Don’t Tell Chopra

June 8, 2015

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

This is, sadly, not a surprise: Raif Badawi's sentencing is upheld after a "review" by a Saudi court.

The New York Times calls for the military to let transgender troops to serve openly

In Skeptical Inquirer, Charles S. Reichardt and Ian A. Saari look at why evolution is rejected by highly-educated believers.

To the list of people who think that Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan is overreaching and generally unpleasant, add "Turks." His party is beaten in parliamentary elections, which NYT calls "a significant victory [for] Kurds, liberals and secular Turks."

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is charged for failing to protect children from a predatory priest. 

Ross Pomeroy reports on a novel idea, so crazy it just might work: You want to really discredit creationism? Teach it in science class

The Planetary Society's LightSail craft is finally working. Congrats, y'all!

Laurie Goodstein at NYT takes a look at the cognitive, theological, and political dissonance experienced by Evangelical Christians who don't want to be left behind by history in terms of acceptance of gays.

An earthquake in Malaysia is blamed by authorities on European tourists who got all naked on Mount Kinabalu. And now they want the tourists arrested. For causing the earthquake. With their naked. 

So, okay, um, a particle, see, doesn't, like, "decide" on its state, like, until its future-self is, kind of, um, observed, at which point, like, its past-self then, uh, kind of, then, decides. (Oh no, Chopra's going to have a field day with this.)

Snowdon to Brecon Beacons: 32 minutes by dragon. Fort Augustus to Urquhart Castle: 22 minutes by Loch Ness Monster.

Scalia: Humanity has been around for "at least" 5000 years. At least! 

Quote of the Day:

Rick Santorum, who has soooo much to learn about irony, says the Pope should leave climate science to the scientists. Fox News's Chris Wallace says to him:

Two points, if he's not a scientist, and, in fact, he has a degree in chemistry, neither are you. 

That's one point. The second point is, somewhere between 80% and 90% of scientists who have studied this say that humans, men -- human activity, contributes to climate change. so, I guess the question would be, if he shouldn't talk about it, should you?   

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Original image: Maximum Mitch / Foter / CC BY-SA

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#1 Randy on Tuesday June 09, 2015 at 4:40am

There’s a reason Chopra is going to have a field day with that article, and it’s because of sheer nonsense like this:

“reality does not exist if you are not looking at it”

Well, what is “looking”?  It’s a bunch of matter responding to light (or other output).  That matter don’t have to be “you”, don’t have to be human, don’t have to be alive, and don’t have to be “looking”.

When scientists say stupid stuff to get into media, they have only themselves to blame for Chopra.

Now this:

“You can see the effect yourself when shining a light through two narrow slots”

No, you can’t.  Please show me the Walmart where I can purchase a single-photon flashlight, and single-photon detector.  The explanation by is simply an interference pattern, a wave, without any particle behavior whatsoever.  That’s not duality.

And then:

“an image of a photon as both a wave and a particle for the first time.”

Nope.  At least, that’s not in any way that a reader could possibly see.  Scientists: if you’re going to dazzle us with how bright you are, you need to actually communicate to humans in our own language.  It’s hard.  But if you can’t do it, you’re not as smart as you think, and frankly you’re not as valuable as a scientist as you think.  We’ll defund you if we think you’re just masturbating.


“A future event causes the photon to decide its past”

Really?  First, they just told me the experiment was on atoms, not photons.  Then suddenly a photon can “decide” things?  No.  The cause is simply further ahead in the time dimension than the effect is.  The effect does not “decide” to happen.  It is caused.  This is unusual, but ought not be surprising.  (By the way, this really melts the “first cause” argument people).

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