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The Weakest Evidence You Can Get

October 13, 2020

Carl Zimmer looks a few months ahead to the probable release of a few “so-so vaccines,” writing, “there may well be several coronavirus vaccines for American consumers to choose from. But that choice will be tough.”

David Rosenberg at Foreign Policy looks at the defiance of ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities to public health measures in both New York and Israel: “Unlike any other impoverished, undereducated minority, the Haredim have consciously chosen this way of life by adhering to an ideology that looks upon the modern world as a threat. It undercuts the argument that they are blameless victims of a virus.”

The CEO of Regeneron, who makes the antibody cocktail President Trump was taking, says it’s not a cure: “The president’s case is a case of one, and that’s what we call a case report. And it is evidence of what’s happening, but it’s kind of the weakest evidence that you can get.”

Health authorities in Nashville say they are “investigating” COVID-loving pastor Sean Feucht’s 9000-person “Let Us Worship” protest-concert-infectapalooza. They didn’t apply for a permit!!!

Under updated UK pandemic restrictions, humanist weddings can now have 15 attendees, just like civil and religious weddings.

A good way to frame Republicans’ insistence that Amy Coney Barrett is being “attacked” for her faith (which I have yet to see), from Wajahat Ali at the Times: “How would Republicans behave if Judge Barrett were a Democrat whose strongly held religious beliefs came from Islam instead of Catholicism? We all know how it would go.”

Or what if she were an atheist? End of the world.

Laura Beers at the London Review of Books asks why Democrats weren’t raising the issue of reproductive rights at the hearing. “The US Constitution enshrines the separation of church and state, yet religion plays an outsize role in American politics. Any judicial decision Barrett may take on abortion would doubtless be framed in non-religious language, but it is clear her views are largely informed by her Catholicism.”

Sa’iyda Shabazz at Scary Mommy is, herself, scared by the rightward lurch of the Supreme Court and what it bodes for Obergefell: “As much as this country tries to say there’s a separation of church and state, that’s a load of bullshit. The tenets of Christianity are built into the fabric of America, and it’s never more clear than during conversations around the LGBTQ community.”

Travis Andrews at the Post looks at how QAnon cultishness is ruining family relationships: “A Florida firefighter said his ex-wife fell hard for every QAnon theory in the book, from a complicated plot connecting UFOs and the Illuminati to the (false) idea that prominent celebrities, entrepreneurs and politicians are lizard people disguised in human skin.”

Ryan P. Burge and Hannah Smothers: On religious identification surveys, “what box do atheists check if they can’t identify as an atheist?” The two then go on a statistical hunt for the “missing atheists.”

In Indonesia, Kenneth William Saputra makes a joke on TikTok about loud dance music coming from a mosque, and he was arrested for blasphemy. He could be in prison for six years if convicted.

Louie Gohmert is still a Member of Congress! I know, I had sort of blocked it out, too. Anyway, he railed against socialism this weekend, saying, “The problem with socialism isn’t just economic, It’s atheism. The government has to be the God.” Um, I don’t think…uh. You now what, forget it.

The pope gave another TED talk! On climate change! “Science tells us each day with greater precision that urgent action is needed — I am not exaggerating; this is what the science tells us! — if we want to have the hope of avoiding radical and catastrophic climate change.”

Astronomers have recorded the “spaghettification” of a star being eaten by a black hole. Cooooool.

There’s an ad going around on Facebook that falsely shows Dr. Oz endorsing CBD oil. There’s a reason people find this believable, Mehmet.

Trump says he’s going to “check on” UFOs and aliens, and assures us, “We now have created a military the likes of which we’ve never had before, in terms of equipment. The equipment that we have, the weapons that we have, and hopefully — hope to god we never have to use them.” On space aliens, you mean? I think we need some follow-up on this.

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.