Souls Could Be at Risk

November 18, 2016

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

Washington State Sen. Doug Ericksen says protests could be considered “economic terrorism” and wants to make participating in demonstrations a felony.

Education Week looks at Trump’s voucher plan for public schools, and some states’ Blaine amendments may be one of the only roadblocks to public funding of religious schools.  

Manuel Roig-Franzia at WaPo looks at the Trump connection to Alex “Smell Like Sulphur” Jones of InfoWars, and most shocking to me was that Jones is friends with Richard Linklater.

Elizabeth Loftus, a member of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry’s executive council, is awarded the international John Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science

Francis Collins does not know if he’ll be back at NIH under a Trump administration.

Steve Rabey at the Colorado Springs Gazette cites Free Inquiry‘s big 2012 feature [subscribers only] on the tax subsidies given to churches in a piece on accountability and transparency in the way various religious institutions manage their enormous budgets.

ReThink Media launches a response to Trump’s possible Muslim registry, encouraging non-Muslims to say “#RegisterMeFirst.” 

Geoff Manaugh at Atlas Obscura visits the Basilica di San Petronio in Bologna, which also serves as a solar observatory, and explains how precise astronomical calculations have been considered crucial to the Church in marking important holy dates, because otherwise “souls could be at risk.”

Carrie Poppy does a TEDx talk on her adventures in investigating pseudoscience.

Stephen Hawkins says humans probably have about 1000 years left to make use of old Planet Earth, at which point we better have become interplanetary. 

Here’s one reason why I think 1000 years is way too generous: The North Pole is 36 degrees warmer than normal. Thirty-six. Thiiiiiirrrrrrrrty-six. 

A Missouri appeals court says that a couple’s frozen pre-embryos, put aside for the purpose of in vitro fertilization, are not to be treated as “children” in divorce proceedings, but as marital property.

Dutch skeptic blogger Pepijn van Erp is being sued by “fringe scientist” Ruggero Santilli for defamation in Florida because van Erp questioned his pseudoscientific claims about antimatter and other things.

Anna Kendrick tells Terry Gross that she used to be scared of her family being sent to Hell because of what’s in the Bible, which mirrors my own horror as a child when I first learned about all that stuff. 

Quote of the Day:

Standing beside Angela Merkel (who was reportedly “unusually sentimental”) in Berlin, President Obama said:

In an age where there’s so much active misinformation and its packaged very well and it looks the same when you see it on a Facebook page or you turn on your television. If everything seems to be the same and no distinctions are made, then we won’t know what to protect. … If we are not serious about facts and what’s true and what’s not, and particularly in an age of social media when so many people are getting their information in sound bites and off their phones, if we can’t discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems.   

* * *

Photo credit: Jon Rieley-Goddard aka baldyblogger via / CC BY-NC-ND 

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)!

News items that mention political​ candidates are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances are to be interpreted as statements of endorsement or opposition to any political candidate. CFI is a nonpartisan nonprofit.

The Morning Heresy: “I actually read it.” – Hemant Mehta