Pop Star Seeks Person to Stare at Sky for Aliens

September 4, 2013

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

Today, the Massachusetts Supreme Court hears arguments in its big Pledge of Allegiance case, which will be streamed live. CFI has submitted an amicus brief, and you can read Ron Lindsay's explanation of our position here

IHEU gathers thoughts from various prominent seculars on the unbearable question what to do, if anything, about Syria, which includes a contribution from our own Michael De Dora. 

Jason Torpy of MAAF reports that Southern Baptists are recalling their military chaplains because (gasp) they have to work around gay people and in a military that's okay with gay people.  (I've gotten some clarification on this point, and I described this poorly. Apologies.)

Southern Baptists are advising chaplains not to perform services with anyone who "practices or affirms a homosexual lifestyle."

Steven Pinker gets the Richard Dawkins Award at the Atheist Alliance of America convention, and here Dawkins sings his praises

NYT did a whole section on science education (including yesterday's bit on Eugenie Scott), which also has a piece by the awesome Natalie Angier (who wrote this awesome book) on the ongoing dearth of women in science, as well as a look at students doing battle in schools against bad science.  

American Atheists' Amanda Knief is coming to visit CFI-DC to talk about her new book on citizen lobbying on October 13.  

Comic-musician Roy Zimmerman will strum with CFI-Indiana on September 18. You can buy tickets here

Indonesian Muslim clerics want the Miss World pageant to be held in the country canceled, and the Islamic Defenders Front vows to stop it no matter what. 

There exists a federally-funded program that compensates folks who may have had problems related to vaccinations, which does happen sometimes. But of course, this means that vaccines cause autism. Wait. 

Herb Silverman: Maybe it wouldn't hurt for both believers and nonbelievers alike to check our arrogance

Pop star Rihanna (I am old so I don't really know who that is) apparently pays someone to watch for UFOs. And they say there's an unemployment crisis. 

Ben Radford notes early alchemists were looking to discover the "philosopher's stone," or as American alchemists called it, the "sorcerer's stone." (I'm kidding.) 

New conspiracy theories about the UK government taking out Princess Diana emerge, because I guess it's still the late 90s. 

Religion scholar Raphael Lataster alerts us to a new book of his just made available on several ebook formats: there was no Jesus, there is no God: A Scholarly Examination of the Scientific, Historical, and Philosophical Evidence & Arguments for Monotheism

Quote of the Day

Emily Willingham, in a comment on her own blog, responds to another commenter who pulls out the "scientism" canard:

Science is not a belief system. It is the study the natural world. If we’re going to explain phenomena with any kind of evidence base, that evidence base will come from science, the study of the natural world. That’s not dogma. It’s just rational. You can try to distill it to dogma or claim that people who ground arguments in reality and scientific evidence are being religious in their way, but that doesn’t change the fundamental rationality of the statement. It’s not authoritarian to be rational, and it’s not a belief system to rely on evidence. Belief inherently requires a lack of evidence, and calling it “scientism” doesn’t make it a belief system but certainly is redolent of bitter grapes from those who ascribe to less supportable ways of describing the world.  

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Linking to a story or webpage does not imply endorsement by Paul or CFI. Not every use of quotation marks is ironic or sarcastic, but it often is. 

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