Amelia the Badass

November 2, 2016


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

The D.C. Death with Dignity Act, which we supported, passes 11-2. If you reached out to your councilperson, Washingtonians, thank you. Mayor Muriel Bowser is expected to sign it. I should note, however, that Congress has ultimate say over the District, so if they decide to make this a thing, out it goes.

Pope Fluffy pats godless Sweden on the back for taking in asylum seekers, and then puts the kibosh on the idea that women could ever be ordained in his oh-so-fluffy church.

Kelefa Sanneh at The New Yorker profiles the Southern Baptist Convention’s Russell Moore, and his embrace of a “marginal” identity for Christians living in “an increasingly hostile secular culture.” Not so sure that we seculars have had the monopoly on hostility, Russ. 

Vox’s Julia Belluz, who I just HAPPENED to have bestowed a very IMPORTANT award upon, looks at whether one’s “perfect diet” can be surmised from one’s DNA, as is promised by the “personalized nutrition” company Habit:

John Mathers, the director of the Human Nutrition Research Center at Newcastle University, also noted that the lack of evidence behind nutrition companies makes them dubious. “I am skeptical about many of these products because of the slender — or nonexistent — scientific basis for them,” he said. 

Amelia Earhart may have been even more badass than we thought: A skeleton found long ago on the island of Nikumaroro is evidence that Earhart did not die in her plane crash, but survived for days or maybe even months as a castaway. Said aircraft recovery specialist Ric Gillespie, “We believe she survived heroically, and alone, for a period of time, in terrible circumstances. History needs to tell her story right.” No anthropomorphized volley balls were recovered, however.

370 economists sign on to a letter decrying Donald Trump for “magical thinking and conspiracy theories”:

He misinforms the electorate, degrades trust in public institutions with conspiracy theories, and promotes willful delusion over engagement with reality. If elected, he poses a unique danger to the functioning of democratic and economic institutions, and to the prosperity of the country. 

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals is going to rehear a case wherein the Rowan County Board of Commissioners is allowed to have exclusively Christian prayers at commission meetings.

Researchers at the University of Helsinki find that the more religious or superstitious a person is, the less adept they were at other skills and comprehensions, “and the more they regarded inanimate targets as mental phenomena.” I dunno, sounds a lot like me.

God and Ron at Yale: CFI president Ron Lindsay will debate “Christian Left” journalist Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig at the Yale Political Union on November 15. 

At the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico lies the Jacuzzi of Despair. Sounds like my kind of brine pool. 

Quote of the Day

Mostly unrelated to skepto-atheism, but stirring nonetheless. Chelsea Manning wants you to vote, even though she can’t. 

Disenfranchisement and legal exclusion – whether by race, gender, class, immigration status, or otherwise – from our democratic institutions is one of the most significant failures of American society today.

One of the most contentious general elections in modern US history is in front of us. Next Tuesday, if, instead of making your way to the booth, you decide to go shopping, out for lunch or dinner, stay at home, play a video game, or whatever, just remember that many of us cannot vote but would dearly like to. While universal suffrage remains an ideal yet to be attained, if you’re lucky enough to be able to vote, don’t let that privilege go to waste.   

* * *

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