We just dropped an undiluted knowledge bomb on y’all’s brains. This morning we released the results of a survey we conducted with Lake Research Partners, supported by the Stiefel Freethought Foundation, on Americans’ attitudes and understanding about homeopathy and their trust in megaretailers Walmart and CVS. There’s a lot of information, but some big takeaways are that people tend to trust their drug retailer to sell them real medicine, most folks don’t really know what homeopathy is all about, but when they get some information, their trust in Walmart and CVS drops like a rock and they say they feel “scammed” or “ripped off” and many variations on that theme. Go look.
Speaking of things that don’t work, a sociologist at Denison University in Ohio has attempted to figure out the monetary value of thoughts and prayers (which I’m beginning to think should always be written as “thoughts ‘n’ prayers”). The Guardian reports:
Prayers from a priest were worth $7.17 to the average Christian in need. Prayers from less exalted Christians were valued at $4.36, while mere thoughts from another Christian were cheaper still at $3.27. The researchers used statistical models to estimate prices people would pay above the $5 they had.
And of course we had to get weird:
Atheists and agnostics, meanwhile, were averse to “thoughts and prayers”. On average, they were willing to pay a priest $1.66 not to pray for them, and more than twice that, $3.54, to ensure a run-of-the-mill Christian similarly refrained.
A public high school teacher in Indiana, Mike Hosinski, is made to remove his right-wing propaganda from his classroom, following complains from Northern Indiana Atheists. What kind of propaganda, you might be asking? WSBT reports:
“Mike Hosinski told the class Hillary and Obama are criminals, President Donald Trump is great, and Democrats are liars. He told them abortion should be illegal,” the complaint, provided by Northern Indiana Atheists, said. “My student says ‘he told the class Bill Clinton’s friend takes little girls to a sex island and anyone who finds out is killed. Korea has nukes, something about Muslims taking over, and something about gay people getting married.’” … Some [pictures] said things like “proud to be a conservative” and “choose life. your mom did.”
A Hindu school principal in Pakistan is charged with blasphemy, allegedly making comments (gasp) about the prophet, while a mob that rioted against the principal is also being charged with a lesser crime under the blasphemy law, for attacking the temple where the fellow was.
The Arizona Supreme Court says it’s fine to discriminate against LGBTQ folks when it comes to making wedding invitations. WHAT ABOUT RSVP NOTES CAN WE DISCRIMINATE THEN TOO??? HOWSABOUT WEDDING RECEPTION PLACECARDS THAT ARE GAY???
Most Americans say the time to act on climate change is right freaking now, according to a CBS News poll. Only 1 in 10 say humans have nothing to do with global warming, and only 9 percent say it’s not happening at all.
Those Kentucky public schools are the cheekiest. Once again, one of them has found a novel way to comply with the “In God We Trust” law, by hanging a poster that says:
The phrase “In God We Trust” first appeared on U.S. coins in 1864, largely because of the increased religious sentiment existing during the Civil War. The phrase later became the national motto and, in 1957, made it onto printed U.S. bills.
A court in Maryland says the Baltimore City Department of Social Services did the right thing vaccinating a child in its care, even though it was against the mother’s wishes.
A court in Wisconsin says a college student didn’t do anything wrong by passing out religiously-themed Valentines at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.
Brad Pitt isn’t really an atheist anymore, if you care.
Right-wing radio host Jesse Lee Peterson says that if you’re Christian and depressed, you’re not a real Christian and “Satan is still [your] daddy.”
The U.S. Nacy blows it all wide open by ADMITTING that three videos of UFO encounters are TOTALLY REAL. And by that they mean that they are real videos of real encounters with unidentified aerial phenomena, which is not at all the same as “aliens.”
Now we know why no one can find the Loch Ness Monster. She moved to China!
The ghost of Margaret Thatcher has been summoned in order to solve Brexit. It’s no crazier than anything else about Brexit.
Quote of the Day
Harriet Hall, writing for Skeptical Inquirer, just isn’t having it with “gay-conversion therapy”:
Sexual orientation can’t be changed. Gay conversion therapy doesn’t work, causes harm, is unethical, and is illegal for minors in many jurisdictions. It is not treatment: it is brainwashing, physical and mental torture, coercion, and child abuse. Rather than trying to change sexual orientation, psychotherapists could do a lot to help non-heterosexuals by supporting them, validating their gender identity, and helping them deal with the difficulties that modern society creates for them.
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.