Random Tidbits

Telling Your Own Story I have this very strong feeling that each person must “tell his own story,” and that others around him should honor that. For instance, if a friend tells me “I really like that little Jewish girl down the street,” or “I sure don't like that lemon strawberry cake that Aunt Nita makes. I wish I could tell her but I don't want to hurt her feelings,” in each case that's HIS story, and not mine. If he wants to tell his story to others, he will, but it's not my place to spread a … [Read more...]

Get Your Motor Runnin’: Reason Riders Going National

Brian Christian 1

If you are 1), an atheist, and 2) ride a motorcycle, you seriously need to join and support Reason Riders.I first wrote about the idea of an atheist motorcycle club a little more than two years ago. I tinkered up a rough logo and a name -- Reason Riders -- and just dropped it out there.Pierino Walker picked up on it soon after, redesigning the logo and turning it into patches for his motorcycle jacket. He sent me a couple, and supplied them for fellow riders in Northern California and … [Read more...]

Non Sequitur, With Prominent Thumb


I saw an actual hitchhiker a few days ago! A young woman stood on the side of the highway entrance ramp holding a sign that said NORTH. I was in my company van and couldn't offer a ride, but I rolled down the passenger side window and yelled "Good luck!"Talking to a friend later, we compared notes on how rare it is to see hitchhikers these days, and yet how much safer the country is today than, say, 40 years ago when I was doing so much of it.In my hitchhiking days, I compiled 26,000 … [Read more...]

Did God Mess With Biology’s Roots?

Tito & Hank

I've said many times that the true, full effect religion has had on human society is not something any of us is really equipped to notice. It's so ... everywhere ... that we have little to contrast with it in order to clearly see the damage.Even science, which escaped the grasp of religion and went off to change the world in ways religion could never have managed, still -- in my view, anyway -- suffers aftereffects.  For instance:Here's a pretty good article about something humans and … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: Dealing With Conservatives

Had a little epiphany today about the sense of humor, and why ultra-conservatives don't seem to have much of it.Humor requires a certain flexibility of mind, a capacity to quickly change mental directions. The lead-in to a joke sets up a certain expectation, then the punchline forces a radical departure from that expectation. The unexpectedness makes us laugh. A Hasidic Jew walks into a New York City bar with a frog on his shoulder. The bartender says "Where the heck did you get THAT?" The … [Read more...]

One Billion Atheists: The Army of the Other Side

Look at this:AdvertisementEvangelicals Aim to Mobilize an Army for Republicans in 2016 One afternoon last week, David Lane watched from the sidelines as a roomful of Iowa evangelical pastors applauded a defense of religious liberty by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. That night, he gazed out from the stage as the pastors surrounded Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana in a prayer circle. For Mr. Lane, a onetime Bible salesman and self-described former “wild man,” connecting the pastors wit … [Read more...]