The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo is attacked by gun-wielding terrorists, allegedly offended by cartoons mocking ISIS, and 12 are reported dead. CFI stands is absolute solidarity with the people of Charlie Hebdo. Here is our official statement, which reads in part:
As publishers of Free Inquiry, the first (and for some time, the only) U.S. publication willing to publish the cartoons of Muhammad that sparked riots in 2005 after they appeared in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, we stand in resolute solidarity with the people of Charlie Hebdo, and all those writers, thinkers, and satirists who know that no idea or individual ought to be immune from criticism, and have the courage to point out the flaws and fallacies of even the most deeply-held beliefs.
That original Free Inquiry article is now free for all to view. #JeSuisCharlie
A 2012 New Yorker piece gives background on the magazine and why it gets some people so angry. This is not the first time it’s been under threat.
We have an update on our public policy work throughout December.
Anti-vaxxers apparently believe that the Amish never get sick. Because they’re magic, I guess.
Lee Billings reports on the discovery of two new exoplanets that are the most like Earth yet seen.
Phil Zuckerman ponders the impact of “new atheists” on American nonbelief in an interview with Chris Stedman.
Amanda Marcotte rebuts Steve Neumann’s piece about in-your-face atheists, saying:
When people are nursing doubts, sometimes the biggest obstacle to admitting it is the taboo against criticizing religion. Seeing someone unapologetically smash that taboo shows there’s nothing to be afraid of.
Dhiraj Nayyar at Bloomberg looks at the uphill battle faced by science in increasingly-superstitious India.
Case in point, B B Singh of the New Indian Express on whether Hindu scriptures are anti-scientific:
Some scientists have tried to test the ancient claims using the presently available instruments and methodologies. They invariably fail because the scriptures do not provide the details for testing or manufacturing.
Oh, well there you go.
I’m surprised by this: Only 1 in 7 churchgoers say they’d miss church for football.
At The Guardian, Dara Mohammadi writes about the myth of “detoxing” your body.
The “Godless Spellchecker” has his Twitter account revoked and then reinstated.
That really cynical and deceptive geocentrist film The Principle is coming to theaters, apparently.
Geoffrey Mohan at the LA Times on research on religious experience in the brain: “Can the same basic circuitry produce Mother Teresa and the Sept. 11 hijacker Mohamed Atta?”
The late Mario Cuomo, bioethicist.
Sam Harris’s videos on mindfulness are now up. Yeah I think I might need that.
If you already know how “stuff” works, you must also know how God works.
Something more inspiring on a bad day: Here’s a very high-resolution image of the M16 Nebula, courtesy of Hubble.
Quote of the Day
Today’s Quote of the Day is most appropriately expressed as a cartoon, by David Pope:
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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