Et Tu, Pencé?

October 6, 2016


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

Y’all will like this. Julia Belluz at Vox (who’s gonna be at CSICon!) reports on a big trial study in Uganda aimed at figuring out how best to teach kids to spot bullshit health claims:

This study could be the beginning of a recipe book for how create little armies of bullshit detectors. These bullshit detectors would, in theory, be able to tell the difference between a helpful kind of doctor and a Dr. Oz, a useful medicine and a harmful one, and whether a study was designed to give reliable answers. In a world so chock full of hogwash health advice, anything that moves us in the direction of that goal is worth paying attention to.

Speaking of bullshit health claims, this doctor says voting for Hillary Clinton is a sign of low testosterone in men.   

Tamar Wilner is back writing for CFI’s Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, this time suggesting some basic principles for how to talk about conflicts of interest in scientific studies. 

Todd Zwillich reports on Twitter about some disturbing ideas within the evangelical wing of the GOP:

PA GOP source heard from [multiple] pastors: “Evangelicals believe God is using Trump to deliver Pence to the WH, & that Trump will be eliminated.”

You can almost hear Melania saying to him:

Your wisdom is consumed in confidence.
Do not go forth today. Call it my fear
That keeps you in the house, and not your own.
We’ll send Chris Christie!  

Et tu, Pencé? 

According to the Paris climate agreements, we’re all going to try to keep global warming under a 2-degree increase. David Roberts at Vox says no way:

The actions necessary to hold to 2 degrees, much less 1.5 degrees, are simply outside the bounds of conventional politics in most countries. … It would require immediate, radical shifts in behavior worldwide, especially among the wealthy — a period of voluntary austerity and contraction. 

The UN is about to pick a new secretary-general, which will almost certainly be former Portugal Prime Minister António Guterres. After Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Kofi Annan, and Ban Ki-moon, that is by far the least fun UN secretary-general name in ages.

A bill allowing for physician-assisted suicide advances in the DC city council. 

More evil clowns, more Ben Radford consulted in the news media: National Post and the Yakima Herald.  

The Freethought Trail has more detailed information on Charles B. Reynolds, a former minister in the 19th century who was defended by Robert Ingersoll on blasphemy charges.

Tahmid Hasib Khan is cleared of any connection to the Dhaka terrorist attack in July.

Newt Gingrich is trying to stop us from spreading totalitarian secularism. JUST LET HIM TRY. <thunder crash!!!> 

Do you believe in Jesus? No? Well, do you like him anyway? This might be for you

Quote of the Day

At Boston College’s newspaper The Heights, Sajat Rabbani describes the highs and lows of becoming an ex-Muslim.

Leaving Islam has probably been the best decision of my life. What has taken its place is a more honest search for truth or truths. Art, science, and philosophy have been a much better guidance, I realized, than anything someone might have said 1,400 years ago claiming irrefutability. What it culminates in is a much greater love for life, as you finally see it as it really is, rather than through the narrow and flawed lens of religious dogma. 

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