Ode to Bolts and Screws

November 20, 2014


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

This might be the most irresponsible “news” article I’ve ever seen. The Daily Mail claims definitively that homeopathy can cure Ebola:

Homeopathy could have cured Ebola if the World Health Organisation had not stepped in to prevent a trial, according to members of a group who travelled to Liberia hoping to try out remedies including rattlesnake venom and the aphrodisiac Spanish Fly. … Organisers of the trip are still inviting donations from supporters of homeopathy – whose ranks include Prince Charles – to fund a second attempt to run an Ebola trial in Liberia. 

Tom Chivers at The Spectator pounces:

Take a moment to think about this. The newspaper is promoting the views of people who claim to be able to treat a deadly disease – a disease which kills the large majority of people it infects, a disease which is currently killing thousands of people in west Africa in the most hideous, bloody, agonising way imaginable – with purified water. … It doesn’t work, I should add. It doesn’t matter how it claims it works if it doesn’t work. 

Last week, CFI-Michigan hosted a debate between Freethought Blogs impresario Ed Brayton and Dr. Tim Schmig of the Michigan Association of Christian Schools on whether the U.S. was founded on Christianity. Video is up!

On Point of Inquiry, Josh Zepps interviews Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on life under Saddam in Iraq and his efforts to confront Islam. 

Yesterday we put out an action alert to counter the efforts of religious right activists who are pushing Congress to allow them free reign to proselytize in the military. 

Nome, Alaska might just tax its churches

Wedding photographers in San Francisco close their business rather than be forbidden from discriminating against gays, and likewise 16, yes, 16 judges have quit in North Carolina rather than perform same-sex marriages. Wow.

Norwegian alt-med practitioner is sentenced for convincing a cancer patient to quit chemotherapy

Information is Beautiful posts an infographic on which supplements are “snake oil” and which are supported by science, and, well, the whole thing looks a little fishy to me.  

Vending machines are not known for offering up healthy things to consume. For example, creationist books. 

The AHA is aiming for the Pledge again in NJ. 

NYT posts an open letter by Ashiq Masih, husband of Asia Bibi, a Christian who faces the death penalty for blasphemy in Pakistan. 

The Justice Department files complaints against “psychic” businesses alleging fraud

Ilya Somin says it doesn’t matter as far as the law is concerned whether secular humanism is referred to as a “religion”:

Discriminatory treatment of people who reject these types of religious beliefs is discrimination on the basis of religion in much the same way as discrimination against people who refuse to support any political party or ideology is discrimination on the basis of political belief.

You know how we feel about it

Oh, Magento Boy. It does get better, but this isn’t the way. 

Those rocks on Mars that are sort of formed at a right angle if you squint are obviously the ruins of an ancient castle.

Bill Nye loves fasteners:

The world would not be the same without fasteners [like bolts and screws]. I’m sure you’re familiar with that passage in “Mechanical Engineering Design,” by Joseph Shigley, where he talks about the importance of fasteners, and how we just wouldn’t have the world we have without them. It’s quite an insight. 

Quote of the Day

Herb Silverman has some advice for atheists at Thanksgiving:

If you’re asked to say the blessing, do it. Most atheists
may respectfully decline, but I think it presents a wonderful opportunity to give thanks — to the farmers who grew the food, the migrant workers who harvested them, the truck drivers who brought the food, the grocery store employees who displayed it, and the family and friends who helped prepare it. No need to mention any gods. (When invited to say some version of “grace” in a gathering of atheists and liberal religionists, I sometimes quote Bart Simpson: “Dear God. We paid for this food ourselves, so thanks for nothing.”)  

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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. 

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