Misperceive, Mischaracterize, and Misremember

September 16, 2016

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

Another quick one today, because oh, me-oh my-oh, goin' to CFI–Northeast Ohio, for their big biannual conference, where they're actually going to have me talk. Big mistake.

More interviews with CSICon speakers! CSICon's website is turning into like a Fresh Air for skeptics, and Susan Gerbic is Terry Gross! This time we have science communicator and biotech enthusiast Kevin Folta

Our Office of Public Policy urges you to remind Congress of its duty to the freedoms and protections of the Constitution:

Constitution Day is the perfect opportunity for Americans who value secular government and fundamental human rights to message their lawmakers and remind them of the document that lies at the heart of American government and protects our most dearly held freedoms: freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and association.

Ella Morton at Atlas Obscura looks back the public access films produced by the 1980s UFO cult Unarius. Because someone has to.

Ben Radford takes a skeptical look at the viral social media claim that a pastor suggested shooting attendees at a high school football game who refused to stand for the National Anthem:

A survey of a dozen news stories without exception all cite a single source for the quote: one woman's attribution in a since-deleted Facebook post. The credibility of this second-hand source should give anyone pause, especially journalists, skeptics, and psychologists who are familiar with how people sometimes misperceive, mischaracterize, and misremember. 

26-year-old Chinese actress Xu Ting decides to reject modern medicine to treat her lymphoma, opting for traditional Chinese medicine like cupping and acupuncture, and died on September 7. 

That dark smudgy figure that was visible for about a third of second in a cornfield from a passing car is obviously Bigfoot

Brooklynite Aaron Akaberi was told he couldn't keep quoting Talmudic scripture at his pre-trial hearing on drug offenses, so instead of speaking them, he wore them

Recent Loch Ness Monster pictures turn out to be just seals. UNLESS THE SEALS KILLED NESSIE. #rigged 

Donald Trump Jr., chip off the old block, said this:

The media has been [Hillary Clinton's] number one surrogate in this. Without the media, this wouldn’t even be a contest, but the media has built her up. They’ve let her slide on every indiscrepancy, on every lie, on every DNC game trying to get Bernie Sanders out of this thing. If Republicans were doing that, they’d be warming up the gas chamber right now. 

Quote of the Day

Sen. Claire McCaskill on the Trump-Oz summit:

Well, isn’t that a pair? Oh, my lord. Talk about two snake oil salesmen. I mean one of them says, ‘Take a pill and you’ll be thin.' From your lips to God’s ears, wouldn’t we all love that? Not true. Not medically true. Not scientifically true. And Dr. Oz knows it, and he does it all the time. Then we've got Donald Trump, promising things that are totally not true, lying every time, almost, he opens his mouth. So I think it's a marriage made in heaven, Dr. Oz and Donald Trump.

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Comments:

#1 Randy (Guest) on Friday September 16, 2016 at 5:15pm

Seals gotta eat.  I’m just sayin’.

#2 Randy (Guest) on Friday September 16, 2016 at 5:19pm

“viral social media claim that a pastor”

Atheist social media and blogs LOVE to hear anything bad about pastors, and will circulate it out of proportion to the seriousness of the claim, and well out of proportion to the distribution of accused people in the population at large (i.e. never covering the same story when done by anyone else).

It’s a serious problem.

#3 Mario (Guest) on Friday September 16, 2016 at 7:46pm

What astonishes me is that anyone would have to point out to journalists, skeptics, psychologists, etc. that checking the veracity of a story is something that needs to be done.  Gosh, really????

“Hey, guys, you might want to check out whether or not something is, you know, true or not.”

Also, make sure your PC is plugged in before you try to use it.  Don’t try to drive on an empty tank, and be sure to refrigerate perishables.  Don’t test your firearms by pointing them at yourself and firing.  When sending a check, be sure to fill it out.  Never try to fly by flapping your arms really fast—it doesn’t work.  Rotate your wheel in the direction you want your car to turn.  To use the Enter key on your keyboard, hit the Enter key on your keyboard.  And so on.

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