You Can Be On the Toast

February 10, 2015

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

Like me, you may be a soulless slab of animated meat. If you’re not sure, check out the latest Point of Inquiry, where Josh Zepps talks to Julien Musolino, who wants us all to let go of the idea of the existence of a soul. 

Highly recommended today, CFI-Los Angeles’s Jim Underdown picks apart a reading by fake-psychic Rebecca Rosen to show just how arbitrary her “powers” are (and it’s a nice little bit of comeuppance after their meeting on the Dr. Phil show in 2012). 

The complete conference schedule for Reason for Change is now posted online! See what the big event has in store, and remember, it won’t be snowing in Buffalo in June. I think. 

Two from Tim Farley today. First, as the “Food Babe” releases a new book, Tim shows how she and her web team have tried to stop skeptics from exposing the funny business they get up to, but all to no avail. Tim also has a piece on the overlap of skepticism and journalism in terms of software and online tools. 

We might just have a theme song to go along with our free “Vaccinate” stickers

Paul Offit opines in the New York Times on religious exemptions for vaccinations. (He’s against them):

Parents shouldn’t be allowed to martyr their children — or in this case, those with whom their children have come in contact.

(Don’t miss Offit on last week’s Point of Inquiry.) 

Don’t get into an argument about vaccines on your favorite online parenting forum, lest you get booted. (Oh, go on and argue. Tell them about the stickers.)

Now Georgia’s got a confirmed case of measles in an infant. I have a feeling that baby didn’t have a “choice” whether to get that virus.

Same-sex marriage is going ahead in Alabama, but Alabamians are largely very unhappy about it

Arizona State Rep. Andrew C. Sherwood introduces a state Darwin Day resolution

Aric Caplan at the marketing trade publication O’Dwyer’s rails against politicians who trade in misinformation about climate change, and cites the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry’s “very clever” statement to the media on science deniers vs. genuine skeptics.

CFI-Northeast Ohio’s Monette Richards is part of the crew working to launch a Secular Women Work conference, with its accompanying Kickstarter

David Gorski laments the ongoing wrongness of Bill Maher on vaccinations. 

The U.S. may soon have its first special envoy for LGBT rights

Rep. Joe Barton of Texas will not allow his bill to be numbered 666

Looks like even God uses iMessage

Why do Jesus and Mary get to be on all the toast? YOU CAN BE ON THE TOAST TOO

Quote of the Day 

Alheli Picazo at the Ottawa Citizen diagnoses the anti-vax crowd, and offers some treatment options:

By refusing to give the infected [by science denialism] a platform, be it through on-air interviews or quoting at length in print, media can prevent misinformation from benefitting the appearance of validity. Yes, every person is entitled to an opinion, but no, every opinion does not warrant equal merit. Medical professionals and the science-minded can work to counter the pseudoscience by making themselves available to help the under-informed navigate the information minefield; providing resources to debunk anti-vaccine assertions; answering even the silliest question without judgement.

We must accept, too, that not every mind can be changed. To quote Dr. Ben Goldacre: “You cannot reason people out of a position that they did not reason themselves into.”

But it’s always worth the shot. 

Zing! Get it??? 

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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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