The Morning Heresy 8/27/12: The Impossible Wrongness

August 27, 2012

Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

After a week or so of all-Atheism+-all-the-time, CFI chief Ron Lindsay takes a step back and a deep breath, giving a careful, reasoned look at this burgeoning idea.

Check out HuffPost Live today at 1pm EST to see Ron join the panel to talk about doing good without God in everyday life.  

Is Moby a CFI fan? Kinda looks that way

You're going to want to track this circus - the CSI Paranormal Roadtrip has just been announced.

From October 20-25, Richard Wiseman, Jon Ronson, and Rebecca Watson are going on a paranormal road trip from Buffalo, NY, to Nashville, TN, in time for CSICon. Along the way, they'll be visiting weird spots chosen by you! 

CFI's Debbie Goddard joins a Google Hangout panel on the whole A+ thing. I don't think there's any shouting. 

(Note to Google Hanger-Outers. I have a webcam and a computer and a fancy-pants title in the skepto-atheosphere. I am available for Internet opining. You know, if you're interested.)  

Doubtful News is one year old! And still as adorable as the day it was born. Happy birthday! Now show me your birth certificate.

(Also, today my daughter Phoebe is one month old. How time flies!)

Meanwhile! Mitt Romney, once hesitant to dip his toe into Birther waters, now clumsily dunks his foot.  

Ars Technica reviews The Rocks that Don't Lie, a book that uses geology to blow apart the notion of Noah and the Flood. Reviewer Scott K. Johnson calls this creationist account "the impossible wrongness of thinking a global flood is a plausible explanation for the complexities in Earth’s crust."

Also in books, Ron Lindsay cryptically reviews The Atheist's Guide to Reality:

For those of you who think this review is unfair, that’s just your fermions and bosons talking. 

(Russell Blackford then comments, "You liked it, then?") 

WSJ: Dr. Yoram Hazony refutes the idea that religion is about rejecting independent thought:

Almost every major hero and heroine of the Hebrew Bible is depicted as independent-minded, disobedient, even contentious. . . . But aren't these biblical figures just disobeying human institutions in response to commands from on high? Not at all. Very often the disobedience we see in Hebrew Scripture is initiated by human beings with no word from God at all.  

Russians arrest zombies.  

New Hampshire law allows insurance to cover "naturopathic" treatments

Hemant uses the "broken windows" theory as one basis for fighting even minor church-state violations: "We’ll go after any instance of it, even if it seems petty to you." 

Via Kate DonovanWSJ and Army Times tackle West Point's overt religiosity. 

Wired: Todd "Legitimate" Akin isn't the only problem. He's on the House Science Committee, and it's full of folks like him

Texas conservatives freak out about electric meters that will, obviously, help the government read their thoughts or something. 

Surly Amy's art and activism are profiled in SciAm. 

GOOD magazine looks at the intense social pressure some atheists feel to keep their nonbelief under wraps. 

Phil Zuckerman and Dan Cady in HuffPo:

Evangelicals don't exactly hate Jesus -- as we've provocatively asserted in the title of this piece. They do love him dearly. But not because of what he tried to teach humanity. Rather, Evangelicals love Jesus for what he does for them.  

In a short video, Julia Sweeney discusses how she deals with death as an atheist.

That dog looks a little haggard. It therefore must be a chupacabra. 

College atheists: You have been studied

As the GOPers get ready for their big convention this week, I think we can see why those family values devotees chose the site they did. RNS:

A 2006 study showed Tampa to have the third most strip clubs per capita in the U.S.  

Taking Mormonism into consideration, Lawrence Krauss has comforting words for Mitt Romney:

Even if he does not win this election and with it the opportunity to govern the most powerful nation on Earth, he is guaranteed one day to rule over, not over merely an individual country, but an entire planet.  One can only hope that in his case, it won’t be a gas giant.  

Quote of the Day

On the passing of the great Neil Armstrong, Charles P. Pierce at Esquire:

It’s very likely that there will not be a living human being who knows what Neil Armstrong knew. It will all be for videotape and digital libraries, for historians and, if we’re very lucky, for poets, as well. But there will be nobody alive who actually knows. Not a single one of our fellow humans, anywhere on the Earth. That knowledge will be as dead in the world as Columbus is. One fewer person on the Earth was able to look up at the moon on Sunday night. What he thought when he looked at, night after night, is a perspective lost to all but eight old men. Sooner or later, there will be none of them left. On that day, like today, we should mourn for what we once thought we were. From that day forward, I fear, it is all going to sound like myth and magic, and the tales that the old men told around the ancient fires. 

Bonus Quote of the Day      

At CSI, Rebecca Watson helps us understand the miracle chocolate Xoçai, and also how to pronounce it!

It’s "show-sigh," as in "SHOW me the evidence that this candy bar can do what you claim" and "SIGH, I guess I’ll see myself out." 

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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