Weekly Update: to

Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .

  • [] The 20th anniversary of the human genome sequence: 1. Access to the data and the complicity of Science

    Over the past week or so, Larry Moran over at Sandwalk has been doing a series on the sequencing of the human genome, in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the achievement. I’ve only read this, the first, instalment so far, but day-amn, Professor Moran is always a thrilling, punchy read. The first instalment is about the circumstances of the first dual publication in both Nature and Science, and how that came to be even though the original plan was to publish both papers in Science. (In my opinion, the Nature cover is way cooler than the Science cover.)

  • [] 2 Muslim Women Targeted In Separate Hate-Motivated Attacks In Edmonton: Police

    I don’t feature items about islamophobic incidents every time one happens because… they just happen so fucking often that it’s depressing and would swamp out everything else in every Update. That should really bother you. I’m pretty sure we’re now past the phase where idiots are denying that islamophobia actually exists (oh, please, oh, please let us be past that phase), which means we’re now in the phase where idiots just deny how big a problem it is. Well, this article struck me for just how blasé it is about the sheer number of islamophobic incidents it’s reporting, and the amazing audacity of those incidents. I mean, these are not even the usual kind of islamophobic incident, which only rise to the level of a few shouted slurs. Here we have actual physical assault… death threats… and in some of these cases, things might have gone even further had someone else not intervened. (As an aside, while reading the article, a video started autoplaying listing a bunch of assaults on Muslims women in Vancouver… so this isn’t just an Edmonton or Alberta thing.)

  • [] Edmonton-area pastor arrested, charged after repeatedly ignoring COVID-19 rules

    Every province has churches that are defying COVID-19 lockdown orders, but few have been as bad at backing up those orders as Alberta. As a result of very mixed messages from the provincial government (that the church in question actually justifies its defiance of lockdown orders by quoting Jason Kenney), things have escalated to this point. It looks like they finally pushed the UCP too far, which, honestly, really took some doing.

  • [] LifeSiteNews Is A Megaphone For The Well-Resourced Anti-LGBTQ+ Movement

    Holy shit. I’d always considered LifeSiteNews a bit of a joke; a single-issue, uber-Christian, anti-abortion joke, and little else. I never really followed it because they’re just so damned prolific… and predictable; one can only read so many repetitions of “abortion bad; gay bad” before it makes them clinically depressed. Well, it turns out I should have been paying closer attention, because there is so much more to LifeSiteNews… and it’s all awful. They’re not just an anti-abortion, anti-gay site. They are so, so much more evil than that. I was stunned to find out just how much shit they’ve got their fingers in. Their Vice President was literally at the January 6th insurrection at the Capitol in the United States! And despite being literally in-person witnesses to what unfolded, they somehow still concluded that the rioters were actually leftist agitators! Recently, as part of the better-late-than-never activity some major social media platforms have begun to take in confronting the incredible levels of hate and stupidity they have previously been pleased to host, LifeSiteNews has been finding itself more and more de-platformed. If you have any doubts about whether that’s warranted… well, just read the article.

  • [] “Oath” by Zach Weinersmith (Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal)

    Did anyone else notice the comically-oversized Bible that Joe Biden used for his swearing ceremony? Normally I don’t truck with conspiracy theorists, but in this case, I’m kinda with anyone who suspects that it wasn’t actually a Bible, but rather a copy of the Necronomicon. Or possibly the Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master Guide.

  • [] ‘That May Be True For You, But It’s Not True For Me’ – Relativism Explained

    When I first started studying morality, the biggest surprise to me was that the position I had previous thought to be obviously true—that morality is relative, and two cultures can disagree on what is morally correct without either culture being “right”—despite being the most popular position among regular folk, is extremely unpopular among moral philosophers. Eventually, I reconsidered my beliefs, and now believe in moral universalism. This excerpt by Stephen Law does a really good job of explaining the pros and cons of relativism; where it makes sense, and where it does not, and why.

  • [] ‘A crisis within the movement’: New report warns self-proclaimed ‘prophets’ are proliferating in the U.S.

    This piece is primarily about US stuff, but it’s not hard to see how these issues could impact us as well. I mean, they already have; we have QAnon wackaloons here, too. I read Friendly Atheist, which does an excellent job of reporting on the prophets and their predictions… and their ultimate hilarious failures to come true… so I can definitely concur with the thesis: there are a lot of self-proclaimed prophets making political predictions out there. I wonder if… or, sigh, when… this is a problem in Canadian Christianity, too.

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