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Posts

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 […]

April 06, 2014

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8:52 PM | Is the Internet Taking Away Religion in the US? This Study Seems to Say Yes
Allen Downey is a professor of computer science working at Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts. Downey examined data from the General Social Survey (GSS) which shows that the percentage of people with no religious affiliation has increased to 18% in 2010, up from 8% in 1990. This equates to a difference of around 25 million people. […]

April 05, 2014

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6:47 PM | Germantown exorcism murder suspects to go to trial this summer
In an update to the horrific story of two woman who killed two children and left two more injured after stabbing them in a so-called “exorcism”, there is word that they will go to trial this summer and have entered pleas. Insanity defenses likely in Germantown exorcism murders – WTOP.com. A Montgomery County Circuit judge… Source: Doubtful News
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3:00 PM | Global Quickies: Atheists as Terrorists, the Dark Side of Lego, and Bad Advice from Witch-Doctors
Categories: Feminism Quickies Religion SkepticismAFGHANISTAN (from Michael) A reporter tells the story of the changes she has seen in the situation of women in the country in the past 14 years, and the reactions to the woman running for vice-president. UKRAINE (From Mary) What The Simpsons says about Ukraine’s language divide: young people in Eastern Ukraine like being bilingual. They talk in Russian, they think in Russian they like The Simpsons in Ukrainian. SAUDI ARABIA Saudi Arabia […]

April 04, 2014

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7:12 PM | Talk on Climate Change and Religion
April 27th, I’ll be giving a talk hosted by Minnesota Atheists at the Maplewood Library, 3025 Southlawn Dr, Maplewood, Minnesota. Details are here. Details: You may attend any part of the meeting you wish, here’s the schedule: 1:00-1:15 p.m. – Social Time 1:15-1:45 p.m. – Business Meeting 1:45-2:00 p.m. – Break 2:00-3:30 p.m. – Talk…
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12:42 AM | Tyson vs. Swimme: Cage Match Wonder-Off
Yesterday was UNCG’s Chautaqua on environmental education.  Last night was a screening of Brian Swimme in the one-hour version of The Journey of the Universe.  Co-executive producer John Grim introduced it and led the after-discussion.  He suggested at one point that we might usefully compare JotU with Neil de Grasse Tyson’s new Cosmos series, the first episode of which my son walked out on because it was too trippy.  He had the same reaction when I came […]

April 03, 2014

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11:50 PM | Why It Matters That Hobby Lobby’s Investments Include Birth Control Companies
To understand the significance here you must first know the background. As part of the new Universal Healthcare law (Obamacare), the government requires employers to provide free birth control to their employees. A number of groups protested this requirement, prompting the government to create an exemption form that allows employers with conflicting religious convictions to opt-out […]

April 02, 2014

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5:41 PM | Americans Ignorant of Their Own Religious Beliefs and History
Categories: ReligionIt’s a new YouTube video! Enjoy. Close-enough transcript follows. Reminder: this video was brought to you by viewers like you, who support me over on Patreon! Pew Research has just released the results of a new survey testing US Religious Knowledge and guess what? A lot of people know jack shit about religion. Their own religion. 51% of white mainline and black protestants think “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is one of the 10 […]

April 01, 2014

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1:38 PM | The Serene Scientists Serenity Prayer via Jon Butterworth
Whatever your religous preferences, the Serenity Prayer captures a certain wisdom about life in general. So it is good to see that physicist Jon Butterworth at UCL has adapted it for scientists: “Give me grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be understood, Data to investigate the things which can be understood, And the […]

March 31, 2014

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9:30 PM | Crowds Flock to Basilica After Holy Grail Claim
An ancient goblet is the mythical chalice from which Christ sipped at the last supper, argue two historians. The goblet has been lying for nearly a millennium in a basilica in the northwestern Spanish city of Leon.
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