The brilliant minds behind reality TV turn their attention to religion: A Turkish television show is offering contestants what it claims is the “biggest prize ever” — the chance for atheists to convert to one of the world’s major religions. The show, called “Tovbekarlar Yarisiyor,” or “Penitents Compete,” features a Muslim imam, a Catholic priest, a Jewish rabbi and a Buddhist monk attempting to persuade 10 atheists of the merits of their religion… Ahmet Ozdemir, deputy director of Turkish channel… Read more

From The Guardian, via The Reason Project Stein said the camp was not only for the offspring of atheists or “irreligious” parents. “It is a secular alternative open to children of parents of all faiths and none,” she said. “It is not about changing what they think, but the way that they think. There is very little that attacks religion; we are not a rival to religious camps.” The £275 all-inclusive adventure break is supported, Stein says, by a one-off… Read more

PZ Myers: She doesn’t give a good reason why; in an annoyingly chipper speech, she whines about the way she was being scrutinized for ethics violations, and the fact that she was currently an ineffective lame duck governor, and then announces that she’s stepping down from office. It makes no sense at all, and it does say something about the weakness of her character. David Schraub: I am not a hound on “experience” — I think there are many ways… Read more

The other day I quoted one of Andrew Sullivan’s readers who attributed Sarah Palin’s popularity among fundamentalists to the fact that they and she are both fundamentally liars who have to refuse reality to sustain their beliefs.  I used this remark for a launching pad for discussing Nietzsche’s critique of theologians as fundamentally deceitful and for explaining my own decision to abandon Christian faith as based around an unwillingness to lie anymore. Today Sullivan posts another reader with a different,… Read more

Story here: In a stunnign announcement, Gov. Sarah Palin said Friday morning she will resign her office in a few weeks. It is baffling if she wants to run for president that she would think that not even finishing her term as a governor is going to help her.  Especially when even conservative opinion makers like Charles Krauthammer (not to be confused with Charles Krautcamel) is admitting that her only path to credibility involves actually becoming more focused on developing… Read more

Bradlaugh: A Yemenia Airlines plane crashed into the Indian Ocean Tuesday. Of the 153 people on board, only one survived, 13-year-old Bahia Baraki of Paris. Said her Dad:  “I can’t say that it’s a miracle, I can say that it is God’s will.” I guess the relatives of the other 152 passengers, the ones who didn’t make the cut with God, are real glad to hear that. Read more

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Secular Right recommends this cool Radiolab episode about our purpose-seeking minds. The show is broken into three distinct segments and they get progressively more novel, scientific territory beyond simple Statistics 101 stuff (even though I think most of us need to have Statistics 101 drilled into us on a daily basis!) Read more

Interesting discussion on what sorts of “big questions” physics wants to answer, from Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard Feynman, found on Pharyngula: Read more

This is wildly creepy and disturbing.  Watch to the end. Read more

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