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Posts

April 24, 2014

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12:12 PM | Darren Aronofsky on Floods, Fanaticism, the Big Bang, Warming and More
The director of "Noah" and other films about obsession explores his views of global warming, fanaticism and the uncomfortable intersection of religion and science.

April 23, 2014

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3:14 PM | Ancient Chisel Used to Build Western Wall Found
The 2,000-year-old stonemason's chisel may have been used in the construction of the holy site for both Muslims and Jews. Continue reading →
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3:14 PM | Ancient Chisel Used to Build Western Wall Found
The 2,000-year-old stonemason's chisel may have been used in the construction of the holy site for both Muslims and Jews. Continue reading →

April 22, 2014

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4:00 PM | Challenge Accepted: Non-Atheistic Explanations for Sacrifice
Categories: Religion SkepticismOver at THE WEEK a few days ago, Damon Linker wrote an article titled “Why atheism doesn’t have the upper hand over religion.” In this article, Linker claims to have dealt a coup de gras to atheism: “The fact is that there are specific human experiences that atheism in any form simply cannot explain or account for. One of those experiences is radical sacrifice—and the feelings it elicits in us.” He goes on to list a few […]
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2:21 PM | Religious Belief Linked to Brain Cortex Thickness
In a previous post, I reviewed a longitudinal study of religious belief and major depression.This study by Lisa Miller and colleagues found a reduced risk of depression in subjects who rated religious belief or spirituality as an important factor in their lives.Reduction in depression risk with religiosity/spirituality was largest (90% smaller risk) in those with a family history of depression.This correlation may not be causal and may be explained by some common third factor between religion […]

April 20, 2014

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6:00 PM | Improbable Resurrections: 5 Real Cases
In celebration of Easter and the resurrection of Christ, here are some stories of people being revived against all odds, including from rabies, coma, catatonic states and brain-eating amoebas.
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1:18 PM | DNews: Why People Believe Jesus Had a Wife
It was recently announced that an ancient text claiming that Jesus had a wife was not forged. Ross Everett joins DNews to report on this new finding, and what discuss if it means anything to religion as we know it.

April 19, 2014

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10:35 PM | Tennessee Supreme Court to rule about faith healing as child abuse
Once again, religious shield laws rear their head in the case of charges brought against the caregivers in a child’s death. The mother is trying to get out of her conviction of child neglect. One point glossed over in the story — the child died of painful bone cancer and the mother was charged with… Source: Doubtful News
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11:00 AM | Fact-Checking the Bible
Is the Bible Fact or Fiction? This question has been debated for centuries. So far, no definitive answer has been given -- here are some of the more contentious issues in the Bible that may or may not stand up to historic and scientific scrutiny.

April 17, 2014

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9:07 PM | Choose One Of These 11 Insights And Make Your Life Better
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

April 15, 2014

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3:16 PM | Talks on God and Cosmology
Hey, remember the debate I had with William Lane Craig, on God and Cosmology? (Full video here, my reflections here.) That was on a Friday night, and on Saturday morning the event continued with talks from four other speakers, along … Continue reading →
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3:12 PM | Why This Sculpture of Jesus as A Homeless Man Caused A Major Stir In A Wealthy Community
Davidson, North Carolina is an affluent neighborhood where things tend to stay pretty quiet. Recently, however, one seemingly innocuous sculpture sparked quite the controversy in Davidson. The sculpture that started it all is called Jesus the Homeless. It depicts jesus as a homeless man wrapped in a blanket, laying on a park bench. The blanket obscures […]
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2:42 PM | The Insulted Trilobite
I’d like to point out a new book that I think is interesting and worth a look. It is called “The Insulted Trilobite: some helpful objections to the God Delusion” and it is by the pseudonymous J. A. Posner, and obviously the intended audience is the Atheist and Skeptics community. Simply put, Poster Fisked Dawkins,…
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7:35 AM | Book review: Understanding Evolution
I posted this on Panda’s Thumb, but I thought I would repeat it here. I occasionally get books for review unsolicited, and many of them are not worth noticing. However, Kostas Kampourakis’ Understanding Evolution is a wonderful resource for students of all … Continue reading →
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1:33 AM | Preacher Helen Ukpabio, child “witch hunter”, encounters trouble with London tour
The Born-again Christian Pentecostal preacher Helen Ukpabio is hitting some walls in her visit to London. For good reason. She believes that children who act up are servants of Satan. Call to ban ‘witch hunter’ Helen Ukpabio who poses risk to children – The Independent. The Home Secretary Theresa May is being urged to step in… Source: Doubtful News

April 14, 2014

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7:17 PM | An interesting debate on whether “Islam Is A Peaceful Religion or Not”
This was a debate in 2013 at the Oxford Union (Society) Debaters: Anne-Marie Waters and Mehdi Hasan among others Here is the full debate as found on youtube: playlist link And the result of the debate was 286 Aye votes and 168 Noes as to whether Islam is a peaceful religion or not. The result […]
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3:31 PM | The Big Bad Moon, used to sell fear to the superstitious
Tuesday, April 15th marks the first of four lunar “blood moon” eclipses over the next two years. The tetrad — or four consecutive and complete lunar eclipses occurring at approximately six month intervals — will all be visible over the United States during 2014 -2015. The other dates are Oct. 8, 2014, April 4, 2015… Source: Doubtful News
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12:24 PM | DNews: Will The Internet Kill Religion?
The Internet is a great tool to connect with others and learn new things. Is it also killing religion? Laci discusses how the rise in Web use might be causing people to lose their religion.

