Definitely Not a Pterosaur

August 21, 2015

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

In our seemingly endless struggle to get the FDA to give a darn about the flimflam that is homeopathy, CFI filed comments with the FDA urging them to put homeopathic products through the same ringer that they put real drugs through, and failing that, at least have them labeled as being unevaluated and unproven. 

Sarah Posner, reporting on the coalition of 130 groups (including CFI, y'all!) calling on the Obama administration to fix a 2007 legal memo on faith-based contractors, looks at the potential conflict brewing:

Obama’s executive order barring federal contractor discrimination based on sex and gender identity could come into direct conflict with the memo. Should the memo be used to trump that executive action, faith-based organizations could use it to discriminate in hiring, or to refuse to provide services, particularly if they object to those services, particularly reproductive health services.  

Carly Fiorina, who failed as a leader of Hewlett Packard, failed as a Senate candidate, and failed as a McCain campaign surrogate, says people of faith make better leaders. So, she's a nonbeliever, then, right??? <<rimshot>>

Josh Duggar admits to all the lying and molesting and infidelity and hypocrisy and whatnot, and blames a porn addiction. 

Reuters reports on the tough balance between getting laughs and not getting arrested or killed faced by Pakistan's comedians:

[Shehzad Ghias] Shaikh, 26, has just returned from New York and is trying to reinvigorate live comedy in Pakistan, an Islamic nation. It’s a difficult, sometimes dangerous quest. Aside from the usual financial struggles and small audiences, Pakistani comedians face harsh blasphemy laws and a barrage of death threats if their jokes offend the wrong person. 

Here's an example of why they should be scared: Three Christian men in Pakistan are arrested for using the word "prophet" to describe a pastor, under, of course, the blasphemy law. 

Apparently Christ is anti-union. Boy they can make that Bible justify anything, can't they? 

Hemant: "How the hell did a giant painting of Jesus end up in a public middle school?" Excellent question! Perhaps it simply manifested.

A dude in Kentucky digs up the grave of his 37-years-dead father so his dad can get to heaven. Although I always figured that God could get around the dirt and stuff if he really needed access.

Orlando International Airport's "reflection room" is, of course, not just for Christians, which of course means Christians are mad about Muslims and Sharia and whatever.

A piddling five U.S. House Representatives got "A" grades from the Secular Coalition for 2014, and a whopping zero Senators. (Not even Bernie???)

I really do not understand how anyone could have thought these 2000-year-old rock paintings could be depicting a pterosaur, but apparently some did, and were all "and therefore, creationism." Well, it's been figured out and they know for sure that it was not a painting of a pterosaur, but I don't think you needed experts and deciphering and whatnot to tell. Because that looks nothing like a pterosaur. At all. In the least.  

NASA says, no, actually, a giant asteroid is not going to strike Earth next month..................THAT WE KNOW OF. 

Khoi Vinh looks at the thinking that went into NASA's logos, and I learn that its current logo is referred to as the "meatball," which is AWESOME because we (or at least I) call the CFI logo the meatball! 

Witness the absurdity of this article on Bigfoot hunters in Minnesota, wherein this snippet falls under the subheading "Scientific method":

Bigfoot researchers around the country use a variety of methods in their attempts to make contact, from playing soothing flute music to broadcasting alleged bigfoot vocalizations to dispersing “sasquatch pheromones,” which Del Rio described as a cocktail of human and gorilla pheromones blended to elicit a response from an evasive cousin of the species.  

I'm trying not to think about how one procures a "cocktail of human and gorilla pheromones."

Quote of the Day:

RNS's Kimberly Winston has some lightbulb moments over what secularism means in different parts of the world, and gets to a provocative question:
 
France’s idea of secularism — which they call “laicite” — was born out of the French Revolution in 1789. Citizens were sick of the monarchy and the church being "in bed together" ... So when they threw the ruling bums out, they demanded a secular tradition that is almost anti-clerical. The government is thereby protected from religion. 

But America was settled by religious people persecuted in their home countries. But once they got here, they became intolerant of religious groups that were different from them: Maryland was founded by and for Catholics and the Puritans of Massachusetts were always expelling members who weren’t Puritan enough. ... 

I wonder what secularism in the U.S. would be like if the French Revolution had happened 15 years earlier, before the Declaration of Independence. Would we have an American laicite?     

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Original image by Shutterstock.

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