CFI’s Empress of Philanthropy, Martina Fern, is the guest on the latest Phil Ferguson Show (you gotta go about halfway through the episode to get to her part), where she talks up CSICon.
We have an action alert in support of the Scientific Integrity Act, which would be a great bill to get passed given the recent NYU report showing just how hostile the Trump administration is to government science:
Not only has the Trump administration been deliberately attacking the integrity of science in government, it’s been trying to undermine the value of objective fact itself, endangering our democracy – and the planet – in the process. That’s the conclusion from a report issued yesterday by New York University, and why we’re asking you to help build support in Congress for the Scientific Integrity Act.
The NYU report, authored by a democracy task force at the Brennan Center for Justice, acknowledges that while the suppression of politically inconvenient scientific findings is not unique to Trump, this president is unique in his hostility toward science and truth, having escalated the situation to “a crisis point, with almost weekly violations of previously respected safeguards.”
Go contact your congressmonsters, and then come back here.
According to a Pew survey of high school students, religious expression is a common experience in today’s schools, with 39 percent reporting that they regularly see prayers before sporting events, 26 percent saying they see invitations to religious services, and 41 percent see at least a couple different forms of religious expression happening.
The UK’s Good Thinking Society wants the High Court to take the Society of Homeopath’s regulatory power away, in light of the anti-vaxxer autism “cure” many officially recognized homeopaths are hawking.
FFRF files a compaint against the Texas judge who handed Amber Guyger a bible and got all goddy with her. Hiram Sasser of the Christian-right First Liberty Institute said this to the Dallas Morning News, and I frankly think he’s lying:
Sasser said he would not have a problem if a Muslim judge handed a copy of the Quran to a criminal defendant in court.
“I would defend any judge handing any holy text to anybody in an effort to help them be a better person,” he said.
That’s a statement that I think qualifies as both a Whopper and an Impossible Burger.
Thomas Roberts, a lung cancer patient who (reportedly) was an atheist all his life, had himself baptised in a pool with the help of University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital staff six days before he died. The local news reports it as a “miracle,” which of course it isn’t, and actual journalistic outlets shouldn’t be characterizing things like this in those terms, but I guess this is the world we live in now. Hey, I wonder if they would call it a miracle if it was a last-minute conversion to Islam! (I’m kidding, I know the answer is that they would not.)
Read this and weep. For days:
Nearly 1,700 priests and other clergy members that the Roman Catholic Church considers credibly accused of child sexual abuse are living under the radar with little to no oversight from religious authorities or law enforcement, decades after the first wave of the church abuse scandal roiled U.S. dioceses, an Associated Press investigation has found.
Governer Matt Bevin of Kentucky, who clearly has nothing better to do, is pushing Bring Your Bible to School Day and saying, “I would encourage you please, don’t just bring your bible to school but read your Bible. Bring it, share it with others.” Yeah, kids. Read the whole thing. I bet you’ll find a LOT of stuff that surprises you in there. Please. BE MY GUEST. Let me know when you get to Job. That’s fun.
John Fea at RNS watches as what he calls Trump’s “court evangelicals” muster their holy powers to defend the president from impeachment:
In other words, the Democrats behind impeachment are working for Satan, seeking to undermine the Christian identity of the United States. [Franklin] Graham knows that his call to “pray for this country” is a message to his followers to pray that Trump will not be impeached and that God will intervene to protect his anointed president.
You think the NSA and Facebook are creating a surveilance state? Just wait until you realize what God’s been watching you do.
The Department of Transportation is unhappy with Ames, Iowa’s pride-rainbow colored crosswalks, and officials in Ames do not seem to care. Good.
Canada’s major political parties both think that Quebec’s ultra-secularism law is too extreme, but neither seem to have any idea what to do about it, seeing as how popular the law seems to be in the province.
Smithsonian Magazine profiles Margaret Rossiter who is chronicling the lives of women scientists who have been shunted aside in the annals of history:
Academic historians typically don’t have an immediate impact on everyday life. Rossiter is the exception. In excavating the lives of forgotten women astronomers, physicists, chemists, entomologists and botanists, Rossiter helped clear the way for women scientists in the future. “Her work showed that there were women in science, and that we could increase those numbers, because women are quite capable of it,” said Londa Schiebinger, a historian of science at Stanford University. In addition, Rossiter’s work illustrated that administrators needed to reform academic institutions to make them more hospitable to women. “She showed that very talented women faced barriers—and so that sparks something.”
Hooray for veteran Canadian skeptic Dr. Joe Schwarcz for going on what looks to be a pretty insufferable daytime chat show to separate fact from pseudoscience in food and diet.
According to BuzzFeed’s Ben Henry, Gwyneth Paltrow seems not to be familiar with many of the products her Goop operation sells. “Apparently it’s from a camel.” Indeed.
Fireballs in the sky over Chile were NOT METEORITES OH GOD IT’S ALIENS wait maybe they were or maybe space debris you know what never mind.
Quote of the Day
This gets pretty intense. Here’s what ex-evangelical Frank Schaeffer thinks of Jerry Falwell Jr., Ralph Reed, Robert Jeffress, and Franklin Graham, who he says in an Instagram video, bend all efforts toward “the return of Jesus”:
They are the syncophant, lickspittle enablers of the neo-fascist, white supremacist Donald Trump.
Tell us what you really think! On their cries of imminent civil war:
How far have we come when our religious leaders are calling for violence?
Yeah, religious leaders calling for violence. Totally new. Okay, sorry. Onward:
The evangelical white supremacist movement led by Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell, Jr., Ralph Reed, Robert Jeffress, and others is now opening the door to legitimizing violence against our government and elected officials. Make no mistake. They will not tolerate the loss of the presidency by Donald Trump, either through impeachment or through the election of a Democrat. They will call for violence in veiled and perhaps not veiled terms. They are also laying the groundwork now for saying that since Trump was ordained by God, to work against Trump — in other words, to be a Democrat or a progressive or a brown person or a black person or a Hispanic or an immigrant, or someone demanding and asking for asylum at our borders — is to be working against God. This is the talk of jihad. … they are our new ayatollahs.
Okay well I’ll never sleep again.
Linking to a story or webpage does not imply endorsement by Paul or CFI. Not every use of quotation marks is ironic or sarcastic, but it often is.