Posts

March 02, 2015

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4:03 PM | Does Thinking About God Increase Our Willingness to Make Risky Decisions?
There are at least two ways of how the topic of trust in God is broached in Friday sermons that I have attended in the United States. Some imams lament the decrease of trust in God in the age of modernity. Instead of trusting God that He is looking out for the believers, modern day Muslims believe that they can control their destiny on their own without any Divine assistance. These imams see this lack of trust in God as... Read more
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4:03 PM | Does Thinking About God Increase Our Willingness to Make Risky Decisions?
There are at least two ways of how the topic of trust in God is broached in Friday sermons that I have attended in the United States. Some imams lament the decrease of trust in God in the age of modernity. Instead of trusting God that He is looking out for the believers, modern day Muslims believe that they can control their destiny on their own without any Divine assistance. These imams see this lack of trust in God as... Read more
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5:35 AM | Does Thinking About God Increase Our Willingness to Make Risky Decisions?
by Jalees Rehman There are at least two ways of how the topic of trust in God is broached in Friday sermons that I have attended in the United States. Some imams lament the decrease of trust in God in...

March 01, 2015

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10:25 PM | American Atheists’ Outreach at CPAC: Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Conservatives? I Am.
Categories: Activism Religion SkepticismTags: atheismFeaturedpoliticsI first connected with Jamila Bey because of Skepchick. Back in late 2005 or early 2006, months before working for the Center for Inquiry, I responded to a journalist’s request on a Black Freethinkers ...(Read more...)
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1:00 PM | Bearing the Wounds of Christ
For nine-year-old Cloretta Robinson, her strange odyssey apparently began on March 17, 1972. Known as "Cocoa" to her friends, she was sitting in her fifth-grade classroom at the Santa Fe Elementary School in Oakland, California when a friend noticed blood...            Related StoriesNorwegian Care Home Condemned for Recruiting ExorcistThe Turing Problem (Part 3)The Baby Farmers 

February 28, 2015

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4:00 PM | Global Quickies: Men Showing Support in Skirts, IS Destroys Art, and Terrible Football Chants.
Categories: Feminism Quickies ReligionIRAQ Islamic State militants ransacked Mosul’s central museum, destroying priceless artifacts that are thousands of years old. Mosul’s central library has also been attacked by Isis and 100,000 books and ...(Read more...)
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1:01 PM | Spock’s Enduring Legacy for Earth Governance
As the world mourns the passing of Leonard Nimoy, the role he most memorably represented and the marvelous mythology he helped to create will remain timeless. As an environmental planner interested in better ways of governing natural resources, Star Trek‘s fabled future and specially Spock’s role provides me surprising inspiration. The creator of  Star Trek,…

February 25, 2015

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4:30 PM | Quote Therapy – C.S. Lewis
“What we learn from experience depends on the kind of philosophy we bring to experience.” C.S. Lewis

February 23, 2015

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6:21 PM | Mummified Monk Sits Inside Ancient Buddha Statue
Sitting in the lotus position, the 1,000-year-old mummy fits within the statue perfectly.
Editor's Pick
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6:21 PM | Mummified Monk Sits Inside Ancient Buddha Statue
Sitting in the lotus position, the 1,000-year-old mummy fits within the statue perfectly.

February 22, 2015

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10:03 PM | Internet Witches are Coming for our Unborn Children!
Categories: ReligionTo support more videos like this, go to patreon.com/rebecca! Sort-of transcript: Do you post photos on social media? Have you or a friend ever posted photos of your growing fetus ...(Read more...)

February 21, 2015

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7:50 PM | Cross-Post: Parking Space Atheists
Categories: ReligionThis post originally appeared on Mad Art Lab, Skepchick’s fantastic sister site that deals with the intersection of art & science!  Nearly two weeks ago, atheist Craig Hicks shot and ...(Read more...)
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4:00 PM | Global Quickies: Strip Searches, Racists in the Subway, and Giant Salamanders
Categories: Anti-Science Feminism Quickies Religion SkepticismTANZANIA “ The abduction of an albino child in Tanzania sparked calls on Tuesday for greater action to enforce a newly-imposed ban on witch doctors to stop the killing of ...(Read more...)

February 20, 2015

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2:30 PM | Ancient Shrines Used for Predicting Future Discovered
Three shrines, dating back about 3,300 years, have been discovered within a hilltop fortress at Gegharot, in Armenia.
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2:30 PM | Ancient Shrines Used for Predicting Future Discovered
Three shrines, dating back about 3,300 years, have been discovered within a hilltop fortress at Gegharot, in Armenia.
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1:47 PM | Explainer: What Is Scientology?
Ever since its founding in 1954 by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology has confused people about what it really is. Is it a religion? A cult? A commercial enterprise? Julia Wilde explains more about Scientology and its adherents.

