The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
Point of Inquiry this week features CFI’s president and CEO, Ron Lindsay, talking about his new book The Necessity of Secularism. How did we manage to get him on the show?!?! By the way, Ron will be speaking at CFI-DC on Sunday.
The Curiosity rover helps scientists determine that Mars may have once been habitable for known forms of life for millions of years, far longer than once thought. Meanwhile, scientists in Prague (which is on Earth) simulate a meteor strike (with a laser!!!) and find that such an impact could have been part of life’s origin.
Here’s a handy chart to show you whether the exoplanet you’re thinking of moving to can actually keep you alive. Which is key.
A new poll shows that more than 80% of parents want daycare facilities to require vaccinations, and more than 40% say the unvaccinated kids should be kept out. Jenny McCarthy just wasn’t getting through, I guess.
CFI’s David Koepsell takes a strong stand in favor of humanism’s advancement of social justice:
I feel passionately that social justice is at the heart of humanism, inasmuch as the search for the good and bettering the plight of humankind is central to humanistic philosophy and has been for centuries.
Joe Nickell, having seen Jon Stewart’s drama Rosewater, offers some personal reflections of his own time visiting Iran in a different time.
Lake Worth, Florida, you have elected a bunch of jerks to your city government. At a city commission meeting, local atheist Preston Smith opened with an atheist invocation, during which the mayor and three councilmembers walked out.
Rebecca Surroz at the CFI Course of Reason blog has some advice for nonbelievers who like to celebrate the holidays, but don’t know how to explain why.
If you’re in Michigan, help us fight this bad “religious freedom” bill that gives people license to discriminate.
Richard Dawkins gives a great answer as to whether evolution should be our guide in social policy:
Evolution by natural selection is the explanation for why we exist. It is not something to guide our lives in our own society. If we were to be guided by the evolution principle, then we would be living in a kind of ultra-Thatcherite, Reaganite society. … Study your Darwinism for two reasons, because it explains why you’re here, and the second reason is, study your Darwinism in order to learn what to avoid in setting up society. What we need is a truly anti-Darwinian society. Anti-Darwinian in the sense that we don’t wish to live in a society where the weakest go to the wall, where the strongest suppress the weak, and even kill the weak. We — I, at least — do not wish to live in that kind of society. I want to live in the sort of society where we take care of the sick, where we take care of the weak, take care of the oppressed, which is a very anti-Darwinian society.
Because atheist billboards apparently still drive people nuts, Iowa Public Radio explores “what’s behind the trend towards atheism” with local activists and Phil Zuckerman.
26 men arrested in Cairo for allegedly holding “gay orgies.” Homosexuality isn’t illegal in Egypt per se, but gays are targeted with charges of debauchery and, you guessed it, blasphemy.
Go ahead and play those “brain games” for fun, but don’t expect them to turn you into a super-genius.
I, like Neil deGrasse Tyson, really dig the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack. Oh, this article is about something about behavior and being an atheist or something. I dunno. Anyway, JEEEESUS!!! You’re starting to believe! The things they say of you! You really do believe! This talk of God is true-uuuuuuu!!!
Quote of the Day
As NASA’s Orion program begins, Jesus waxes profound about space exploration (Jesus Diaz, that is, not the other one):
The path is open again, a sunbeam illuminating its gates, now clean of the vines that had grown through all these years of abandonment. Today is the day. Today we are starting to get back to the stars. And this time there’s no way back.
Original image by Matthew Inman.
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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