Leave the Science to the Religious and Political Leaders

June 19, 2015

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

Today's guest Morning Heretic is Stef McGraw, with the help of CFI Outreach intern Peter Wood. I don't remember where Paul is so I'm just going to assume that he's preparing to announce his candidacy in the Republican presidential race.      

I'll follow Paul's lead on this and not go for any jokes, because there really aren't any. The man who killed 9 people in the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday is being held, and his anti-black views that motivated this horrific act are pretty clear.

CFI released a statement on the Charleston shooting, making it clear that religious differences do not justify acts of violence and terror, and we stand firmly against those who deny our common humanity.

Sikivu Hutchinson of Black Skeptics also issued a statement, delving into the historical and cultural factors at play in this racially motivated act of terror.

RAWWWWR didn't everyone read the CSI statement on the use of "climate skeptics" versus "climate denialists"? Well, the "climate denialist" denialists at Politico give a run-down of some reactions to the Pope's encyclical stating that climate change is happening and that it is a moral imperative to act to stop it. 

We issued a press release on the subject, also covered by PoliticoThe Washington Post, and Science Mag pointing out the Pope's hypocrisy in saying he's committed to addressing climate change while maintaining his opposition to birth control. I'm guessing the Pope will change his mind on contraceptive use when he sees these awesome condoms created for the Pan Am Games in Toronto.

Oh, and perhaps the most spot-on commentary on this whole ordeal comes from The Onion, with the headline, "Frustrated Republicans Argue Pope Should Leave Science To Scientists Who Deny Climate Change."

CFI's Director of Outreach and resident staring contest champion Debbie Goddard is featured in a list of "8 atheist leaders actually worth listening to" compiled by Greta Christina for Salon. The piece includes a brief interview with each "atheist worth listening to," and Debbie says some smart things like, "As atheism becomes more mainstream, we’ll see more atheists who are not interested in joining organizations or local groups based solely on a shared atheist identity. The issues addressed by organized atheism will need to shift and expand in order to remain relevant."

The U.S. military is actually doing a lot to make atheists and humanists feel accepted. LOL JK Navy lawyers are standing by the rejection of a humanist chaplain.

SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT the CFI Leadership Conference is July 30–August 2 at CFI headquarters in Amherst, NY, and student and community leaders can (and definitely should) register to attend. Sorry Paul, that's what you get for letting an Outreach staffer write the Heresy for a day.

In light of Nobel laureate Tim Hunt's remarks on how "girls" in science cry too much and distract men, BBC News highlights "The women whom science forgot."

Harold R. Wilde for Time argues that liberal arts colleges, not large research universities, will produce the next great scientists. He's also professor emeritus of a small college so I'm going to be a good skeptic and be skeptical of that claim. 

Quote of the Day:

Debbie Goddard in Salon:   

I agree with the new atheists that religion should be scrutinized and criticized, and I believe critical thinking and nonreligious ethics are the foundation for building a better world, but challenging religion and promoting atheism are only one facet of my activism. The role of religion in society is complex, and atheists aren’t necessarily more ethical than religious believers, so I take an intersectional approach to atheist activism.

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Original image by Shutterstock.

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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