The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
New Horizons is a huge freaking success. Alice Bowman, the operations manager says, “The spacecraft was happy.”
.@POTUS: how can you be sure this was Pluto’s first visitor? #justasking
Greece and the eurozone: how does that work? Admit it, you have no idea what’s going on there. I didn’t either, until I listened to Point of Inquiry this week, where Josh Zepps talks to Daphne Halikiopoulou from Athens, with a particular focus on how the crisis there is opening doors for right-wing, radical nationalism.
Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announces that the Pentagon will begin to look at forming guidelines for allowing transgender Americans to serve openly in the military.
William Saletan at Slate takes on the “fearmongering, errors, and fraud” surrounding the panic over GMOs:
The deeper you dig, the more fraud you find in the case against GMOs. It’s full of errors, fallacies, misconceptions, misrepresentations, and lies. The people who tell you that Monsanto is hiding the truth are themselves hiding evidence that their own allegations about GMOs are false. They’re counting on you to feel overwhelmed by the science and to accept, as a gut presumption, their message of distrust.
Qasim Rashid, writing at Faith Street, is about as wrong as you can be, trying to make a case that god-belief is required for morality, law, and peace.
Meaghan Winter at Cosmopolitan does a deep investigation into “pregnancy centers” that disguise themselves as being quasi-medical, but mainly preach religious opposition to abortion, bolstered by misinformation. For example:
At the Heartbeat conference, pregnancy-center staff referred to centers as “ministries” and discussed their underlying goal — shepherding spiritually “broken” women toward Christ. The majority of pregnancy-center staff I’ve met are Evangelical Christians who say they’re dedicated to helping women escape a cycle of premarital sex and spiritual pain. Yet at the conference, Heartbeat speakers coached center staff to scrub their websites of Christian references. Speakers also recommended pregnancy-center staff to discourage women and girls from not only abortion but also contraception by emphasizing disproven “negative consequences” and encouraging “sexual integrity,” meaning sex only within heterosexual marriage.
A stampede at a Hindu Godavari River-bathing ritual in India (in which 40 million people take part) kills 27 people.
A Kickstarter launches to fund a movie about Bill Nye’s quest to change the world.
Oskar Groening, 94, the “accountant of Auschwitz,” is sentenced to 4 years in prison for his role in the deaths of over 300,000 people. Said Groening:
[Prosecutor Cornelius] Nestler said that Auschwitz was a place where you could not simply take part. I agree with that. I sincerely regret that I did not recognize that earlier. I am truly sorry.
69% of Evangelicals say Israel was formed as a result of biblical prophecy, while 73% say what’s going on there now is part of what is prophesied by the Book of Revelation. And they all vote, guys.
Sarah Posner shakes her head at the viral hoax news stories about how Christians are being sued or jailed now that same-sex marriage is legal.
I’m shaking my head because the Queen’s physician says UK’s NHS should encourage homeopathy.
Oh, and remember that University of Toronto anti-vax, pro-homeopathy course that got nixed? Turns out it was taught by the dean’s wife, and according to Ars Technica, “The syllabus
for the course … reads a bit like a bad blog post.”
Quote of the Day:
Hospice physician Dawn M. Gross at NYT looks at a form of death-with-dignity that is less about deciding whether to end one’s life, but more about living whatever life one has left. An intubated patient tells her, via notepad:
After they gave me a bed bath, changed my sheets and clothes, I got to brush my teeth! It feels so good. I am looking forward to doing it again tonight!
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Original image by Shutterstock.
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