasphemy crisis in Pakistan:

Amending the anti-blasphemy law would go a long way in protecting minorities who make up less than 5 per cent of the population and more than 50 per cent of anti-blasphemy cases. “Whenever there is talk of amending the law … those people who are suggesting the amendment are accused of blasphemy,” said Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, executive director of the Islamabad-based Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency. 

Not believing in Satan is the gateway drug to atheism. (Good tip.)

Research indicates that colder weather equals more empathy. Global warming now has another way to make things worse. 

Quote of the Day 

James P. Marsh, a Methodist minister, will not stand up during "God Bless America" at ball games:

I love this country and don’t want to live anywhere else. But being pressured to stand up at a baseball game for a song that’s essentially a prayer seems, well, un-American. It feels like being pushed into the river for a baptism I didn’t choose. It’s an empty ritual, and one that I think doesn’t hold much theological water. 

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Linking to a story or webpage does not imply endorsement by Paul or CFI. Not every use of quotation marks is ironic or sarcastic, but it often is. 

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