Gott Mit Uns

January 17, 2014

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

Are people still trying to find the geographical Eden? As philosopher Belinda Carlisle once said, "Ooh, baby, do you know what that's worth? Ooh, heaven is a place on earth." 

Public schools in Florida (of course) allow the distribution of Bibles by Christian groups on Religious Freedom Day. Meanwhile, a Florida city council chamber has got a Bible on display, which FFRF has a problem with.

As with any conflict, during the Great War, everyone had the same contention for their side of the fight: “Gott mit uns.” 

Man in Switzerland gets lead poisoning when taking an alt-med pill that he thought contained the hair of a dead Bhutanese priest. What? 

What is up with mass-faintings among Cambodia's garment workers? Julia Wallace at NYT:

A worker started barking commands in a language that sounded like Chinese and, claiming to speak in the name of an ancestral spirit, demanded offerings of raw chicken. None were forthcoming, and more workers fell down. Peace, and production, resumed only after factory owners staged an elaborate ceremony, offering up copious amounts of food, cigarettes and Coca-Cola to the spirit. 

Tom Jacobs at Pacific Standard reports that new research suggests that science denialism does "not follow any predictable or consistent political lines," which is a surprise.  

Inside Higher Ed covers friend-of-the-blog Dan Fincke and his new online-professor enterprise. 

Legislator in Idaho looks to curb the problem of parents relying on faith-healing for their kids. 

CFI-DC's Simon Davis updates us on the blasphemy case of Greece's Philippos Loizos, who poked fun at a long-dead Orthodox monk: Loizos is getting a 10-month suspended sentence for “insulting religion.” 

UN report says that we're all taking so long to confront climate change that we're all essentially double-screwed.  

Perhaps looking for fewer fights, Chris Christie never mentions vouchers in his State of the State address. 

Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences tests psychic powers, and well you can guess how it came out. 

Clay Jones and Grant Ritchey at Science-Based Medicine: "Don’t be afraid of fluoride." 

France's UN envoy says the seething, deep-seated hatred between Muslims and Christians in the Central African Republic was way worse than they thought, and THAT is saying something.

You, everyone you know, and everything else in the universe, is math. No wonder I'm having so much trouble.

The A-Unicornist rounds up eight "totally non-polemic" books to make you a better heathen. 

There is a resolution in the Michigan legislature to declare a "Catholic Schools Week." Ugh. Side note: In this bill I learn that Michigan's constitution says that “Religion, morality and knowledge [are] necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind." Ugh ugh.

Quote of the Day

Religious Freedom Day isn't really all it's cracked up to be, being hatched mainly by anti-separationist Christian groups. Elizabeth Drescher would like you to remember that:

However forcefully aggression against religions must surely be condemned in the U.S. and around the world, it hardly seems that the “freedom” the sponsors and supporters of U.S. Religious Freedom Day call for will mean much unless aggression by religions is also a focus of civil, religious, and academic action. 

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#1 Randy (Guest) on Friday January 17, 2014 at 2:48pm

“You, everyone you know, and everything else in the universe, is math”

No.  We might as well say we’re all made of English.

Math is a nice approximation of observed phenomena.  But that’s all it is.

Further, I suspect that if we knew much about how the universe really worked, we wouldn’t be having all this trouble unifying quantum theory and relativity.

#2 Mario (Guest) on Friday January 17, 2014 at 6:56pm

“You, everyone you know, and everything else in the universe, is math. No wonder I’m having so much trouble.”

You are?  My, my, then you’re part of the problem.

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