Funkmaster General

September 15, 2015


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

Point of Inquiry this week marks 14 years since 9/11 with a conversation between host Josh Zepps and journalist Craig Unger, author of the book House of Bush, House of Saud. The two largely discuss our strange and complicated relationship with the Saudis, and their various conflicts and interests in the larger Muslim world.

Alabama adopts science standards that require the teaching of evolution and climate change, and the news is that no one seems to be putting up a fight

Bernie Sanders addresses the students of Liberty University

Ben Radford reviews M. Night Shyamalan’s new film The Visit at the CFI blog. 

At Skeptical Inquirer, Terence Hines reviews The Horse That Won’t Go Away: Clever Hans, Facilitated Communication, and the Need for Clear Thinking. 

Harriet Hall reviews a new book on what she says was “one of medicine’s greatest mistakes,” the frontal lobotomy.  

At PaStAHcon, atheists raise over $7500 for a food bank and box up more than 30,000 meals. 

According to this piece at Huffington Post, John Kasich spoke about the “commendable values of secular humanism” at a campaign stop. Imma need to see the tape. 

John Oliver has to shut down his real/fake church because of, um, things he was sent. 

Charlie Hebdo uses the imagery of the drowned Syrian boy Aylan al-Kurdi in its cartoons.  

If you’ve ever wanted literally every word of the Bible turned into a graphic novel, now’s your chance. (And, like the actual Bible, this looks pretty gory and gruesome.)

This poor fellow seems to think that spotlights and tinfoil will keep his house safe from extraterrestrials. Everyone knows that they can see right through that stuff. 

A UFO lands in someone’s back yard, and the aliens are Google

29 percent of Americans still think the president is a Muslim. 

The United Church of Bacon claims 12,000 members, and according the Mirror, “Followers boast titles like ‘Bacon Prophet’, ‘Institutionalized Thought Leader’ and ‘Funkmaster General’.” 

Maajid Nawaz and Sam Harris write in The Daily Beast about a change in conversation about Islam they feel is necessary:

We do not entirely agree on how, and how fully, religion should be subjected to criticism in our society, but we both believe that merely repeating platitudes like “Islam is a religion of peace,” despite evidence that many zealots see it as a religion of war, blurs the line between truly peaceful and tolerant Muslims and those who aspire to drag humanity back to the seventh century. 

The Onion‘s A.V. Club goes down the Wikipedia wormhole of the entry on pseudoscience, and comes out the wiser for it:

Strangest fact: The line between real science and pseudo is blurrier than you’d think. As the scientific method is a process of trial and error, some fields of pseudoscience are merely dead ends of inquiry. The ancient pseudoscience of alchemy led more or less directly to the actual scientific field of chemistry, as those who failed to transmute one substance to another did at least manage to learn something about the properties of the materials they were working with. Even obviously (to modern eyes) unscientific topics like astrology or phrenology were borne out of the same impulse to explain the workings of the universe that drives scientific inquiry. 

Quote of the Day:

Randal John Meyer at the Cato Institute calls out Kim Davis for violating the Establishment Clause:

Regardless of what one thinks of the decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, same-sex couples have the constitutional right to civil marriage. Absent a constitutional amendment it is incumbent upon government officials to obey Obergefell. If that ruling conflicts with state officials’ consciences, their state duty not to establish their religion and impose it on others through state offices still trumps. 

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Original image by Joe Loong.

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