Exhalest This Vapour-Vow

March 30, 2018

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

A NEW DAY HAS DAWNED. Behold this milestone in skepticism and technology: The Skeptical Inquirer (and CSI) Twitter account has changed from “@SkeptInquiry” to the much more sensible “@SkeptInquirer.” REJOICE. 

CFI’s Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science started holding online workshops for teachers, and this Sunday, April 1, there’s a special webinar featuring TIES’ founder, our own Richard Dawkins. The session is intended for teachers, and there are only a few spots left for registration. Oh, and of course it’s free.

Ready to feel like the conspiracy mongers are winning? Devang Mehta writes that he is getting the hell out of GMO research because of the unending torrent of grief and hostility he gets as a result. “There seems to be a constituency of aggrieved activists convinced that some scientists are out to harm their children, and nothing we can say will ever change their minds.”

Almost half of Americans’ view of climate change is akin to, “Oh, won’t that be unfortunate for those people way over there.” Alessandra Potenza looks at how Americans can be made to understand how wrong that is.

At The Federalist (I know, I know), Richard Weikart looks at how atheists find meaning in life without religion, and seems to actually believe he has made some incredible checkmate-atheists argument by pointing out that, goodness gracious, atheists have to “invent” their own meaning since the universe doesn’t provide one for us. You see??? Atheists believe in things that aren’t there! Atheists ADMIT they just make things up! And! And! They SMELL. (Okay I put that one there.) 

The state of Washington has officially banned pseudoscientific gay conversion therapy for kids.

Joe Nickell considers the practice of “legend tripping,” visiting the sites of alleged paranormal events, in order to, what? Unclear. 

Scientists in China are experimenting with fighting global warming by seeding the atmosphere with carbon dioxide vapor, and… HEY WAIT GUYS WHAT ARE YOU DOING

There’s a thing now in Germany where Hindus gather at former Nazi concentration camps and attempt to “purify” them spiritually. “What happened in these places is still happening in the etheric and astral realms,” says the group’s swami, Paramahamsa Vishwananda. “Only om has the power to heal these places.” 

Gwyneth Paltrow’s pseudoscience enterprise Goop is now worth a quarter-billion dollars because, as Hemant Mehta concisely and accurately explains, “America is dumb.” 

This is how the human-dolphin war starts, as explained by Gizmodo‘s Ryan F. Mandelbaum:

“Over-fishing in the Mediterranean has become so pervasive that it has created a vicious cycle for the dolphins and fishers [in Northern Cyprus] as they compete for the remaining fish,” the authors write in Human Ecology. … The dolphin-fishery war has created a cycle. We fish, there’s less fish, the dolphin go looking for fish, they steal ours, so we go fishing more. 

Quote of the Day

Greta Christina explains why atheists do indeed still need to fight for rights that are denied them:

If you were mugged, nobody would tell you, “Quit whining — there are laws against mugging, you have legal protection, you don’t have anything to complain about.” The fact that there are laws against mugging did not stop you from getting mugged. It is reasonable for you to say something about it, and to express distress that it happened. And if muggings are happening a lot in your town or your country, it is reasonable to ask your community to pay attention, and to do something about it.

Atheists are getting mugged. Atheists are experiencing real, law-breaking discrimination. The fact that it’s illegal does not always stop it from happening. It is reasonable for us to speak out about it. And it is reasonable for us to expect people to give a damn. It is reasonable to expect our friends, our families, our colleagues, our communities, our country, to pay attention — and to do something about 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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