A God of Obsessions

In the books of the Torah, Yahweh devotes entire chapters to explaining in exacting detail what kind of animal sacrifices he expects from his people. The one common thread, repeatedly emphasized, is that the animals to be slaughtered must be "without blemish":"And this is the thing that thou shalt do unto them to hallow them, to minister unto me in the priest's office: Take one young bullock, and two rams without blemish." —Exodus 29:1"And on the eighth day he shall take two he lambs … [Read more...]

Photo Sunday: American Grandeur

Snow on the Teton Range, Jackson, Wyoming, September 2006. Photo credit: Jerry Donnelly. … [Read more...]

Revised "About the Author" Page

I've revised the "About the Author" page that can be found via a link on the bottom of the sidebar. The first version of this page was dashed off just before Daylight Atheism was launched, and was never very informative. The new version is more detailed, so if you want to know more about the mysterious fellow behind this website, now's your chance.I've also added a new page, "Statement of Principles", also linked from the sidebar. This one sums up my core beliefs on a range of philosophical … [Read more...]

The Case for a Creator: Galileo the Troublemaker

The Case for a Creator, Chapter 7To start off his interview, Lee Strobel asks Gonzalez and Richards about humankind's great demotion: the medieval religious belief that we were at "the center of the universe, sort of the throne of the cosmos, the most important place that everything revolved around" [p.160] and the overturning of this belief by science, which proved that we are not at the center of the universe either physically or metaphysically. Richards claims, however, "that this … [Read more...]

The Lesson of Autumn Leaves: A Humanist Sermon

November is a good month for poetry.Most great poetry is about transience, and with autumn in full swing, there's much in November to inspire the poet's thoughts on that topic: the last yellow and brown leaves raining from the trees; the early fall of dusk as the days continue to shorten; the gray skies and cool days as the first taste of winter frost becomes perceptible in the air, and the world settles in for its yearly sleep.While I was walking in the leaves the other day, I had a minor … [Read more...]

A Sense of Kinship

This past summer, I was visiting the New York Botanical Gardens when serendipity struck: this beautiful little creature alighted on a stone railing around the edge of a pool, staying just long enough for me to snap this shot:I think, though I'm not an expert, that this is a blue dasher, Pachydiplax longipennis.I don't usually like close-up photos of insects - they have an eerie, alien feel that I find disturbing. (I admit it, I'm a mammal chauvinist.) But this one is one of the rare … [Read more...]

Photo Sunday: Liberty Gold

Sunset over the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island ferry, May 2008. Photo credit: Alex Weaver. … [Read more...]

The Case for a Creator: All the Starry Heavens

The Case for a Creator, Chapter 7Chapter 7 of Case is about the argument from planetary fine-tuning. This time, Strobel has two interviewees: Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Wesley Richards, both affiliated with the Discovery Institute. Since we're keeping count of scientific "authorities", which is whom Strobel claims to be interviewing, let me point out for the record that Gonzalez has a legitimate Ph.D in astronomy from the University of Washington. Richards, meanwhile, is another Christian … [Read more...]

Flat Earth Follies: The Religious Right's Egg Crusade

By Sikivu HutchinsonTaking its "life begins at conception" charade from State Legislature to State Legislature, one of the most dangerous political forces in the U.S. is stepping up its crusade for the "rights" of the unborn. Backed by an organization called Personhood USA, the latest offensive from the Religious Right involves a renewed movement to amend state constitutions to establish human rights and personhood status for fertilized eggs. Ever immune to morality, reason, church-state … [Read more...]

Book Review: 36 Arguments for the Existence of God

(Author's Note: The following review was solicited and is written in accordance with this site's policy for such reviews.)Summary: Sparkling writing; marvelous characters; could have benefited from a tighter narrative.This is the first time I've ever reviewed a work of fiction for Daylight Atheism, but this one was well in tune with my site's mission and merited the exception: Rebecca Newberger Goldstein's 36 Arguments for the Existence of God. Despite the title, it's a novel, not an … [Read more...]


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