The Morning Heresy 5/29/12: Tax the Gambling Korean Monks

May 29, 2012

Your daily digest of relevant news and links from Paul Fidalgo

CFI on Campus need folks to help provide travel grants for students to be able to attend our leadership conference, and Richard Dawkins really wants you to chip in. At his site, he writes:

For the growth of secularism there is no more fertile ground than college and university campuses. The leaders who will shape not just the secular movement, but all of tomorrow’s policies and politics, our businesses and culture, are coming into their own right now. In the long term there can be no greater cause for us, who believe in science and reason, than to make sure we cultivate and nurture these leaders now, before they take their rightful places, making the future.  

Sikivu Hutchinson, recapping her Women in Secularism conference experiences, discusses the "radical challenge" for the secularism movement to make itself relevant to communities of color 

Sharon Hill at the CSI website: "Chemical" is a dirty word

Episode 7 of The Human Bible <thundercrash!> is up, and boasts that it "involves stacks of books, cucumbers, and one big false analogy."  

At Friendly Atheist, I do a little digging on Missouri's Right-to-Pray amendment, and find some hidden ugliness 

Kylie Sturgess unveils the latest Token Skeptic podcast, with a slew of interviews from the World Skeptics Congress

Sam Harris posts his full debate with security expert Bruce Schneier, and it's excellent 

Sam Brownback signs into law a ban on using Sharia as the basis for court decisions in Kansas. Well thank goodness. 

Adam Lee picks out nine important freethinkers from history

High School senior Max Nielson challenges the school's graduation prayer, where there has already been quite a lot of tumult over modernity   

California's taxpayers foot the bill for the churchifying of would-be gangstas 

Mark Misulia of First Things, bouncing off my quote in the Religion & Politics Reason Rally article, snarks at atheists:

It’s at least hard to see how one could be very enthusiastic about a movement whose highest aspiration is the demise of many others. 

No it's not, not when those other movements are so regressive and harmful. I have no problem mustering enthusiasm for that. 

Leo Igwe in Sahara Reporters:

Personally I have yet to hear it proclaimed at UN, or at our regional and national human rights bodies that the rights of atheists, agnostics and freethinkers are human rights.  

Paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey: Evolution will soon win mass acceptance:

If we're spreading out across the world from centers like Europe and America that evolution is nonsense and science is nonsense, how do you combat new pathogens, how do you combat new strains of disease that are evolving in the environment? 

AFP: Lady Gaga bails on Indonesia concert after slew of death threats, concerns about safety of concert-goers 

AHA's Matthew Bulger rounds up the state constitutions that bar atheists from holding public office 

I've never heard of a mythical Australian monster called the Yowie, but apparently it's been recorded by some TV show or something 

American Atheists' Dave Silverman takes to RT's Alyona Show to broadly discuss the movement (hat tip Hemant

Fox affiliate does a piece on Albany Georgia Atheists 

Thomas Patrick Melady and Richard Cizik in WaPo:

As a Catholic who served as U.S. ambassador to Uganda and an evangelical Christian who has traveled throughout Africa, we believe it’s time for more U.S. faith leaders to speak out against systematic efforts to demonize gay Ugandans before it’s too late. 

Charleston paper praises Herb Silverman's book, says he "doesn't seem very extreme." 

In the wake of gambling and embezzling scandals within churches and religions, South Korea debates taxing them  

Seth Graeme-Smith's new novel Unholy Night, about the evil murderous "three wise men," gets a very bloody trailer (hat tip Brianne)

Paul Thagard in PsychToday tries to define pseudoscience 

NYT rolls its eyes at Animal Planet:

All over basic cable, people are searching for Bigfoot, hunting down ghosts, looking for extraterrestrials. Now, it turns out, we need to add mermaids to the list. At least we do if you take “Mermaids: The Body Found” seriously. Which you shouldn’t. 

You'd almost think that the US government didn't want atheists to honor Memorial Day

Skeptic with degrees in biochemistry and molecular biophysics says homeopathy works (This is essentially a commercial for her naturopath business dressed up like an op-ed)

Letter to the editor in Georgia paper equates Ingersoll to Limbaugh. Huh? 

Missourians freaked out by multi-colored UFO thingy (with video of said thingy)

Nobel laureate becomes a fanatical anti-vaxxer (hat tip Kylie

Aliens abduct cows! (In an iOS app) 

Quote of the Day     

Journalist Guy P. Harrison, talking about his new book 50 Popular Beliefs That People Think Are True:

I can’t ignore the fact that many millions in America and around the world waste so much time and money on irrational beliefs and unproven claims. People who are not good skeptics are more easily manipulated and exploited by businesses and politicians. They can also squander their health and even die prematurely. In my view, skepticism is a moral issue.
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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