A Tribute to Carl Sagan

Between the excitement of the midterm elections and the flood of atheism-related news that has occurred this month, there was one very important date that passed almost unnoticed, but that I would be remiss if I failed to mention. Namely, November 9 was the birthday of the famous astronomer and skeptic Carl Sagan. If he were still alive, he would have been 72 this month.Sagan's scientific achievements were groundbreaking and hardly need me to recount them. During a time when the human species … [Read more...]

New on Dangerous Intersection: Scorched-Earth Politics

To cap off an eventful day, I'm happy to announce that I've accepted an offer to become a guest author on the blog Dangerous Intersection. DI is one of the relatively few blogs I read daily, and is frequently updated with a diverse crew of contributors and an equally diverse set of viewpoints on politics, science, culture and other topics. I'm glad for the opportunity to be one of them.Daylight Atheism will continue to be updated as before, but from now on, whenever the mood strikes me to … [Read more...]

Theocracy Watch VI: Thoughts in Captivity

There have been many pieces of good news for atheists in November, and I'm happy to be able to report another one. As reported in the November issue of Freethought Today, the Freedom from Religion Foundation has done it again, winning a major victory against the creeping theocracy that is infiltrating our government due to the unconstitutional actions of the Bush administration.Specifically, an FFRF legal challenge has persuaded the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to cancel its plans for five … [Read more...]

What Christians Care About?

In a post from October, I wrote that evangelical Christianity in America today has become "a set of right-wing political talking points" and lamented:Regrettably, the Christians who understand how the aggressive drive for secular power is rotting their faith's foundations from the inside out seem to be outnumbered by those who regard it as an unmitigated good.There is news on this front that, depending on how one interprets it, may be either good or bad. Take this story, President-elect … [Read more...]

Should Scientists Speak Out Against Religion?

Thanksgiving season this year has been anything but peaceful. Providing further evidence of the growing assertiveness of atheists, the war of words between faith and reason has erupted into the headlines once again. This time it came in the form of a scientific forum in California titled "Beyond Belief: Science, Religion, Reason and Survival", where a vigorous debate was waged over whether and how scientists should fight against religious belief in society.And the aftershocks of this debate … [Read more...]

The Least We Can Do

by Alexander WeaverI drove from Sacramento to Portland (Rancho Cordova to Wilsonville, technically) last night (as of the original writing on 11/08/06), over mountains and through rain and what I would characterize as "pea soup fog." This is important in other contexts, but for our purposes the main relevance is that it got me to Portland. I got in at 05:30, slept for 6 hours and then booked a flight back to Sacramento, departing at 16:50. The flight was fully booked, and for a change everyone … [Read more...]

We Are the Swing Vote

In a post from October titled "Tipping the Scales", I wrote that although non-believers are still outnumbered by the conventionally religious, there are encouraging signs of recent growth and increasing organization among atheists and agnostics, signs which...may well be the grains of sand that presage a much larger slide in the near future, and lead to a much more dramatic tipping of the scales.If I were inclined to claim supernatural foresight for myself, I might try to turn that … [Read more...]

So What If It Is?

Despite the Democrats' smashing victory in the 2006 midterm elections, there is still distressing evidence that America as a nation has much moral progress left to make. I am speaking of gay marriage bans, which were approved by voters in seven states (Arizona being the exception, and the first state in the nation to reject such a ban), bringing the total number of states with such a ban to 27. Several of these states have even more oppressive laws that prohibit not only gay marriage but any … [Read more...]

A World in Shadow III

A recent post from the blog Respectful Insolence, A different kind of alternative medicine "testimonial", graphically illustrated the danger of choosing non-scientific "alternative" treatments over evidence-based medicine when faced with a potentially fatal disease. The post told the tragic story of Michaela Jakubczyk-Eckert, a woman with malignant breast cancer who decided to forsake conventional medical treatment in favor of quackery. The result was her death; but only after the cancer had … [Read more...]

Religion’s Harm to Women

In our society, it is still widely considered rude to criticize opinions and practices that arise from religious belief, no matter how evil or abhorrent they are. Even when it comes to the murderous fanatics who kill in the name of Islam, politicians and other public figures who criticize them often take pains to label their actions as arising from a twisted or self-serving interpretation, as though it would be impossible for a legitimate and sincere interpretation of any religion to inspire … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X