The Type Who Walk into Traffic

August 8, 2016

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

I don't follow the Olympics, but I do stare at Twitter for unhealthy lengths of time, so I do know two things: Team USA swims real good, and somehow the pseudoscientific alt-med practice of cupping has become a thing with some of the athletes. Mark Oppenheimer tweets:

if, like the Olympians, you're cupping, are you 3 clicks from homeopathy? and are you worried about microwaves? 

Last week, we called on Mike Pence to clarify his position on the teaching of creationism (I'm sorry, ahem, "intelligent design") in public school science classes, and some of his other unscientific views that impact policy.

Reasonable Talk has a new episode with Paul Offit, where he talks about a measles outbreak that was totally preventable if not for the superstitious, pseudoscientific views of parents. No, it's not about Disneyland in 2015! It's the Philadelphia outbreak in 1991, where the problem wasn't Jenny McCarthy types, but faith healing. 

Jill Stein, meanwhile, says efforts to label her as anti-vax are a "smear." 

Oh, and this has nothing to do with skepto-atheism or anything, but this guy is apparently going to run for president as the #NeverTrump candidate. Sure, have at. 

I really liked this piece by Kevin Carey at Wired, where we learn that NASA's carefulness about not infesting alien worlds with Earth microbes impacts more than you'd think. Best example. when the Curiosity rover on Mars was mere feet away from liquid water, the instruction wasn't "go check it out," but it had to be 'get the hell away from it.'

The United States Council of Catholic Bishops (aka The Legion of Doom) chastises Joe Biden for causing "confusion" by officiating a same-sex marriage. I don't think it's Joe who's causing confusion.

I know what's really on your mind. Flossing. You know what? Grant Ritchey at the CSI website has you covered:

When someone asks me “Does flossing work?”, my response is “It doesn’t not work.”

What is going on with Facebook deleting pages that support the science of things like vaccines and GMOs?  

This is actually a thing: India's prime minister has to distance himself from the phenomenon of "vigilante cow protection" squads who violently attack Muslims and anyone else they think might have hurt a cow. 

Bangladesh radical Islamic group calls upon its followers to reject and resist both terrorism and atheism.

Remember that "alien megastructure"? Well they still don't know what it is, and a closer, longer look at "Tabby's Star" is in the works. 

Samuel Gilbert at Al Jazeera covers Roswell's UFO Festival, about which one resident says, "It's like Mardi Gras, but with aliens."

Seattle bans "conversion therapy," the fourth U.S. city to do so.  

A letter to The Atlantic tells the story of a young Christian man who can't square his religion with his discoveries about his sexual orientation:

I was a new person, and Jesus did not seem to gel with my new sense of my self. To make it easier, I broke it off cold turkey and no longer prayed or went to church. I could not take another moment of feeling shame.  

"People who aren't a little bit skeptical are the type who walk into traffic," says a guy organizing a psychics' festival

Dennis Overbye at NYT reminds us that while the Big Bang happened at a certain time (the beginning of it), it did not happen in a place, because there were no "places" before it.

So where is the center of the universe? Right here. Yes, you are the center of the universe. 

Oh, I bet you say that to all the secular nonprofit communications directors. 

Quote of the Day

Terry Vaught of Dover, FL:

 

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Title image originally by bortescristian via Foter.com / CC BY

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Comments:

#1 Randy (Guest) on Monday August 08, 2016 at 4:38pm

“My letters are so great”.

Anyone can write letters.  Do you even Tweet?

#2 Randy (Guest) on Monday August 08, 2016 at 4:45pm

“Facebook deleting pages”

Facebook deletes a lot of stuff.  It shouldn’t have that right.  This is not Facebook’s speech, nor is Facebook a judge or jury. 

The next version internet is decentralized and uncensorable.  It may not be a friendly future, but it’s the future we all deserve.  Everyone wants to censor someone.  We should all be stopped.  And we will be.

#3 Randy (Guest) on Monday August 08, 2016 at 4:53pm

It seems silly to launch a separate NeverTrump candidacy doomed to lose, when aghast Republicans have a built-in candidate in the Libertarian ticket.  Johnson and Weld were both Republican governors who faced Democratic legislatures.  Pragmatically, this is exactly what Republicans should want.

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