Obama’s Exaflop

August 3, 2015

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

The 2015 CFI Leadership Conference has come and gone, and it was really great. It was my fourth such event, and I really sensed the generational shift in attitudes and priorities to a degree I never had before. One highlight for me was when Michael De Dora enjoined all attendees to get on their phones to call their U.S. Senators and ask them to oppose S.1881, the bill to defund Planned Parenthood. It was so cool to see an auditorium full of young leaders contacting their lawmakers to make change. Here's the group photo

The manufactured Planned Parenthood controversy has unleashed anti-abortion zealotry that is going to bite GOP presidential candidates and legislators in the butt, says Brian Beutler at TNR. 

Ryan Koronowski reports on the president's major new initiative on climate change, the Clean Power Plan

The Center Stage podcast presents Ron Lindsay's presentation on "The Necessity of Secularism," based on his the arguments in his book of the same name.

The Boston Globe comes down against mandatory GMO labeling, because there's just no good reason:

Unlike calorie counts or allergen warnings, though, whether or not a food has come from a genetically modified source has no relationship to its health or safety. States that have mandated its inclusion next to legitimate health information are piggybacking on the credibility of food labels to imply that genetically modified foods are also a health or nutrition factor — which study after study has shown is not the case. 

Health Canada says that Nosodes homeopathic "vaccines" must come with this warning:

This product is neither a vaccine nor an alternative to vaccination. This product has not been proven to prevent infection. Health Canada does not recommend its use in children and advises that your child receive all routine vaccinations.

Bombs explode at two churches in Las Cruces, NM, but thankfully no one is hurt.  

The European Space Agency says the Philae lander has found 16 organic compounds on comet 67P, which it says are "carbon and nitrogen-rich." 

Saudi Arabia calls upon the peoples of Earth to ban criticism of religion. The peoples of Earth look at each other awkwardly, not sure how to say no without being jerks. Saudi Arabia coquettishly brandishes a barrel of oil. The peoples of Earth sigh.

While U.S. states scramble to restrict abortion, India is trying to make it easier by relaxing the qualifications for performing abortions, but doctors aren't thrilled, says Manil Suri at NYT, writing, "The real root of the tension is the government’s promotion of alternative medicine as a medically equivalent but cheaper alternative to allopathic (modern) medicine." 

At WaPo, Emily Yahr (who was obviously raised by pirates) notices that, hey, no one is asking Tom Cruise about Scientology on his Mission Impossible media blitz. Not even truth-telling-no-B.S. hero Jon Stewart. 

A fifth member of the staff of cancer-quack Stanislaw Burzynski has a complaint filed against them by the Texas Medical Board. 

Brandon Withrow at The Guardian writes of the grief one experiences when leaving a faith, with all the losses that go with it. 

Kara L. Miller gives advice to the employee of an overtly religious boss:

Your boss’s behavior to date doesn’t seem to rise to the hostile work environment level, even if it skews politically to the right of your comfort zone. But as the boss, he should be mindful of appearances. 

A New York Hasidic rabbi is acquitted of child molestation charges, but the acquitting judge is one who owes his election to the Hasidic community, so there's some weirdness. 

Natalie Emmons at Aeon explores humans' need to believe that death is not the end. (Which it is.)

Beware your use of emojis in Russia, because the gay ones could get outlawed. Two ladies holding hands would be obscene, you see, but the steaming pile of poo is ok. 

Oh, and this whole state-in-bed-with-the-church thing going on is Russia? It's not helping religion. The Economist:

The proportion of people who think religion does more good than harm to society has slumped from 61% to 36% while the share detecting more harm than good has risen from 5% to 23%. 

David A. French at National Review posits that America is becoming simultaneously more secular and more religious.

The president is all, bring on the Singularity. Not really, but he did announce a plan to build the world's fastest supercomputer, "a machine capable of performing a quintillion operations a second, or one exaflop."

Mmmm, exaflops. 

I think this anti-Planned Parenthood meme has the wrong idea. Who will save us from that cute but ferocious lion??? 

Quote of the Day:

This tweet by Randolph Carter:

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