When I look back on my life, it seems sometimes that significant events tend to cluster around certain dates. This is almost certainly a product of the law of large numbers and the selective memory of the mind, as opposed to some cosmic kismet, but we can still recognize and commemorate these dates for what they mean to us and what they have brought into our lives.
Today’s date, June 25, is an anniversary of threefold significance. First, as I noted on this date last year, June 25 is the birthday of Dan Barker of the Freedom from Religion Foundation. Have a joyous birthday, Dan, and many happy returns!
As I likewise noted last year, June 25 is a date of personal significance to me, my first anniversary at my current job. The year has truly flown by since I first wrote that post twelve months ago in which I announced I was taking the position – I find it hard to believe I’ve been out of graduate school and into the workforce for so long already. When I started this job, I feared it would cut into my free time so greatly that I’d have little opportunity to write, and I’m happy to say that this hasn’t come to pass. My list of eventual topics still seems as long as it ever was, but I intend to whittle it down however long it takes!
Finally, June 25 is the anniversary of yet a third occasion, one that I, to my shame, completely failed to remember last year. What occasion is that? June 25, 2001, was the opening of the Atheism Pages at Ebon Musings, my own website! (If your memory, like mine, is faulty, I have an archive of past years’ updates at Ebon Musings.) I’m proud to have overseen this site for six whole years, and I anticipate continuing to write for and update it for many years more.
I have an update relating to Ebon Musings as well. When I opened the site in 2001, one of the first articles on the Atheism Pages was “The Theist’s Guide to Converting Atheists“. In that essay, I wrote out a list of things that would convince this atheist of the truth of a religion, and made the following offer:
To be fair, I invite all theists to respond by preparing a list of things that they would accept as proof that atheism is true. If any theist prepares such a list, posts it on the Internet and tells me about it, I’ll link to it from this page.
I’m happy to report that after six years, which included numerous feedback e-mails on this essay and countless discussions of its content on the Internet, including on Christian sites, I’ve finally received the first ever response to this challenge, from a Christian named Andrew. Some of his proposed items are quite legitimate; others are logical fallacies like demanding proof of a universal negative, or are phrased vaguely so that it’s difficult to tell what would count as a fulfillment. Still, credit is due him for being the first theist ever, to my knowledge, to offer a response. I’ve already responded to Andrew in e-mail and will link to his page from Ebon Musings, as promised. If readers want to offer their own commentary on his proposed list, feel free to use the comments on this thread.