February 19, 2015

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8:09 PM | Is Time Real? My Thought Experiment on the Nature of Time
For this thought experiment, I present to you different views of time. My own hypothesis of time is just something I pondered as an alternative to the others. If you think each through, you’ll find that none are falsifiable, which means that you can’t prove any of them wrong. However, … READ MORE
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7:15 AM | The place of religion in democratic secular countries
There is a religion which oppresses women, which is enthusiastically adopted by marginalised groups, which hates democracy and which has declared the modern world to be a heresy they call “Americanism”. This religion, which is run entirely by men, demands of its adherents loyalty to a small group of clerics overseas, in a pseudostate set […]

February 17, 2015

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6:45 PM | Know Your Opponents
I don’t re-post or link a lot of stuff from the official BEACON blog, but these two thoughtful commentaries, one from undergraduate Lazarius Miller and the other from grad student Carina Baskett, caught my eye.  Both of them were models of constructive engagement.  Maybe a little more earnest and serious in tone than readers will often find here, but equally honest in intent. They were particularly welcome after I spent three cups of coffee reading this […]
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1:00 PM | Norwegian Care Home Condemned for Recruiting Exorcist
"This is a practice which was abandoned long ago, It was poor judgement. The management on site and the municipality should not have let this happen.” In a blistering report released recently, Lasse Svenstrup Andersen, an official with the local...            Related StoriesMalaysian "Exorcist" Jailed for Molesting GirlBelieving the UnprovableAccused Witch Burned at the Stake in Paraguay 

February 14, 2015

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4:00 PM | Global Quickies: Taekwondo for Equality, Laughing at Sexists, and Jailing Opposition for Sodomy
Categories: Feminism Quickies Religion SkepticismUK (from Dan) “Just when we didn’t think she could get any more amazing, Queen Elizabeth II called gay marriage in England “wonderful.”” NORTH KOREA (from Ray) The recent history ...(Read more...)

February 11, 2015

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6:35 PM | Atheist Murders 3 Muslim Students Over Parking Spot
Categories: ReligionWell, this is horrifically sad: Craig Stephen Hicks, a white 46-year old outspoken atheist, gunned down three young Muslims in Chapel Hill, North Caroling yesterday. Their names were Deah Shaddy ...(Read more...)
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4:22 PM | Explainer: The Wahhabism Movement
A strict variant of Islam called Wahhabism is adhered to by terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda and ISIS. Which other groups practice wahhabism and what are its tenets?

February 10, 2015

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1:30 PM | 100 Ancient Cult Sites Discovered in Israel
Some 100 prehistoric cult sites, complete with penis stone structures and artifacts with vulva shapes cut into them, have been discovered in the Eilat Mountains.
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2:57 AM | How Parents’ Ideologies Affect Children
First, this is not a psychological study. It’s fr […]

February 09, 2015

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9:19 PM | Most supernatural beliefs are about avoiding harm, not bringing benefit
A survey of supernatural beliefs across cultures around the world has found that beliefs involving hazards and harms were about 50% more common than beliefs about benefits about benefits, opportunities and other good things. Daniel Fessler, at the University of California, and colleagues searched a representative dataset of 60 cultures held at the Human Relations [Read More...]

Fessler, D., Pisor, A. & Navarrete, C. (2014). Negatively-Biased Credulity and the Cultural Evolution of Beliefs, PLoS ONE, 9 (4) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0095167

Citation
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9:19 PM | Most supernatural beliefs are about avoiding harm, not bringing benefit
A survey of supernatural beliefs across cultures around the world has found that beliefs involving hazards and harms were about 50% more common than beliefs about benefits about benefits, opportunities and other good things. Daniel Fessler, at the University of California, and colleagues searched a representative dataset of 60 cultures held at the Human Relations [Read More...]

Fessler, D., Pisor, A. & Navarrete, C. (2014). Negatively-Biased Credulity and the Cultural Evolution of Beliefs, PLoS ONE, 9 (4) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0095167

Citation
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8:00 AM | What do we do about politicians and physicians who promote antivaccine misinformation?
Given the ongoing (and increasing) measles outbreak linked initially to Disneyland, it’s hard for me not to revisit the topic from time to time. This time around, there are two issues I wish to discuss, one political and one that is a combination of medical and political. After all, it was just one week ago […]

February 07, 2015

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4:00 PM | Global Quickies: Norse Gods, Pangolins, and Abducted Girls Going Back to School
Categories: Anti-Science Feminism Quickies Religion SkepticismGERMANY (From Amy) “Members of Germany’s neo-Nazi National Democratic party (NPD) were forced to cancel a protest in the south-west city of Freiburg after they got on to a train ...(Read more...)

February 06, 2015

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12:32 PM | Getting Religion about Vaccines
Herd Immunity?As the current measles epidemic continues unabated, many are looking for explanations. One obvious target are the religious and personal belief exemptions that have allowed for increasing pediatric undervaccination. Yet the fact that many states and other entities allow religious exemptions might suggest that most religions object to vaccines. Miriam Krule writing in Slate explodes the myth of religious exemptions and describes how despite few true exemptions, it is very easy […]
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