As Stale as Gothic Croutons

September 11, 2015

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

More or less unrelated to the usual topics of this blog, save for some benign discussion of faith, I recommend Joe Biden’s chat with Stephen Colbert

Brendan James at the International Business Times looks at the tenacity of the 9/11 truther movement, and the emotional toll it takes on the believers:

Carrying around the belief that your own government took the lives of 3,000 fellow citizens a few years back is a fair bit heavier than believing the moon landing was a Hollywood production. 

The way is cleared for the Iran agreement. In its coverage, NYT had what folks referred to as the “Jew tracker,” to keep tabs on Jewish lawmakers’ positions. Didn’t go over well.

In Iran itself, satirical artist Atena Farghadani, already serving 12 years for criticizing the government, is under additional charges for being seen shaking the hand of her lawyer

California’s Assembly passes right-to-die legislation, and the Senate is also expected to pass it. Where Governor Jerry Brown stands on the issue is another matter. 

No, Carrie! Don’t do it! This is my thinking as I’m about to read Carrie Poppy’s Skeptical Inquirer piece on her experience in a cryochamber where she will “freeze her toxins out.” 

Ross Andersen at The Atlantic looks at whether we could see alien civilizations’ nuclear explosions:

If every intelligent species eventually stumbles on nuclear technology, and not all of them manage it well, then it might be possible to spot an apocalypse in the heavens. Or several. 

Reviewing the psychic scams recently revealed by the New York Times, Joe Nickell recalls his own experiences in unmasking con artists. 

ISIS berates refugees fleeing to Europe, “the lands of the war-waging crusaders ruled by the laws of atheism and indecency.” 

If these Mormons are right, the end is nigh. Peggy Fletcher Stack reports:

History, some preppers believe, is divided into seven-year periods — like the Hebrew notion of “shemitah” or Sabbath. In 2008, seven years after 9/11, the stock market crashed, a harbinger of a devastating recession. It’s been seven years since then and Wall Street has been fluctuating wildly in recent weeks in the wake of China devaluing its currency.

Thus, they believe, starting Sept. 13, the beginning of the Jewish High Holy Days, there will be another, even larger financial crisis, based on the United States’ “wickedness.” That will launch the “days of tribulation” — as described in the Bible.

John de Lancie declares himself to be “openly secular,” which you would expect, coming from an omnipotent, pan-galactic being from the Continuum. 

John Snyder at Science-Based Medicine looks at some of his own cases of parents who “double-dip,” mixing real medicine for their kids with woo

After finding a hitherto-unknown human ancestor species, The Onion reports that anthropologists now feel really bad:

We briefly considered resuscitation when we found their bodies, but after a cursory examination we knew that they were already gone. If we found them a hundred millennia sooner, this tragedy might have been prevented.  

Quote of the Day:

Seth Shostak looks at how the advance of technology has made old-school UFO “evidence” look “as stale as Gothic croutons,” but also has another explanation for the lack of evidence:

One obvious possibility is that the extraterrestrials are just plain done with us. They’ve abducted enough folks to satisfy their curiosity about our anatomies. The Cold War has ended, and so has their fascination with our nuclear missile silos. They’ve tried visiting New Mexico, but that didn’t work out. So maybe they’ve just declared “mission accomplished,” and gone away. That would be analogous to Charles Darwin’s visit to the Galapagos Islands — after he probed, bottled and cataloged some of the natives, he weighed anchor and withdrew.  


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