The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
As of this typing, the Space X Falcon 9 rocket, set to launch a satellite this coming weekend, looks to have exploded on the launch pad. No news on why or if anyone was hurt.
Not too long ago CFI launched a new-and-improved membership program. Well now it’s also got the option to do your membership in monthly installments. So what are you waiting for? ONE OF US. ONE OF US.
Donald Trump, after being introduced by two grownup men un-ironically wearing hats saying “Make Mexico Great Again Also,” says immigrants must pass an “ideological test” before being allowed admission into the country:
Another reform, involves new screening tests for all applicants that include, and this is so important, especially if you get the right people. And we will get the right people. An ideological certification to make sure that those we are admitting to our country share our values and love our people. … Applicants will be asked their views about honor killings, about respect for women and gays and minorities. Attitudes on radical Islam, which our President refuses to say and many other topics as part of this vetting procedure. And if we have the right people doing it, believe me, very, very few will slip through the cracks. Hopefully, none.
This blows my mind. Four years ago, geologists in Greenland discovered what looked like fossils of microbial life embedded in rocks, and only now are they able to say that they believe that these fossils represent evidence of life emerging 3.7 billion years ago. Read that number again. It’s a big deal.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has a new report saying that 87% of pediatricians have encountered parents who refuse vaccinations for their kids, which is up from 75% in 2006. One of the doctors quoted in the UPI story? Named McCarthy. WILD, RIGHT? Ahem:
Thanks to the protection provided by vaccines, parents haven’t seen the ravages that can be wrought on children by diseases like chicken pox, measles, meningitis and polio, said Dr. Claire McCarthy, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School in Boston. “We are so good at what we do with vaccines that the danger of vaccine-preventable illness can seem not quite real to this generation of parents, and that’s definitely getting in the way,” McCarthy said.
Perhaps these parents are being misled by guys like this.
The latest newsletter from the Dawkins Foundation has some tough talk for Democrats and some straight-up wonder over Prox b.
Speaking of Prox b, Maddie Stone at Gizmodo explains how the successor to the Hubble, the JWST, will be able to “sniff out” the planet for an atmosphere “within just a few days of observation.” Wow!
Oh, and the radio signals that the Russians discovered coming from a really far-away star? Nope. It was humans human-ing.
Our own Debbie Goddard was the guest on FFRF’s Freethought Radio podcast, marking Women’s Equality Day (August 26) and the upcoming Women in Secularism conference.
HeadOn! Apply directly to the forehead! DO IT! APPLY IT NOW! WHY AREN’T YOU APPLYING?!? Ben Radford curses us with the memory of this insidious product, focusing on the fact that, oh what do you know, it’s snake oil. “The first clue that something’s amiss with the product is that its formula is homeopathic.” UGH.
Ushma D. Upadhyay, a professor of obstetrics, writes in NYT that abortion policy is being formed without regard to actual science:
Claims that abortion laws will protect women’s health and safety are just that — claims. We need scientific research that evaluates these laws’ actual effects on women and their health. If state legislatures want to create policies around abortion, they should be based on evidence.
Wendy Cadge, writing at Religion & Politics, looks at the history of the congressional chaplaincy and how it needs to change:
Not only do we need more atheists as guest chaplains but we need members of other religious traditions in better proportion to their numbers in the population. We also need women and people of color, especially in today’s political climate, in representative numbers.
At the state level, the York Daily Record’s editorial board says the Pennsylvania House should lighten up: “Lawmakers should simply allow nonbelievers to occasionally give invocations. They don’t have to listen.”
Atheist candidates did pretty well in primaries this week! This is how we make progress, folks.
This company wants to find Bigfoot. It just needs an investment of $15 million, and it’s gonna happen.
Iceland is afraid of angering the elves. For reals.
If you’re going to op-ed against Neil deGrasse Tyson, next time you best bring Kryptonite.
Bill Nye’s getting his own Netflix show. Excellent.
Joe Nickell reviews the film Captain Fantastic…and approves!
Quote of the Day
Jenny Nicholson explains how to make up Star Wars names, and here I focus on the “Darths.”
You pretty much just take a word that starts with “in” and you take off the prefix. So maybe:
- Darth Ebriate
- Darth Trusive
- Darth Ertia
- Darth Tegrity
- Darth Fantile
- Darth Ception
- Darth Somniac
- Darth Vestigate
- Darth Fluenza
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