A Toddler’s Conception of Time and Space

January 29, 2014

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

Members of the Reality-Based Community™ were heartened to hear President Obama declare that "climate change is a fact" so strongly at the State of the Union last night. Eugene Robinson wants us to start girding our loins for the inevitable:

President Obama, who understands the science, should use his executive powers as best he can, not just to reduce carbon emissions but also to prepare the country for confronting the environmental, political and military hazards of a warmer world. 

CFI's Triumvirate of Legal Awesomeness™ (Nick Little, Ron Lindsay, and Eddie Tabash) files an amicus brief with the Supreme Court on the big Hobby Lobby/contraceptive mandate case, telling the court that allowing a special religious exemptions for employers like Hobby Lobby violate the Constitution and place onerous burdens on workers. My favorite part of our press release:

“The burden on Hobby Lobby and these other companies is nonexistent,” said CFI’s legal director, attorney Nicholas Little. “Health care benefits are part of an employee’s compensation, so employers who object to employees’ use of health care benefits to obtain contraception are no more burdened than a Mormon employer whose workers use their salary to buy coffee.” 

Meanwhile, Karl Seigfried of The Norse Mythology Blog gets into a back and forth with Hobby Lobby itself on Twitter. 

Atheist blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider of Bangladesh is "hacked to death," and seven students and a cleric are charged. 

Kathy Cannon at the AP looks at the use of blasphemy laws in Pakistan against unpopular minorities.

Josh Zepps managed to lure a writer from The Daily Show to be on Point of Inquiry. I don't know what promises were made, and I don't want to know. The guest this week is J.R. Havlan.

Oh, you know kids. They think they're going to live forever. No really, they literally do think they're going to live forever

Isaac Saul: I'm an agnostic, and you probably aren't

Fairly good roundup at FoxNews.com of various cold remedies, wherein the alt-med ones get the skeptical eye they deserve (though maybe not as skeptical as we'd like). 

Marc Bennetts notes that Putin is trying to flip the old Cold War dichotomy: Russia is now the Christian nation, and the West is godless. 

On February 4, join your friendly neighborhood skeptics and humanists at the CFI mothership in Western New York to see the big Bill Nye-Ken Ham debate

A theater in Petersborough, Ontario is putting on a play about Robert Ingersoll being resurrected, and is kind of ticked off about it. 

Diana Butler Bass writes that President Obama is forging a "new civil spirituality" for the country, to replace the waning "civil religion" of the 20th century. 

R.R. Reno at First Things says secularism is not a big threat to faith, but piety is threatened by "the sovereignty of desire" which is "a rival vision of human flourishing."  

First of all, they actually have debates for candidates running for lieutenant governor. Second of all, in Texas, all the GOP candidates want to make sure Texas kids are taught creationism is public school. Silly candidates, then they should be running for the board of education!

Rolling Stone's hot new star is Pope Fluffy. Did I say Pope Fluffy? I meant Super Pope!

Ben Radford has a post at Discovery News on the motivations for self-immolation, or as he put it to me, "the pros and cons." 

Christian "church" and Christian "cults" collide in Texas, in a harrowing and sad set of tales in Texas Monthly

Joseph Laycock lends some skepticism to the idea that Satantists stole Pope John Paul II's blood

When a public school won't display an ad for Jesus tattoos, it's tyranny. 

I haven't watched this, but the Daily Mail apparently has video of a creepy Indiana house with "Satanic" things going on and monsters and whatnot. Paging Joe Nickell. 

American Atheists goes to the Superbowl, sort of. 

Google finds a Moon colony. No, I'm kidding. Ok but what is that

Very minimalist design to this educational website, HowDoVaccinesCauseAutism.com

Quote of the Day

More from Mr. Robinson, also quoted above:

The rallying cry of the denialists — “It’s really cold outside, so global warming must be a crock!” — can be taken seriously only by those with a toddler’s limited conception of time and space. They forget that it’s winter, and apparently they don’t quite grasp that even when it’s cold in one part of the world, it can be hot in another.

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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. 

Follow CFI on Twitter: @center4inquiry 

Got a tip for the Heresy? Send it to press(at)centerforinquiry.net! 

The Morning Heresy: "I actually read it." - Hemant Mehta


#1 Mario (Guest) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 at 1:07pm

Robinson: “They forget that it’s winter, and apparently they don’t quite grasp that even when it’s cold in one part of the world, it can be hot in another.”

Inform Eugene that the chief denialist error is judging long-term warming trends by the events of a single season, a la George Will.

Love the “coffee” line in the press release.  (A genuinely amusing line from the secular set?  Must be the End Times!)  But why did it take you guys so long to reach a conclusion we liberals reached many months ago?  Just asking.  Do logic-and-reason aces take longer than we mere mortals to figure out the blatantly obvious?

#2 Veronica Abbass on Friday January 31, 2014 at 4:58am

Re: A theater in Petersborough, Ontario is putting on a play about Robert Ingersoll being resurrected, and is kind of ticked off about it.

It’s “Peterborough” Ontario and the link directs back to the Morning Heresy.

Theater is spelled “theatre” in Canada.

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