There Will Be Normal Numbers!

September 6, 2017


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

Over the weekend, the Sunday Herald in Scotland did a profile of our Secular Rescue program, highlighting some of the threatened secular writers and activists that we’ve helped bring to safety.

The great folks of CFI Austin are collecting donations to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. So far, they’ve raised $700! You can make donations through PayPal using The deadline is Friday, September 8 at midnight. They’ll use anything they get this week for a food bank or refugees in Austin.

Kimberly Winston reports on the new study by the Public Religion Research Institute showing that white evangelicals are on the decline in the U.S., and other Christian denominations are becoming more racially diverse over time. It’s a #MAGA nightmare! Said PRRI researcher Daniel Cox, “It is no longer the case among young people that being religious is necessarily a positive attribute.”

Across the pond, the National Centre for Social Research shows that 53 percent of the UK adult population describes themselves as having “no religion,” the highest level yet recorded. The headline here uses “atheist” instead of “no religion,” but that’s not what the survey uses, and as the understandably-defensive Bishop of Liverpool said, “No religion is not the same as atheism.” 

Indian journalist Gauri Lankesh, known for her opposition to extremist Hindu nationalism, is gunned down at point blank range outside of her home. CFI India is organizing a protest in response.

Religious leaders and organizations across the theological spectrum — including atheist — are condemning President Trump’s decision to kill the DACA program.

This is just unreal. Today I learned that naturopaths use a treatment known as IV hydrogen peroxide. It sounded harmless enough until I realized it wasn’t “IV” as in the Roman numeral for 4, but “IV” as in “intravenous.” Rebecca Plevin at KPCC reports: 

A number of Southern California naturopathic doctors are using the mild antiseptic in an unconventional way: They intravenously infuse a saline solution with 3 percent hydrogen peroxide straight into a patient’s bloodstream.

Montrose osteopath Dr. Yoshi Rahm says this treatment, called IV hydrogen peroxide, does the same thing inside your body as it does on the outside. It’s “killing things,” such as “the infection that you currently have, or those unhealthy cancer cells you currently have,” he says. 

“It’s killing things.” Jeebus. I don’t know how these people can sleep at night.

Salman Rushdie talks to Big Think about the absurdity of asserting moral equivalency between Nazis and those opposing them, and more generally the crucial difference between how we treat ideas and how we treat people. Also, we learn that Nobel Laureates are sometimes nasty to each other at meals. 

Digital Content Next, a trade group representing several news outlets, is warning the NRA to stop threatening journalists:

It’s your equal right to express your disagreement with viewpoints expressed by The New York Times or any other news organizations. The Constitution and its amendments are not ripe for cherry picking. However, when you use such incendiary language as ‘we’re coming for you,’ it is our right to suggest in the strongest terms that your behavior is blatantly irresponsible as it may incite violence against journalists. Ninety-nine people out of a hundred would interpret this language as threatening and to suggest otherwise is disingenuous at best and dangerous at worst. Bottom line: It is un-American to threaten journalists.

Katie MacBride at The Outline explains why a famous and frequently-cited study on drug addiction, the “Rat Park” study, was actually riddled with problems. 

Greenland sharks turn out to be the longest-living vertebrates on Earth, with one female shark estimated to be over 400 years old, the oldest vertebrate alive. (And these sharks don’t even reach sexual maturity until they’re 150, so, it’s a slog.) The shark, who doesn’t look a day over 300, is bested by an invertebrate, a 507-year-old clam named “Ming.” Aw. Imagine the stories they could tell each other. You know, if they both had means of communication. Pity. 

On this day in 1982, Activision released Pitfall for the Atari 2600, changing the aural landscape forever with this sound

Quote of the Day:

This is hilarious. Olfried Best, the Nazi candidate for mayor of Volklingen, Germany is pranked by an audience question:

Q: I find it alarming that in Völklingen many house numbers are displayed in Arabic numerals. How would you like to take action against this creeping foreigner infiltration?

BEST: You just wait until I am mayor. I will change that. Then there will be normal numbers. [Laughter from audience] Wait a moment, Mr. Faust, until I’m Lord Mayor, and I’ll change that.

Oh, Nazis. When will you ever learn??? 

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