Gratuitous Nighttime Baloney

July 26, 2012

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

Stars of the NatGeo show Chasing UFOs think their own show is crap. After thinking they were going to do some real science, says the show’s James Fox:

Unfortunately, when we actually got out in the field, we began to realize that they were more interested in poking around at night than allocating the time necessary during the day as, apparently (so we were told), Americans love watching others sneak around at night from the comfort of their couches. For the most part, it was gratuitous nighttime baloney. 

At the CSI website, Sharon Hill has advice regarding those who pimp the Zodiac with scientific-sounding blather:

The next time some sciencey astrologer tries to commandeer the credibility of science for their nonsense charts and predictions, just laugh. 

Also, Sharon tells of her experience in warping the minds of children so they don’t prepare themselves for the 2012 apocalypse.  

Very odd Christian Post piece that draws this bizarre line from the recently-released increase in the number of the US’s “unaffiliateds” to some kind of government-endorsed embrace of an atheist “religion.” 

Speaking of government embracing a religion, a Newsvine poll asks if folks feel that the Apotheosis of Washington painting on the ceiling of the US Capitol violates church-state separation. Have you seen it? I mean, holy jeebus, it’s dripping church-state violation onto the floor! It’s also weirdly idolatrous for a “religious” painting. 

Point of Inquiry‘s Chris Mooney blogs on his experience talking climate science with a sympathetic conservative

Prof. Jerome Baggett at the Jesuit School of Theology Santa Clara University is looking to interview atheists and freethinkers for what he says will be a “thoughtful, unbiased book” on nonbelievers in the US. If you’re interested in helping out, you can contact the professor directly at

Hemant: Atheist groups call out a religious symbol adorning a government logo, and the overreaction dance begins. 

Nutty conspiracy theories about Aurora begin, this one from the Rand Paul-backed Gun Owners of America, suggesting that the government staged the attack to spook people into supporting gun control. 

McGowan posts at Skepchick on the problem of “stupid, anonymous cowards.”

Also at Skepchick, Heina announces her intention to put together a book on Islam for skeptics. 

Op-ed in the Roanoke Times shows how cynical and money-grubbing we dirty, litigious atheists are. 

The Vatican says that the sexual abuse scandals are hurting priest recruitment. You think? 

This must be the introduction to the Opposite Sketches: Texas Board of Education unanimously approves scientifically accurate biology textbook supplements. [Update: Oops. That’s old news. This is why you should not drink and blog.] 

Oakland zoo prevents an atheist protest by removing a Ten Commandments monument. No kidding, the zoo’s CEO is named “Parrott.” 

Progressive Jews start lobbying, adopt weird name for their group, “Bend the Arc.” 

Orac at Respectful InsolenceShark embryos are waaayyyy cooler than sheep embryos when it comes to fake medicine. 

Smart letter to the editor on how religious baggage has hampered social progress.  

Police seaching for missing girl get 80 leads from psychics, but a tip ain’t one

Bobby Jindal, College Exorcist: The Movie

When “.com” doesn’t suit a religious sect, some folks want their own religious Internet exchanges, like “.islam.”  

In a press release, former NASA engineer-turned-minister, Charlie Webster, tells Christians that on the 50th year of the ban on prayer in school, it’s time to suck it up and accept it (reprinted at this mommy blog – it was all I had to link to). 

Quote of the Day      

Pulling from the Montaigne archive again for this one:

‘Tis very probable, that visions, enchantments, and extraordinary effects of that nature, derive their credit principally from the power of imagination, working and making its chiefest impression upon vulgar and more easy souls, whose belief is so strangely imposed upon, as to think they see what they do not see. 

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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