It is a Tale Told by an Acupuncturist

November 13, 2015


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

Religion News Service publishes an op-ed by me on the Bangladesh crisis, and how religious groups ought to join us in trying to stop the killings, that is if they sincerely care about a literally mortal threat to religious freedom (and Washington Post is also running it):

We in the American secular humanist community are doing all we can to save lives and change the course of events in Bangladesh, from the grass roots to the halls of American and international diplomatic power. We have done the same in the past, passionately and proudly, when conservative Christian groups asked for help supporting their fellow believers, like Asia Bibi in Pakistan and Meriam Ibrahim in Sudan. But we can only do so much. Our resources and reach are limited, and frankly dwarfed by those of American churches and conservative Christian organizations. So we’re asking for their help. 

We got an excellent report from CFI–Kenya’s George Ongere about Ron Lindsay’s visit this week, where he helped launch their Humanist Orphans Center:

Members of CFI–Kenya were glad to learn that Ron Lindsay was visiting Kenya and was looking forward to launching the center. True to that, Ron’s presence made the occasion special because the orphans felt encouraged by his speech and by distributing new uniforms. 

Newsweek has a big cover story on the CIA and its reported dabblings with psychics, which features commentary from Ray Hyman and cites some history with CSICOP (which is now CFI’s Committee for Skeptical Inquiry).

The UK’s NHS might ban homeopathy from being prescribed by physicians because, you know, it’s entirely fake. 

The FDA has released a list of companies who are selling straight-up fake remedies for truly serious conditions. The Society for Science-Based Medicine writes:

All companies had, and were told to remove, cancer treatment and cardiovascular disease claims. Some companies made claims for their products’ effectiveness in treating infectious diseases: HIV/AIDS, influenza virus H3N2, herpes, malaria, hepatitis, pneumonia and TB. Other diseases included Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, asthma, diabetes, glaucoma and macular degeneration.

Superstitious beliefs are really sticky, even more smartypants folks like us, according to new research at the University of Chicago. Jane Risen tells us:

Even when the conditions are all perfect for detecting an error — when people have the ability and motivation to be rational and when the context draw attention to the error — the magical intuition may still prevail.

A Catholic church in Buffalo seems to have a pro-same-sex marriage sign, but no, that’s not what they meant. 

“Facilitated communication” with the profoundly disabled still doesn’t work, and yet, here we are. David Auerbach at Slate reports on the practice’s creep into public schools

The web comic Carbon Dating is closing up shop, which is a bummer. 

Block out your vacation days now, folks. The Ken Ham Noah’s Ark theme part is going to open, allegedly, on July 7

Quote of the Day:

Mark Crislip waxes Shakespearean about “studies” showing the efficacy of acupuncture:

It is a tale

Told by an acupuncturist, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing. 

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Original images by Shutterstock

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