Ancient Obfuscations

July 16, 2015


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

We’re always glad to get updates from George Ongere at CFI-Kenya, and in his latest report he has some great news: Their Humanist Orphans project has gotten official certification from the Kenyan government, which was no easy feat. 

Wow, look at the surface of Pluto. And while you’re at it, dig this close-up of its pal Charon.

Right-wing group tries to make everyone think that Planned Parenthood sells baby’s body parts with a “sting” video, when in fact they simply facilitate the very common donation of fetal tissue to scientific research.

Joe Nickell has a new book, along with co-author Robert E. Bartholomew: American Hauntings: The True Stories behind Hollywood’s Scariest Movies—from The Exorcist to The Conjuring

Phil Zuckerman looks at the struggles of those in the Muslim world who have rejected Islam, but must either face the dangers of being openly atheist or the pain of living a lie. 

Ben Radford looks at the recent spate of black churches being torched, and why it might not be so easy to jump to conclusions about what’s behind them. 

Covering all the issues as he does, Ben also asks if vampire discrimination is a thing.  

University of Toronto medical students write to the university’s president expressing their concern about the anti-vax/alt-med course that is embarrassing the school. 

I, personally, just me Paul now, don’t think much of Lindsey Graham. Indeed, I think very little of him. This is just me. HOWEVER. This was cool of him:

Well I’m not a scientist, but here’s the problem I’ve got with some people in my party: When you ask the scientists what’s going on, why don’t you believe them? If I went to 10 doctors and nine said, ‘Hey, you’re gonna die,’ and one says ‘You’re fine,’ why would I believe the one guy? 

Amanda Marcotte looks at the clever strategy of Satanists and how they expose the hypocrisy of the right. 

Dirk Bruere explores why Transhumanism deserves to be discussed in terms of being a new kind of religion:

[Its] aspirations…address questions that were once the sole preserve of religions, but unlike conventional religions they seek hard engineering answers rather than ill defined and ancient obfuscations. 

(By the way, this has been my hangup about the Transhumanists: lots of good ideas, and then they go and get all hand-wavey.) 

Pope Francis says he made a mistake by not “delving further” into the problems faced by the shrinking middle classfires a child-molesting Mexican bishop, and fires a Brazilian archbishop for spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on blinging up his house. 

Detroit Catholic priest Richard James Kurtz gets 12 years in prison for sexual assault and transporting child porn. 

And wow, check out this billboard that just went up in Texas from a former Jehovah’s Witness, which asks, “Is there a child molester at your Kingdom Hall? Would the Elders tell you if there were?”

I don’t think Pew or Gallup covered this, but look what the 4th-fastest growing religion is! I wonder if this falls under “nones.” 

Quote of the Day:

20-year-old Sherif Gaber escapes Egypt after being arrested for posting on Facebook about his apostasy, and is now releasing pro-science videos from an undisclosed location. He told Hemant Mehta:

I know they’re gonna arrest me soon or later. That’s why I made the videos. I wanted to say what I wanna say before they get to me. 

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Original image by Shutterstock.

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