Whoop Howls

April 13, 2012

Your daily digest of relevant news and links from Paul Fidalgo

Scientific American Mind long-form piece on the happiness (or lack thereof) of nonbelievers 

Nonbelievers are considered immoral, untrustworthy and, in the U.S., among the least likely to be elected president. A handful of states’ constitutions even ban atheists from holding public office. Worst of all, a large body of research suggests that, as compared with religious individuals, people who lack a creed are less likely to be healthy and happy—surely the two most important earthly concerns—and tend to lose out on at least seven years of life, some estimates suggest. Several large-scale population studies have reinforced a single premise: the more you engage with religious activities, the better off you are. 

Nonreligious “star student” to skip high school graduation taking place in Georgia church 

The Economist takes on the blurring lines between evidence-based medicine and alt-med snake oil in US health care: “Misplaced faith has its costs.” 

Lawrence O’Donnell, in apologizing about some insensitive comments about Mormonism, says, “yes, refusing to vote for a nonbeliever is wrong.” 

Catholic Bishops: We’re not interested in your so-called “laws” 

Catholics for Choice strikes back at Bishops:

“The US Constitution is very clear that religious liberty includes freedom of religion as well as freedom from religion, despite the best efforts of the bishops to pretend otherwise.”  

AP covers threats against Ahlquist 

The Independent: Things get uglier and uglier in Kuwait:

“Kuwait’s parliament has voted in favour of a legal amendment that would make blasphemy a crime punishable by death following the arrest of a man accused of insulting the Prophet Mohamed on the social-networking website Twitter.” 

Harvard Crimson: “…separation of church and state is exactly why we ought to have a high school curriculum on religion.”  

Michiganders claim they’ve recorded “whoop howls” from Bigfoots. Bigfeet. Bigfi. Whatever. 

Looks like both Obama and Romney have polygamists in their family trees 

Muslim groups oppose Muslim US religious freedom commission nominee for, apparently, not being sufficiently enthusiastic about sharia, among other things 

More weird objects fall from the sky in Siberia 

Toms River, NJ family gets the heck out of Dodge when they find their house to be haunted 

WSJ review of new book “Doubt, Atheism, and the Nineteenth-Century Russian Intelligentsia” 

I know this has nothing to do with science, skepticism, or secularism, but it’s so awesome: Newark mayor Cory Booker is a superhero 

Quote of the Day  

From the SciAm Mind piece on the happiness of atheists:

“…if you are nonbeliever, surround yourself with like-minded people, and work on achieving your goals in other parts of your life … If you live in the U.S., these accomplishments might even help you withstand the most unrelenting downside of being nonreligious: the feeling of not fitting in.”

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. 

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