A Minute Amount of Intelligence

October 25, 2012

Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.  

Ladies and gentlenerds, CSICon 2012 kicks off today in Music City. Your Morning Heretic is a little discombobulated from late night travel and time zone changes, plus being in the human presense of people who I have known exclusively as email addresses or Twitter handles. But all signs from the ineffable consciousness of the universal spirit point to a really fantastic event.

FoxNews.com covers the CFI lawsuit in Indiana to allow for secular celebrants to solemnize marriages, and wherein I inartfully try to make the distinction between just getting a government functionary to sign a paper and having an officiant of the secular community do the business of sealing the matrimonial deal.  

Chelsea Hoffman applauds our efforts on the Indiana case (and we appreciate it):

This is an insanely unfair statute that needs to be overturned. That’s why the Center for Inquiry is stepping up to the plate and demanding that something be done over this unfair treatment of a growing percentage of citizens. 

The first negative appraisal of the work of Paul Kurtz appears in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, calling Kurtz an “ideologue” who “enabled our long deep sleep under the pretense of reason.” 

Joe Nickell investigates the “mysterious twitching outbreak” at a New York high school for Skeptical Inquirer

Rebecca Watson brings her personal story about the turmoil around misogyny in the skepto-atheosphere to Slate:

I’ve written this article . . . because I strongly believe that the goals of skeptics are good ones, like strengthening science education, protecting consumers, and deepening our knowledge of human psychology. Those goals will never be met if we continue to fester as a middling subculture that not only ignores social issues but is actively antagonistic toward progressive thought. 

A documentary on the Texas creationist attempts to overrun public education, The Revisionariespremiers tomorrow in NYC, and the event will feature a live discussion with our own Michael De Dora.

Now how do you like that: Local auto repair shop Tom Dwyer Auto Services plugs the Portland Humanist Film Festival on the company’s website. 

Rebecca Tippens, vice president of Illini Secular Student Alliance, talks about the group’s Ladies’ Night at the CFI On Campus blog.

Vice magazine talks to Jennifer McCreight about Atheism+. 

Einstein’s “God letter” sells on eBay for $3 million. I better write one, see how high the bidding goes. 

You might be genetically predisposed to being placebo’d. 

Sarah Posner is taken aback by the president’s comments with Jay Leno about the Richard Mourdock ‘rape-pregnancies-are-a-gift-from-God’ remarks, saying he doesn’t know “how these guys come up with these ideas.” Says Posner:

He doesn’t know where these guys come up with these ideas? I know he was trying to demonstrate the outrageousness of Mourdock’s views, but we all know where they come up with these ideas: fundamentalist Christianity. 

Matthew Hedstrom tries to tease out some of the nuances among the “nones,” and says “we have yet to see a ‘Seculars for Obama’ bumper sticker.” Is that true? 

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others.” – Rob Boston. I mean Jesus.


Barbara Reynolds, an ordained minister, says in WaPo: “I believe it is necessary, imperative even, to ask our politicians how their faith, if at all, will affect their decisions in office.” 

PBS’s Frontline posts its program on climate change denial online. 

Is raw food making you stupid? (No, but that got your attention, I bet.) 

Dallas Morning News asks about mass UFO sightings in the area: “Were the UFOs just trying to avoid getting hit by the ongoing meteor shower, which was peaking around that time?”

The Gospel Coalition is sounding the alarms, while playing down the impact, of atheism within the African American community. 

Wingnut Christianists upset with Billy Graham for not hating Mormons enough


Quote of the Day

Thomas Dressiar of the Northwest Missourian is incensed that folks like Reps. Todd Akin and Paul Broun have influence over science policy:

We cannot continue to elect and allow people like Broun and Akin, whose faith obviously supersedes what minute amount of intelligence they might possess, and who have an absurd viewpoint guided by a blind belief in an unknown entity. 

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. 

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Got a tip for the Heresy? Send it to press(at)centerforinquiry.net! 

The Morning Heresy: “I actually read it.” – Hemant Mehta