Tommaso Lizzul / Adobe Stock

Frightening Infinity

February 1, 2019

New Mexico legislators seem to want to make their state sicker and dumber as they introduce something called the Naturopathic Doctors’ Practice Act, a bill that would license and give primary care authority to people who practice fake medicine. We’re all, like, nope:

“Despite this bill’s references to ‘naturopathic doctors,’ naturopaths are not physicians,” said Jason Lemieux, CFI’s Director of Government Affairs. “They do not receive serious medical training, they trade in bogus treatments like homeopathy, and they reject the evidence-based tenets of science. They should not be given similar medical authority as actual medical doctors.”

Upon the release of the Four Horsemen book, Richard Dawkins is interviewed by The New Statesmen, and says this of the prospect of death:

I find the idea of eternity and infinity frightening… Death is a general anaesthetic.

I am SO with him on that.

Jim Underdown takes brain-exploder Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ assertion that God wanted Trump to president to its logical conclusion:

If you believe in an all-powerful God, EVERYTHING that happens is his will. By definition. Everything.

What follows is an impressive list of things that God must “want,” including serial killers, the Holocaust, lung cancer, diarrhea, genital herpes, and Renaissance Fairs. God is so weird.

Thanks to Russ Dobler writing for the CFI blog, I now know about yet another science-denying conspiracy theorist group I had no idea existed: the “Birds are Not Dinosaurs” crowd, or, ugh, “BAND.” (The members of that group who are just kind of on the fence about the topic are of course the BANDINOs. Just think about it a second, you’ll get it.)

Uzbekistan seems…interesting. Apparently the previous regime had banned the teaching of political science because, according to US News, “the government had deemed political science a pseudoscience based on teachings alien to Uzbekistan.” Seems they had also banned foreign currency, painting faces at soccer games, and playing billiards and snooker, which I had to look up. These bans have all been reversed by the current prime minister.

Scary Mommy refers to our Dawkins Foundation Twitter account as a “hero” for highlighting an antivax mom’s facepalmy Facebook post:

My 3 year old is not vaccinated and there is currently a measles outbreak in my state. Any suggestions for precautions I can take to protect her would be very much appreciated.

Huh. Tough one, lady.

Philosophy professor Andrew Fiala says actual biblical literacy (as opposed to the Project Blitz creationist version) “sheds light on religious fundamentalism,” and that “things are more complicated — and interesting — than fundamentalists often admit.”

Tara Isabella Burton seeks out examples of “secular saints,” figures held in deep reverence by particular groups, such as Martin Luther King, Oscar Wilde, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Pew Research looks at 35 countries and finds that actively religious folks tend to be happier, which is not such a surprise. Interestingly, according to reporting at RNS, “In 19 of the 35 countries, actively religious people are as likely as any other to be fat. They are also less likely to exercise.”

Michigan’s new Attorney General, Dana Nessel, withdraws the state from several lawsuits in which Michigan was on the side of far-right conservatives. She said:

I will not use this office to undermine some of the most important values in our state, including those involving reproductive rights and the separation of church and state.

The University of Miami’s school news profiles the new Appignani Foundation Chair for the Study of Atheism, Humanism, and Secular Ethics and its professor, Anjan Chakravartty.

Uri Gellar, the guy who can’t actually bend spoons with his mind but still says he can, claims he will use his psychic powers (which he does not have) to keep Jeremy Corbyn from being the next UK prime minister. I feel bad that I even took the effort to write that sentence.

In an editorial, The Indian Express comments on the acquittal of Asia Bibi, writing, “While the Court ruled in favour of Aasia on the merits of the accusations against her, it is the blasphemy law that is the real problem.” Yeah I’d say so.

The Naperville Sun for some reason decides its worth their readers’ time to do a puffy interview with an astrologer/psychic. What does she say to skeptics?

I love them. I’ve had all kinds of people come in. You don’t know if you don’t try it. It doesn’t make me mad. That’s their opinion. They have not met me. They have not had a reading. Once you open the door to the metaphysical world, you’ll become a believer. Everyone is born with psychic ability. You just have to tap into it.

Lots of wrong all stuffed into that answer.

Facebook takes action against hundreds of Indonesian accounts allegedly spreading fake news and “hate speech,” apparently all a coordinated part of a “syndicate” that, among other things, organized the protests against former Jakarta governor “Ahok,” who was recently released after serving a blasphemy sentence.

Paul Ingraham at Science-Based Medicine recounts his experience as a massage therapist who rejected the accompanying pseudoscientific claptrap of the profession, and how that got him more or less booted out of it.

Democrats, known for their unflappable courage in the face of opposition, totally cave on the whole “so help you God” thing in administering oaths in the House Natural Resources Committee.

The Hubble Telescope accidentally discovers a close galactic neighbor, a “dwarf galaxy” about 30 million light-years away.

Some nutty preacher, Andrew Wommack, says on a radio show that his faith raised his son from the dead. Well, that’s cool. I’m glad the son’s okay, unlike, you know, his dad.

Sometimes I’m not sure whether The Patriot Post (“The web’s first and foremost conservative digest” cough cough) is actually a long-con satire site. This piece refers to the “aggressively secular,” “pro-infanticide” “Democrat Party” as having a “lust for power even to the point of advocating for the killing of babies,” with a headline referring to the “macabre leftist culture of death.” See, that’s what tipped me off. No way these guys would know a fancy, Frenchy word like “macabre.” I call hoax!

Quote of the Day

Lucien Greaves of the Satanic Temple knows who we should be scared of, and it’s not the devil nor Trump:

Bush was a true believer; Trump doesn’t really try. But I think the evangelicals are happy with Pence, and happy that he’s assigning the [federal judge] appointees. Trump is too stupid to predict; the guy has no concept of his own limitations. … Mike Pence really scares me: Pence has a clear, theocratic vision for the United States.

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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.