The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
It’s Election Day in the U.S., but it’s a midterm election, meaning that most of us have no idea what it is we’re about to vote for. (For example, here in Maine, we have a referendum on the best/most ethical way to hunt bears.) Luckily, I accidentally discovered how handy (and concise) Google can be in times of ignorance like this. And please vote!!!
This is pretty cool: We have a special episode of Point of Inquiry, recorded before a live audience in New York, where Josh Zepps talks to two experts in epidemics about the facts and fiction of Ebola. Really good stuff.
CFI-UK’s Stephen Law literally dons a tinfoil hat to discuss why something so obviously false as Young Earth Creationism can seem to its adherents to be so obviously true.
The most recent episode of the excellent Bob’s Burgers will definitely appeal to this crowd, as teh restaurant gets a visit from paranormal investigators!
The CFI Center Stage podcast has part 2 of Bill Nye’s keynote address from the CFI Summit last year.
McKenzie Lowe, a cancer patient who in desperation sought the help of the loathsome Stanislaw Burzynski, dies at age 13:
Dr. Terry Bennett of Rochester, who agreed to be the overseeing local physician for the treatment of Burzynski. “This is a classic bait-and-switch operation,” Bennett said of Burzynski in a recent phone interview. “He suckered me and this family into buying into a very expensive treatment plan.”
A memorial to Steve Jobs in Russia is dismantled after Apple CEO Tim Cook comes out as gay, in order to combat “gay propaganda.” This is actually the statement of the group of companies that made the decision:
After Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly called for sodomy, the monument was taken down to abide to the Russian federal law protecting children from information promoting denial of traditional family values.
It appears that a federal judge has just ruled humanism to be a “religion,” but only sort of. It seems to more or less put humanists as a group in the same category for equal-protection as religious folks.
Money magazine weirdly encourages readers to seek out alternative medicine treatments and advises when it makes sense to shell out money for them.
Meanwhile, major universities in China are taking their cues from traditional Chinese medicine in their research, according to this WSJ report.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appears with Conchita Wurst to show solidarity in the fight against transphobia and homophobia.
A Christian couple in Pakistan is reportedly beaten and burned to death for allegedly desecrating a copy of the Quran.
Cathy Lynn Grossman on the decision of Brittany Maynard to end her life:
I don’t call Maynard’s death “suicide” because, overwhelmingly, the people who commit suicide are those who have a choice to continue to live. People with a terminal diagnosis — an incurable disease or condition that physicians determine likely will kill them in the next six months — don’t have this choice. Maynard had an aggressive brain tumor robbing her of the life she said she very much wanted to live. Hence, I find the term physician-assisted dying more accurate. Death is not debatable.
At LiveScience, Ben Radford looks at the (non)existence of the Lost City of Atlantis (trump card: plate tectonics) and the CFI blog considers some of the negative implications of what he calls the “co-opting identities” meme.
Phil Zuckerman expounds on why religion really doesn’t have much of a chance against education.
This is an old John Oliver clip, but I just found it: Here are some things one can do with POM Wonderful.
Quote of the Day
Atheist-for-a-year Ryan Bell on Election Day:
The nuance about religion in public life … is this: people get their moral and political values from a variety of sources, one of which is religion. Other sources include family, school, books, civic groups, etc. What is reprehensible to me and most fair minded people is the attempt, on the part of some, to legislate unique religious beliefs and/or practices. When Christians, for example, based solely on what the Bible says about same sex relationships, seek to prohibit same sex couples from enjoying the same legal benefits as any other couple, we have a problem. Because the opponents of marriage equality have not been able to make a convincing secular argument, states are one by one equalizing marriage. This is as it should be. Were it not for religion, this would have long since ceased to be a debate.
Image by Shutterstock.
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