If They Are, They Are. If They’re Not, They’re Not.

September 27, 2017


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

Okay okay okay. We’re all rationalists here, right? I mean, we all believe that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. WELL THEN. I SUBMIT TO YOU my extraordinary evidence that the End Times truly are upon us.

EXHIBIT A: That twice-disgraced, Decalogue-obsessed, gay-hating, theocratic former state supreme court chief justice, the one and only Roy Moore, has easily won his primary against Sen. Luther Strange, and will almost certainly be elected to the U.S. Senate in December.

Stephen Stromberg at the Post says, “This is an embarrassment for the GOP,” that “Moore would make an unusually toxic addition to Washington,” and that he “stands for anarchy, disorder, disunity and conflict.” All true.

EXHIBIT B: Twitter is beginning to expand the character length of tweets to 280. Now we’ll have twice the opportunity to say things we’ll regret.

EXHIBIT C: Scott Pruitt, who is totally not a creepy supervillain, is spending almost $25,000 of taxpayer money to have a secure, sound-proof communications booth built in his office. But there’s nothing weird going on. Why would you even think that.

EXHIBIT D: Kirk Cameron still has a career, is still taken seriously by at least some number of people, and is calling a “national meeting” to, I dunno, heal America and something-something Jesus.
EXHIBIT E: You may not want to even learn about this. I’m not kidding. There’s a good chance you’ll want to just skip past the blockquote. It is discovered that a couple in southwest Russia has for two decades been sedating people, skinning them alive, eating parts of their bodies, and engaging in other…crafts…with other body parts. There are believed to have been around 30 victims. Seriously, you may want to skip this blockquote:
The investigation started Sept. 11, according to the Moscow Times, when crews repairing a road found a discarded cellphone. It still worked, so they swiped through the photos. What they found made them dash to a police station. On the phone were “photos of a man with different parts of a dismembered human body in his mouth,” the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs said in a statement. …

So, I hope you have your affairs in order, that you’ve hugged your loved ones, and gotten through all the Netflix shows on your watchlist. Time to “watch the great fall with religious awe.”

In other news…

Saudi Arabia now allows women to drive, so we need no longer worry about whatever else is going on in that country. Equality has been achieved, so everybody go look in some other direction. GO ON NOW.

Steven Novella is unimpressed by UC Irvine’s scrubbing of homeopathy mentions from its website, following its big $200,000,000 gift from a homeopathy-endorsing couple for the purpose of building a big “integrative medicine” program. The very fact that homeopathy was EVER in the cards is a deal-breaker:

Any regulatory body that allows homeopathic products to be promoted as medicine is failing their citizens. Any health care professional who practices homeopathy is a quack.

Beth Skwarecki at Lifehacker offers a useful shorthand (that I can’t necessarily vouch for, not being an expert): If a medicine (like homeopathy) is marketed as having no side effects, it means it doesn’t do anything.

HuffPost UK reporter Natasha Hinde falsely reports, “There’s conflicting evidence surrounding homeopathic treatments and whether they work.” No there’s not. There are conflicted people who wish to believe it works. Not the same.

Susan Gerbic, who JUST CAN’T BE STOPPED, interviews Maria Konnikova about CSICon, self-help, and poker.

A former high school student, now graduated, in Denver sues the public school system for lowering her grades and screwing up her college plans because she’s an avowed atheist.

Quote of the Day:

Returning to Exhibit A, here’s Roy Moore in an interview with Vox‘s Jeff Stein. Sounding out and out bonkers, he insists that the First Amendment was established on Christian principles, that Christianity is supposed to be favored by the state (but church-state separation is also a Christian concept), and that there are communities in America under Sharia law. When pressed on where exactly these communities are, well, just watch Moore dance:

Well, there’s Sharia law, as I understand it, in Illinois, Indiana — up there. I don’t know. … Well, let me just put it this way — if they are, they are; if they’re not, they’re not. … I was informed that there were. But if they’re not, it doesn’t matter. Sharia law incorporates Muslim law into the law. … I’ll just say: I don’t know if there are. I understand that there are some.

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