February 11, 2016


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

Rapid Growth, which is a news outlet in Grand Rapids — get it? Rapid growth? — checks to see what all the fuss is about with the secular Sunday Assembly services, and highlights the area’s existing freethought community represented by CFI–Michigan.

Scott Gavura considers the ethics of marketing and selling complementary and alternative medicine. And there are none. There are no ethics.

We may be a ways off from the promises of Transhumanism, but Transbunnyism may not be far behind. Behold, the first cryogenically frozen brain to be successfully preserved (not revived), and it comes from a rabbit. The researchers who pulled it off won a prize from the Brain Preservation Foundation, whose rep said:

Every neuron and synapse looks beautifully preserved across the entire brain. Simply amazing given that I held in my hand this very same brain when it was vitrified glassy solid. … This result directly answers a main skeptical and scientific criticism against cryonics—that it does not provably preserve the delicate synaptic circuitry of the brain.

Well, maybe, maybe not. The brain is still dead, there’s no bunny-from-the-past hopping about. But still.

There’s a new edition of the CFI Campus Inquirer out, with good stuff about Darwin Day, coalition building, and more.

Researchers from the Universities of Oxford and British Columbia posit that early civilization was possible only because of the watchful eye of “moralistic, punitive, all-knowing gods.”

Well there’s a billboard that’s gone up in California that says “Atheists make better lovers (After all, nobody is watching).” So there! Ahem.

As for the canard that religion is needed for a good society, Phil Zuckerman points out that cities with the lowest religiosity are exceeding on several metrics of “goodness.”

Ben Radford looks at the myths surrounding “feral children” in both reality and fantasy, reminding us that a kid in a Tarzan-like situation would probably not have grown up to swing from vines.

The first Catholic service in almost five centuries is held in the palace of Henry VIII, the fellow who gave the Catholic Church the boot and started his own gig.

At Skeptical Inquirer, William M. London of the Consumer Health Digest visits a dinner seminar held by a shady chiropractor pimping laser treatments…so you don’t ever, ever have to.

Atheist Bangladeshi blogger Shammi Haque says she is targeted by a horrid fundraising campaign for her to be raped.

A woman in New Zealand is getting social media attention for claiming that she cured her skin cancer with “black salve,” and interestingly her skin cancer was self-diagnosed, as she “did not seek medical advice from a doctor, nor did she have a biopsy to determine if it was a melanoma.”

I’m not crazy about this line of attack against Bernie Sanders, which cites real poll data showing that more Americans would vote for an atheist than a socialist. The implication here being “Americans don’t like atheists, so imagine how much they don’t like socialists.”

A Fox Sports announcer informs us that Saskatchewan is “home to a lot of sasquatches” and “that’s what it’s named after.” CTV news clarifies:

For the record, Saskatchewan comes from a Cree word for “swift flowing river.”

I’m getting used to the shorthand “Nones” for the unaffiliated, but please, let’s not adopt “Dones” (as in “done with religion). That’s too far.

Jordan Rosenfeld at Quartz considers some of the research indicating the usefulness of placebos in curing what ails ya.

A psychic in Ghostbusters 2 told us that the world would end this Valentine’s Day. Feh. Fine.

Quote of the Day:

Hemant reports on our decision not to appeal the abysmal Florida court decision on our lawsuit to stop the state from funding Christian rehab programs Prisoners of Christ and Lamb of God, and he, like us, is bummed. But I have to give a thumbs-up to the first comment I saw, from “TimfromMaine”:

Guess it’s time for ‘Prisoners of Satan’ to start offering counseling services on the state’s nickel.

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Original image by Shutterstock.

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