The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
CFI’s Michael De Dora is quoted in the Associated Press‘s piece on Pakistan’s request to Facebook for the personal information of those they consider to be blasphemers.
Pakistan arrests two men for posting “blasphemous” content to WhatsApp (that’s right, not Facebook or Twitter but WhatsApp, which Facebook owns). Islamabad High Court Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddqui seems to be sick of all this heresy, and says social media could be banned in Pakistan altogether. “It will not make any difference if selfies and pictures of food are not shared with others,” he said, which, if it were not so chilling, would be kind of funny.
Mitt Romney told us, “Corporations are people, my friend.” Well now rivers are too, or at least three of them are. CFI’s Ron Lindsay sees some problems with recent moves to ascribe legal personhood to rivers:
Allowing someone or some group to sue in the name of a river may constitute good policy if the objective is to bring environmental concerns before a court that otherwise might be ignored. But we need to recognize that this is a fiction. It’s even more of a fiction than the grant of legal personhood to corporations because corporations can be fined. We can’t fine a river.
N.A. Hussein at Al-Monitor reports on the efforts of Egyptian religious groups to downplay and resist a rise in atheism.
Theoretical physicist Paul Davies explores the feasibility of traveling backward through time, and as you can imagine, it’s kind of a mess. Quantum mechanics implies, says Davies, that one could plausibly “tweak the details” of the past.
Carey, Ohio mayor Armand Getz and Law Director Emily Beckley are resigning because of the torrent of threats they’re receiving after doing away with prayers at council meetings. That’s clearly what God would have wanted, since you can’t pray at any other time in your life.
The Atlantic looks at the alignment between Steve Bannon, conservative Catholics, the Evangelical right, and yes, the Putin-cuddling Russian Orthodox Church. Assuming they all get what they want (FSM help us), who among them gets to define Christianity?
In Elkhart, Indiana, Chris Bontrager finally gets his “ATHE1ST” license plate.
Susan Gerbic, who just can’t stop interviewing people who attended CSICon, speaks to Claire Klingenberg of the Czech Skeptics’ Club Sisyfos.
Michael Nugent debates William Lane Craig about what’s better, Star Trek or Star Wars. Oh no, I mean, about the existence of God.
Clay Jones writes about how anti-vax nonsense resulted in a child in Australia suffering from tetanus. And here’s what one can expect with a tetanus infection:
…painful muscular spasms in the setting of a general increased muscle tone … [the] disinhibition of the autonomic nervous system can cause varying degrees of hell to break lose, with an overproduction of catecholamines and subsequent profuse sweating, increased heart rate and blood pressure, fever, and agitation. It’s the fight of “fight or flight” in overdrive. It can even result in life threatening cardiac arrhythmias. … terribly painful spasms that can be triggered by a variety of stimuli, even just a noise or a light breeze, and can be powerful enough to cause fractures of the spine and long bones.
But hey, at least the parents didn’t let the kid be the TOOL of BIG PHARMA and get AUTISM.
The United Coalition of Reason releases an app for finding godless gatherings in your area.
Quote of the Day:
Harriet Hall says you don’t actually need to drink 8 glasses of water a day or whatever. In fact, WATER CAN BE A KILLER (and not just because you can drown in it):
Over-hydration can be dangerous. In the early stages, it can cause nausea and vomiting, headache, confusion, and disorientation. If not treated, it can cause muscle weakness, cramps, seizures, and coma. People have died from water intoxication, notably Jennifer Strange, a California mother of three who drank 7.5 liters of water in a radio contest to win a video game system. She came in second in the contest, went home, and promptly collapsed and died.
That’s right, that article got DARK.
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