The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
One day after the latest murder-by-machete by Islamic extremists in Bangladesh, two more people are hacked to death: Xulhaz Mannan, editor of the country’s only LGBT magazine and former US Embassy employee, along with his friend and colleague Tanay Mojumdar. This has prompted responses from John Kerry, Sen. Ben Cardin, and the U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh, Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat.
CFI is leading a coalition of human rights groups urging the State Department to do more than post statements, however, and begin to fully engage with Bangladesh on this crisis, particularly given the callousness with which Bangladesh’s officials have treated these killings.
Xulhaz Mannan recently wrote about being openly gay in Bangladesh, where he notes that his publication was launched around the same time as the murder of Avijit Roy, which began this spiral of killings last year.
Zack Kopplin goes to the Creation Museum, meets Ken Ham (oh to be a fly on that wall), and alerts us to the fact that there is a “steady stream” of public school groups visiting the museum.
Speaking of creationism, Carrie Poppy reads an old creationist textbook, On Pandas and People, and highlights 10 of the craziest points made, such as:
If you think about it, what is a hand? This is really one of their arguments. Since a dog’s paw and a human’s hand are so different, how can we possibly say that we came from the same ancestor? We can’t. QED.
Sam Kriss at Wired has had enough with Neil deGrasse Tyson being a science buzzkill:
There is nothing that isn’t instantly boring. It’s too much. You rush into the kitchen, rattling the drawer in sheer panic (actually just dyspnea, tachycardia and dilation of the pupils caused by a surge of epinephrine in your body), pull out the knife (actually just a piece of metal attached to a piece of wood), and open your wrists. The blood (which was once thought to be one of the four humours, governing personality traits, but which is actually primarily used to transmit oxygen) glugs out, darker in colour and slower than you’d expected.
China’s President Xi Jinping insists that his people must resist the “infiltration through religious means.”
Dr. Jonathan Bress, in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, does a takedown of homeopathy:
As a practicing physician, I would never recommend the use of homeopathic remedies. As a restaurant patron, if I want homeopathic iced tea, I would simply ask for a glass of water.
The speaker of Turkey’s parliament, İsmail Kahraman, says, “Secularism should not be included in the new constitution. We should not escape from the issue of a religious constitution.” Wow, huh?
Iowa atheist Justin Scott will deliver a secular invocation to a Waterloo city council meeting.
We didn’t hear about it at the time, but earlier this month, Idaho’s Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter (real name!) vetoed a bill to make the Bible as a “reference” book to public school classes like history, sociology, archaeology, and more.
Meanwhile, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed a resolution calling pornography an “epidemic” and a “public health hazard leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms.” Samantha Allen at The Daily Beast counters, “In fact, almost every line of the law is inaccurate or misleading.”
Quote of the Day:
Kaleigh Rogers at Motherboard interviews Andrew Basiago:
The 54-year-old Washington state lawyer first started bracing for public ridicule in 2008, when he began sharing stories about experiences he claims he had as a child working for a secret military project that enabled him to teleport, time travel, and visit Mars with a young Barack Obama. Now, he’s running for president. … His platform consists of 100 proposals that range from forcing the government to disclose secret time travel technologies and putting bigfoot on the endangered species list…
Of that last one, Basiago says, “That’s probably my most funky proposal.”
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Original image by Shutterstock.
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