We Are Not in the Fourteenth Century

November 29, 2016


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

Today is Giving Tuesday, which you probably already know due to the emails piling up in your inbox from do-gooder nonprofits like us. But make no mistake, the incoming administration is not one that is friendly to things like science, reason, facts, or free expression. We’re ready to take it on, so come and join us

At a time when millions are nostalgic for an America that probably never was, the Point of Inquiry team thought it would be a good time to rebroadcast a 2013 interview with conservative political humorist PJ O’Rourke

Trump will probably expand the DC voucher scheme. Of course. Oh and if you think Betsy DeVos is bad (Trump’s voucher-loving, maybe-Christian-dominionist Secretary of Education pick), look at the holy bullet we did manage to dodge: AP reports:

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. says President elect-Donald Trump offered him the job of education secretary, but that he turned it down for personal reasons. 

But! Dodging one bullet, we leap onto a landmine. And die. Trump’s pick for Health and Human Services is Rep. Tom Price, who among other things thinks religion justifies discrimination against LGBTQ Americans and that contraception shouldn’t be covered by insurance.  

Emily Willingham has a handy-dandy guide to distinguishing fake news from the real thing. 

HERE WE GO AGAIN: Raritan Pharmaceuticals recalls homeopathic products for kids’ teething and ear aches that, turns out, could kill them. 

At Skeptical Briefs, Alejandro Borgo takes us to Santos Lugares, Argentina, where YOU TOO can learn the skills YOU need for a NEW CAREER in “parapsychology, ‘angelology,’ and demonology.” Borgo insists, “we are not in the fourteenth century.” I’M NOT SO SURE.

Julia Belluz, a known shill for Big Gut-flora, shows that science really doesn’t yet know what to think about diet sodas and artificial sweeteners

Nature reviews a biography of Italian senator and biologist Elena Cattaneo, “scourge of pseudoscience.” 

Mental health scientists at the University of Exeter consider the benefits of Santa-belief for kids, comparing it to the adult fandom for Star Wars and Harry Potter.

Bigfoot comes to South Texas. Says believer Baldemar Galvan (what an amazing name, which I assume is from his D&D character sheet):

People have actually seen it and believe it. Right now scientists don’t believe that an animal like this exists. But there have been other species that they have now just found that they thought were extinct. 

Quote of the Day:

UPDATE: The 2011 tweet was fake. I was fooled. I am sorry. 

Context first. Here’s an example of Trump’s opposition to dissent – a tweet from this morning by the President-elect:

Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!    

That’s obviously awful crap. Adam Smoot then contrasts this tweet with Trump’s 2011 tweet saying:

Burning a flag is a peaceful and respectful way for citizens of this great country to voice their displeasure. Very powerful.

And our quote of the day comes from Scott Johnson who reacts to the contrast:

“For every tweet, there is an equal and opposite tweet.” #physics 

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Photo credit: Boonlong1 via Foter.com / CC BY-ND

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