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...]

Important Note

I have reason to believe that the database errors which caused my site to crash last week were the result of a malicious hacker trying to break in. As of now, I don't know whether DA was targeted specifically or whether the responsible party was just looking for any vulnerable site to attack.Last night, I found several user accounts that had been elevated to administrator privilege levels without my knowledge. I deleted these and set up some countermeasures to prevent a similar attack from … [Read more...]

On the Morality of: Polyamory

The comments in a recent thread on same-sex marriage have been heading in this direction, so I thought I'd offer some thoughts about polyamorous relationships and how we can view them from a humanist standpoint.The reason I (and others) advocate full marriage equality for same-sex couples is straightforward. Marriage is a civil ceremony which confers many legal rights on both partners, rights which are either extremely burdensome or impossible to obtain any other way. At present, the law in … [Read more...]

Photo Sunday: Fiery Sunset

Sunset with clouds, Hudson Valley, August 2009. Photo by the author. Click for larger version. … [Read more...]

Weekly Link Roundup

I've got plenty of goodies in the bag for this post. Frankly, more has been happening lately than I can write about - but that's okay, because there are lots of other fantastic atheist bloggers who've said it all!• First, there's this outrageous story out of Washington, D.C., where the Catholic church has threatened to completely shut down all the social services they provide to local homeless people if they're forced to obey laws forbidding discrimination against same-sex couples.I may … [Read more...]


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