A Dog Might As Well Speculate on the Mind of Newton

November 3, 2014

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

Bill Nye was our keynote speaker at the CFI Summit last year, and we have the audio of the first part of his presentation at our Center Stage podcast. The next big conference is happening June 2015, with keynote speaker Rebecca Goldstein.

In case you missed it, Point of Inquiry did a special Halloween extra, where new producer Nora Hurley interviews Joe Nickell, and Joe attempts our 18th annual Houdini Séance. 

Harriet Hall has an important piece in Skeptical Inquirer on allowing competent adults to refuse medical treatment on religious grounds, but to keep faith-healing as far away from children as possible.  

Ben Radford gives KOB-TV a look at the haunted history of Old Town Albuquerque, and is profiled by the Santa Fe New Mexican‘s book section. 

Who’s the “rock star of inoculations“? According to the LA Times, it’s Paul Offit of course. 

David Gorksi does a one-two punch on Ebola misinformation, one piece on alleged conspiracies by the CDC, and another on the cynical use of Ebola fear for “right to try” legislation. 

Steven Salzberg debunks some alarmist claims about the “safety” of the flu vaccine. 

The AP reports that the FAA agreed to a no-fly zone over Ferguson, MO during its protests, aimed at keeping media away

Joel Gottsegen at The Stanford Daily takes down Deepak:

Chopra should not be put on trial for simply having a fortune. Whether he should be taken to task for how he made that fortune, however, is an entirely different question.  

Speaking of Chopra, Johnjoe McFadden at Aeon looks at how quantum weirdness affects so much of life. And not in a Chopra-y way. 

John O’Sullivan has a long essay at WSJ where he at first seems to be on the right side of things, what with free expression also meaning that one has no right not to be offended, etc., and then goes a little off deep end, because, you know, something-something gays and feminists and tyranny something-something.

Eight Egyptian men “caught” by authorities in a video of a same-sex wedding get three years in prison for their “violation of public decency.”  

Mariah Blake at Mother Jones reports on the massive voter mobilization operation being used by Christian conservatives for tomorrow’s elections, filled with dire warnings of Christian persecution and references to ISIS. 

Sam Harris spars with Fareed Zakaria

CBC’s Day 6 looks at the treatment of cancer with naturopathy

Egypt’s “Religious Endowments Minister” (already off to a great start, eh?) had this to say of “zionist forces”

Speaking with Al-Hayat TV, an Evangelical Arabic-language television station, Mohammed Mokhtar Gomaa said “colonial Zionist forces” support “atheists and atheism and finance homosexuals and homosexuality.”

Wow, that sounds pretty great to me! And I had no idea that’s what “zionist” meant. I need to read my internets more.

The Art of Manliness explains the benefits of bloodletting. Wait, what? 

Brittany Maynard is gone.

Quote of the Day

Charles Darwin, after publication of On the Origin of Species:

I am bewildered.—I had no intention to write atheistically. But I own that I cannot see, as plainly as others do, & as I shd. wish to do, evidence of design and beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent & omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice. Not believing this, I see no necessity in the
belief that the eye was expressly designed. On the other hand, I cannot be contented to view this wonderful universe, and especially the nature of man, & to conclude that everything is the result of brute force. I am inclined to look at everything as resulting from designed laws, with the details, whether good or bad, left to the working out of what we may call chance. Not that this notion at all satisfies me. I feel most deeply that the whole subject is too profound for the human intellect. A dog might as well speculate on the mind of Newton.—Let each man hope and believe what he can.

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