Steve Jobs the Half-Yak

August 24, 2012

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

Cardinal Dolan will be delivering the concluding benediction at next week’s Republican National Convention (a convention I fully intend to be live-tweeting with glee and horror). This prompts Sarah Posner to say, “the [U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops] has unequivocally attached itself at the hip to the Republican Party.” (Or, as Balloon Juice’s John Cole puts it, “The Separation of Church and State. Oh, F*** It.”)

The Atlantic profiles Dr. Harvey Karp, the media-star pediatrician (whose videos and books my wife and I have been learning from) — why do I link it here? Dig it, and sigh heavily:

Readers’ early complaints about The Happiest Toddler . . . concerned its purported assault on creationism. “His references to monkeys/­apes and the human race [are] not for this Christian family,” wrote one reviewer. Karp caved. The “charming chimp-child” and “knee-high Neander­thal” have been purged from later editions of the book, as have all references to Homo habilis, the “missing link,” and, in short, the entire Karpian ontological toddler schema.

I only just discovered this: Brian Gregory hosts a video chat of skeptics with the Virtual Skeptics WebcastPilot episode here. Highlight: Bob Blaskiewicz expresses a desire to slow dance with an NPR reporter.

One of the participants in VSW, Tim Farley, posts a video of his presentation on skepticism on the Internet. I dunno, I think that’s somewhat relevant to our interests, wouldn’t you say? 

Op-ed in Toronto Sun reacts to 11-year-old Rimsha Masih‘s arrest for blasphemy saying Pakistan must “step out of the dark ages.” 

CNN’s Reza Sayah speaks to locals and neighbors of Rimsha about the events.  

The idea merely days old, Atheism+ gets coverage in The New Statesman.  

Jen McCreight provides a handy-dandy FAQ about Atheism+. It helped allay some of my concerns, certainly, so we’ll see what happens next. 

Our own Tom Flynn wants the record corrected about what “religious humanism” actually is

Nightline covers Camp Quest

Smithsonian mag celebrates 1447 years of many people being wrong about the Loch Ness Monster.

Now how cool is this? BBC has a Drake Equation Calculator

Threats force the removal of American Atheists’ magic-underwear-and-Jesus-toast billboards. 

Jeff Foxworthy to host a Bible quiz game show. I wish I was kidding. 

Um, that doesn’t look like Jesus

Local paper profiles the Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island, looks at EC’s history. One person in the piece says that CFI could never have a “caring committee,” which kind of hurts my feelings.

Upcoming book by “atheist” scholar claims that Intelligent Design might be the way to go

Bigfoot apparently photobombs (videobombs?) in the Ohio wilderness. 

Anti-quote of the day: Catholic mag First Things “reviews” David Niose’s Nonbeliever Nation:

What’s pathetic about this book is the pious posturing that punctuates the bitter denunciations . . . [it’s] one of those books that’s so bad that it’s useful. It exhibits a simple-minded mentality that would make any self-respecting fundamentalist blush.

Congrats, David!  

Quote of the Day      

The Thai Buddhist New Religious Movement reassures us of Steve Jobs’ amazing afterlife as a half-yak. What? Religion Dispatches’ Andrew Aghapour explains: 

[Abbot Phra] Thepyanmahamuni claims that Jobs’ good works earned him more not just earthly acclaim, but rewards in heaven, including a six-story mansion made of silver and crystals. Thepyanmahamuni’s claims merit a good chuckle, but I for one am completely on board; in a world full of David Bartons and Todd Akins, I’m glad to see some craziness that has style. 

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. 

Follow CFI on Twitter: @center4inquiry 

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

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