Our Curiosity Will Run Out

March 18, 2015


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

Yesterday our own Michael De Dora took Saudi Arabia to task at the UN Human Rights Council for its hypocrisy in hosting a religious freedom conference in the same city in which Raif Badawi and other dissidents are imprisoned and abused (video of his statement will be coming soon):

We welcome, indeed encourage member state involvement in the Istanbul Process [religious freedom conference]. However, given its human rights record, Saudi Arabia strikes us as an inappropriate setting for the next meeting. If Saudi Arabia is sincere about acting as host of the next meeting, it could begin to validate its role rather easily: release all prisoners of conscience immediately and unconditionally, drop all charges against them, and move to protect freedom of religion, belief, and expression. We urge them to do so, and urge member states to keep them accountable. 

First it’s Ted Cruz going after NASA, and now the House Budget Committee insists that the Pentagon stop researching climate change

Those House Republicans should give a listen to the latest Point of Inquiry with Michael Tennesen, which explores how climate change could impact the planet’s life forms long after humans have gone extinct. Never mind, they wouldn’t understand it. 

Netanyahu gets his election win, and Herb Silverman says he can’t support Israel as it heads toward theocracy.  

The U.S. Presbyterian Church votes to include same-sex marriage in its definition of marriage, and the LDS Church says it’s okay if members publicly back same-sex marriage even if the church doesn’t.

Michael Paulson of NYT profiles the Catholicism of Jeb Bush

David Gorski, writing at Slate, tells the sordid love story between Prince Charles and homeopathy

Bangladesh indicts 8 people, an Islamist leader and his students, in the hacking death of blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider two years ago.  

Mars One candidates push back against some of the criticism being leveled at the program, and I write that their protestations are sounding too much like religious apologetics

Denmark says it will keep its anti-blasphemy law

The courthouse where the Scopes “monkey trial” took place already has a statue of William Jennings Bryan, and now it might get Clarence Darrow, too. (How about one of Gene Kelly?)

A cop who worked the rubble of the 9/11 attacks believed he saw a ghostly figure at the time, and a psychic tells him it was a “soul collector.” Do they look like this?

Paula Poundstone on Twitter: “We atheists don’t have TGIF. We just have IF.” 

4-week-old baby boy in Perth, Australia dies of whopping cough, and his parents dedicate themselves to urging others to vaccinate their kids:

We intend on utilising his tragic passing as a means of promoting awareness, honouring our child and hopefully bringing about means of change so that no other family has to undergo the significant anguish our family is currently experiencing at the hands of whooping cough. 

Alissa Wilkinson, who spent a childhood in an isolationist Christian sect, sees a lot of similarities between her experiences and those of Netflix’s Kimmy Schmidt:

What makes Kimmy great, as a character, is that her bunker experience collectively scarred her and made her irresistibly independent and grateful for life. … Kimmy had it far, far worse than me— the show drops painful hints that she was sexually abused, and she’s obviously angry at the reverend — but she’s the kind of character I wish I’d had to watch a decade ago, someone who could tell me that it’s okay to feel like I didn’t really grow up in America. I surreptitiously fire up Shazam at parties to identify the songs to which everyone else is singing along. 

Quote of the Day  

One year after the Big-Bang-confirming discoveries by
astronomers using the BICEP2 telescope turned out to be ambiguous, scientist John Kovac is undeterred:

The universe is never going to stop being generous and offering us new frontiers. It’s possible that our curiosity will run out, and that will be tragic. 

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Original image by Shutterstock. 

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