April 13, 2014

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5:56 PM | Gefilte Fish: Why, Oy Why?
Why on earth do Jews eat gefilte fish? …

April 12, 2014

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9:51 PM | An outdated tax anomaly – charitable status of relgion
Here is a New Zealand Kickstarter project well worth supporting – a film which sets out to answer the questions: Why do religions pay few taxes? Why do companies owned by religions also avoid tax? With more non-believers than ever … Continue reading →
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9:51 PM | An outdated tax anomaly – charitable status of relgion
Here is a New Zealand Kickstarter project well worth supporting – a film which sets out to answer the questions: Why do religions pay few taxes? Why do companies owned by religions also avoid tax? With more non-believers than ever … Continue reading →
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3:00 PM | Global Quickies: Ice Cream, Birth Control, and Teapots
Categories: Feminism Quickies ReligionAFGHANISTAN (From Mary) Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus was shot to death by an Afghan policeman while covering the national election. She covered conflicts for more than 20 years, and earned a Pulitzer Prize in 2005. RWANDA (From Mary) How Rwanda’s Only Ice Cream Shop Challenges Cultural Taboos: in a culture where it’s highly unseemly to eat anything in the street, eating ice cream in public might bring Rwandans in touch with […]
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2:48 AM | Closet Darwinism, and definitions
Every so often, somebody makes the case that “Darwinism”, “Darwinist” and “Darwinian”, being the generic noun, the individual term, and the adjective of Darwin’s name and therefore (supposedly) theory, are dead terms that cause nothing but harm (see Scott and … Continue reading →

April 10, 2014

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11:10 PM | Papyrus fragment referencing Jesus’ wife not a forgery say scientists
A faded fragment of papyrus, known as the "Gospel of Jesus' Wife", is a genuine ancient artefact and not a fake, according to scientists. Descrier - news and culture magazine
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5:10 PM | Gospel of Jesus' Wife is No Forgery, Experts Rule
A Coptic script that suggests Jesus may have been married is not a forgery, say professors from Harvard, MIT and Columbia. Continue reading →
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1:45 PM | Though everyone else yelled “FAKE”, scholar says ‘Jesus’ wife’ evidence is genuine
Another update to the back and forth about the piece of papyrus that suggests Jesus had a wife. Papyrus Referring to Jesus’ Wife Is More Likely Ancient Than Fake, Scientists Say – NYTimes.com. A faded fragment of papyrus known as the “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife,” which caused an uproar when unveiled by a Harvard Divinity… Source: Doubtful News

April 09, 2014

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8:44 PM | Three Reasons Art Should Matter to Atheism
Categories: ReligionTags: artatheismDoes art matter to atheism? This is actually an interesting question that I don’t think movement atheist thinks much about. I have dedicated my life to making art and so I would say that art matters to everything, but let me tell you why I specifically think it matters to atheism as a social change movement. Movement atheism often focuses on why religion is wrong and why religion is damaging to society and to people, both in groups and as individuals. […]

April 08, 2014

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8:34 PM | Tinted windows in Zambia means you’re a Satanist
Villagers rioted and acused teachers in a local school of practicing Satanism. Mpika villagers accuse teachers of satanism. OVER two hundred villagers from Mapoma and surrounding areas in chief Kopa’s area on Wednesday rioted and threatened to beat up teachers at Mapoma Basic School, accusing them of practising Satanism. Sinkamba said the villagers started accusing… Source: Doubtful News
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8:27 PM | Get to Know Your Skepchicks: Veronica
Categories: Feminism Meta Stuff Religion Science SkepticismTags: photographyWay back in the day when Bigfoot roamed the earth and Sylvia Browne was a name that gave Skeptics™ a boner, I first became a Skepchick. And back in those fun and exciting days of yore, I used to do a feature on this here blog called, “The Skeptic Next Door.” I was young and enthusiastic and I just wanted to meet all the super-cool people who were into “debunking” and knew what […]

April 07, 2014

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3:37 PM | The Genetics of Religious Belief
In the next few posts, I will review some of the recent brain-related research related to religious belief.Religious belief and religious affiliation run in families. This effect is not surprising as parents influence their children's type of religious experience during development.However, there is increasing evidence that adult religious belief and behavior is also influenced by genetic factors independent of family environment experience.Twin studies represent a powerful research model to […]
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