The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
John McCain is an American hero & one of the bravest fighters I’ve ever known. Cancer doesn’t know what it’s up against. Give it hell, John.
Julia Belluz worries that all the mockery and debunking of Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop is only making them stronger, as believers draw in more tightly. The only solution may be to play the long game:
For the educators and policymakers reading this, please take a hard look at your school curricula and the critical thinking skills they offer. It may be too late to dent Paltrow’s brand among her acolytes, but you might be able to stop the next Goop train from taking off.
In China, director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs, Wang Zuoan, lays down the law, espousing the opposite of freedom of belief and thought:
Party members should not have religious beliefs, which is a red line for all members … Party members should be firm Marxist atheists, obey Party rules and stick to the Party’s faith … they are not allowed to seek value and belief in religion.
If you want to know the facts about why people think they see ghosts, you go to Joe Nickell, even if you’re…The Sun? Wait, the tabloid?? Huh. Yep.
Maya Silver, writing for the Dark Mountain project, introduces the concept of the “dark humanities,” a kind of “cosmic spirituality”:
For environmentalists who consider themselves atheist or agnostic, cosmic spirituality offers a source of solace. But at the same time, cosmic perspective also reminds us that our ‘pale blue dot’, as Sagan refers to Earth, is still the only known viable planet on which humans can eke out a living. In this sense, a cosmic philosophy offers something of a paradox to the environmentalist. The reassuring perspective of space-time scale instils us with a sense of calm about our present predicament. Concurrently, the knowledge that Earth is the only planet we have fills us with urgency.
Discoveries of ancient artifacts in Australia show that the continent’s indigenous people may have been there for as long as 80,000 years, much longer than previously believed. The Guardian reports:
“People got here much earlier than we thought, which means of course they must also have left Africa much earlier to have traveled on their long journey through Asia and south-east Asia to Australia,” said the lead author, Associate Prof Chris Clarkson, from the University of Queensland. “It also means the time of overlap with the megafauna, for instance, is much longer than originally thought – maybe as much as 20,000 or 25,000 years. It puts to rest the idea that Aboriginal people wiped out the megafauna very quickly.”
Right wing loon Wayne Allyn Root says Megyn Kelly (a lot of uncommonly placed Y’s in these names) is having a hard time at NBC because, well…:
All those Republican men who appreciate beautiful women, we don’t like you anymore, we’re never going to give you the time of day, Megyn Kelly. Who’s left? Liberal women won’t like you because you’re coming from Fox News and liberal men, well, they’re all gay or they don’t appreciate pretty women. Real men like beautiful women. Liberal men? You could walk into a room and they wouldn’t even notice. They’re too busy worrying about the poor. They don’t care about beautiful legs, they don’t care about your beautiful face and your blonde hair and your tight skirt. They don’t care!
Mayor Gary Jones of Grovetown, Georgia loves the “In God We Trust” stickers on the town’s police vehicles. An atheist wrote him a polite letter opposing the stickers, to which Mayor Jones replied, “Do not email me again or I will seek a warrant for your arrest.” That escalated quickly.
Greg Dobbs writes in The Denver Post contrasting today’s anniversary of the Moon landing with the six-month mark for Trump’s presidency, lamenting, “July 20, 1969, was a giant leap for America. But this July 20, the supreme spirit of Wapakoneta [Armstrong’s birthplace] is gone.”
With sadness and awe we shall look back on the day when the Naturopath Conquest of New England was complete. A lot of casualties there.
Chris Sevier, an attorney who really, really hates same-sex marriage, is suing some Members of the U.S. House for displaying a pride flag. Why? Because he says the pride flag is a religious symbol. AND THEN WE AAAAALL HAD A GOOD LAUGH AND WENT BACK TO OUR REAL LIVES.
Quote of the Day:
A Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in Arizona, Deedra Abboud, is overwhelmed by anti-Muslim attacks on social media. Her would-be opponent,
GOP Sen. Jeff Flake did the right thing, tweeting, along with a link to an op-ed condemning the attacks:
Hang in there @deedra2018. Sorry you have to put up with this. Lots of wonderful people across AZ. You’ll find them.
Thank you @JeffFlake for leadership in rejecting behavior that doesn’t reflect our American values. AZ’s amazing people deserve more than this.
You take the hope where you can get it.
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