That is Some Unstable Derp

August 24, 2015

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

I know you’ve already seen Friday’s edition of Cause & Effect, so you’re aaallll caught up on the previous fortnight’s news. 

CFI isn’t the only organization who thinks the FDA should crack down on homeopathySo does the FTC! In its press statement about its comments the Federal Trade Commission says:

The comment states that given the FTC’s long-standing advertising substantiation policy that health claims must be substantiated by such evidence the FDA’s current regulatory framework may harm consumers and confuse advertisers. The comment discusses the mistaken belief by some advertisers that homeopathic products that are in compliance with the FDA policy guide do not have to comply with FTC advertising substantiation requirements.

Ensaf Haidar, the activist whose husband is Raif Badawi, urges the world come to the defense of someone in a similar position: Maurtianian blogger Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir, who may be executed for blasphemy.

Samira Shackle in The Guardian laments the dangerous situation faced by secularists in Bangladesh in a year of four ghastly murders:

These brutal crimes have gone unpunished; arrests have not led to prosecutions. The government appears unwilling, or unable, to stand with atheists. Instead, in an attempt to appease Islamists, it has ramped up its own actions against “blasphemous” bloggers. Secularists are terrified. Many have stopped writing altogether, some have left the country and others are desperately seeking an exit. Who is behind these attacks on atheists, a tiny subset of the Muslim-majority population? And can Bangladesh’s secular tradition survive in the face of such violence? 

Jessica Hamzelou at New Scientist investigates the recent claims of a lab-grown brain, and, guess what, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. 

The Diocese of Rhode Island will establish a museum that highlights its own role in the slave trade. Wow, huh? 

Copenhagen Suborbitals, with 50 people on staff, promises to send an “amateur astronaut” into space using “off-the-shelf components” by 2017. That’s soon, guys.

CFI-DC’s Simon Davis writes at VICE that for those who support physician-assisted suicide, the word “suicide” can be offensive and, they say, stigmatizing. They prefer “aid in dying.” 

Ted Cruz, who I think is the scariest of the GOP candidates (yes, including Trump), goes on a crusade to defund Planned Parenthood, whines about a war on faith, and warns that the liberals are coming for “your pastor” and your local crisis pregnancy center (a.k.a. anti-abortion indoctrination center). 

Carly Fiorina, who thinks you need to be a person of faith to be a good leader, delights conservatives by being entirely wrong about climate change – David Roberts at Vox explains:

However smooth Fiorina may be, in the end it’s not going to make sense to voters to acknowledge the science of climate change and then say you’re against every solution to it except handing out subsidies to the coal industry. That is some unstable derp. 

Not to be outdone by the pope, Muslim leaders make a joint declaration on climate change:

Our species, though selected to be a caretaker or steward (khalifah) on the earth, has been the cause of such corruption and devastation on it. … We call on all groups to join us in collaboration, co-operation and friendly competition in this endeavor and we welcome the significant contributions taken by other faiths, as we can all be winners in this race. If we each offer the best of our respective traditions, we may yet see a way through our difficulties. 

White supremacist Glendon Scott Crawford is convicted in New York of 1) “use of a weapon of mass destruction,” 2) “attempting to build and use a radiological dispersal device,” and 3) “distributing information with respect to a weapon of mass destruction.” What was he up to? He wanted to assassinate President Obama using a “death ray.” Even the KKK, who he was trying to get funding from, were like “this guy is cray.” 

Craig Silverman reports on the state of “debunking efforts” in journalism generally and within skepticism specifically. 

The Catholic Church in Italy helps with a gaudy, opulent funeral for a big mob boss, and non-criminals are really turned off. 

Arkansas, which said yes to the Ten Commandments on Capitol grounds, says no to a Hindu monument

There’s a new anti-va
x conspiracy book, with a forward by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and it’s earned two lengthy responses at Science-Based Medicine: from David Gorski and a legal view from Dorit Reiss.

Two awful “exorcism” cases: in Pakistan, where a woman and her daughter killed by a “holy man” by suffocation; and Argentina, where it’s so bad I can’t really type it out, but the horrors were led by a local pastor.

Seculars and vampires in vegas

Mars has a lizard

Quote of the Day:

CSI Fellow Mark Boslough tweets:

Why do #climate #deniers demand proof from scientists on Twitter for scientific facts known for decades? Are libraries too old fashioned?    

Librarians are in on the whole hoax, you see.  

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Original image by Shutterstock.

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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