The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
On Friday, Ensaf Haidar announced the formation of the Raif Badawi Foundation, advocating for free expression in the Arab world, and our own Michael De Dora was tapped to be a member of its board of directors.
Michael also contributes to a series of posts at Mukto Mona on the occasion of the late Avijit Roy’s birthday:
If only all of us were so fortunate to have someone like Avijit come into our lives. I thank good fortune every day that Avijit came into mine.
And one more from Michael, as he’s quoted in another Voice of America piece covering the crisis for Bangladeshi secular bloggers, who now have to fear both Islamist murderers and their own government. “Religious ideas do not need the government of Bangladesh to protect them, but its people do. Badly.”
Barbara Mervine at Skeptical Briefs distinguishes between learning facts from overall skeptical thinking:
I sometimes think of the old saying “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day; teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.” I like to update it to “Give a person an answer, they will know Bigfoot isn’t real. Teach a person skepticism, and they’ll think Bigfoot isn’t real, aliens aren’t visiting from Venus, and they’ll vaccinate their children.”
NYC’s Board of Health apparently thinks the ire of Orthodox rabbis is more important than whether babies get herpes from said rabbis who “suck blood from a newly cut penis with his mouth.”
Kim Davis is back at her job, not doing her job.
Dexter Thomas at the LA Times looks at how prejudice and vindictiveness is still directed at Muslims (or those who people think look like Muslims) 14 years after 9/11.
Dara Lind at Vox explains how conservatives think there are #BlackLivesMatters conspiracies against police and white people:
There is a big, big difference between “some dude on the internet says it’s open season on police” and “the Black Lives Matter movement is planning to attack police officers.” Conservative media outlets vacillate between calling FYF a “splinter group” of Black Lives Matter, and portraying the two as the same (as the phrases “Black Lives Matter attacks” used by the Daily Caller and Raw Story, and “Black Lives Matter 9/11 Anniversary Threat” used by the International Business Times, imply). But they’re insistent on establishing a connection.
Malaysian human rights activist Lena Hendry faces three years in prison for showing a documentary the government doesn’t like.
At the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, a coalition of poor and developing nations most hurt by climate change will ask the rich, polluting nations to pay up.
Stephen Colbert discusses his surprisingly devout Catholic faith, his willingness to make fun of it, and his relief at not being on the Colbert Report when the Charlie Hebdo massacre happened:
There’s no sufficient response I could’ve thought of at that moment, and I felt very lucky not to be on-air at that time. When a big story happens, I would think, ‘I wish I were on-air to talk about this,’ that one was like, ‘I’m so glad I’m not because I don’t have anything I think that approaches it.’
John G. Messerly attempts to explain how transhumanism jibes (or, rather, doesn’t jibe) with supernaturalism and religion, complete with a little tech-apotheosis:
I don’t believe in souls, and the only way for there to be a good future is if we save ourselves. No gods will save us because there are no gods—unless we become gods.
Titan, Saturn’s biggest moon, might have a compound on it that sort of acts like a thermos for life.
Might this be the new way of National Geographic in the Murdoch era?
Dr. Oz winds up a “listening tour” with real doctors, and says he’s going to improve his show. Nowhere to go but up?
Salman Rushdie, being shown CJ Werleman comparing the response to his anti-atheist tirade to the fatwa against Rushdie:
Not interesting, no.
Quote of the Day:
It’s going to be difficult to successfully breed those lions.
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Original image by Shutterstock.
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