The Language of God: Size Doesn’t Matter

The Language of God, Chapter 5By B.J. MarshallIn this section, Collins describes how "the study of genomes leads inexorably to the conclusion that we humans share a common ancestor with other living things" (p.133-4). There are a lot of ideas in this chapter to unpack, so I'd like to start by reviewing Collins' material on DNA at a high level: size and broad similarity. It would be my hope that, even if Creationists only heard some of the material in this chapter, they would quickly see the … [Read more...]

The Dignity of Human Life

I've been criticizing the Roman Catholic church a lot this year, but I can't help it: every month, they're in the headlines again with some new outrage that I can't let pass. And now they've done it again.In November 2009, a woman - three months pregnant, and already a mother of four - came to St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix. She was suffering from pulmonary hypertension, a life-threatening complication of pregnancy that can lead to stroke or heart failure. Her condition was worsening, and … [Read more...]

New Atheist Quote of the Day

I don't usually write posts that are just quotes, but sometimes it's nice to take a stroll down memory lane. Back in the day, this guy used to be one of the sharpest pro-science writers around, and I used to really love reading his stuff. I wonder whatever became of him."At its most basic level, the modern Right's tension with science springs from conservatism, a political philosophy that generally resists change. The dynamism of science - its constant onslaught on old orthodoxies, its rapid … [Read more...]

Breaking the Religion-Morality Link

One of the first posts on Daylight Atheism, "A Mile Wide and an Inch Deep", was about the pathetic levels of Biblical knowledge in a nation that's theoretically 85% Christian. Well, thanks to a widely reported new survey, we can add another fact to that picture: not only do Americans not know much about the Bible, they don't go to church very often either.In a more recent study, Hadaway estimated that if the number of Americans who told Gallup pollsters that they attended church in the last … [Read more...]

An Atheist’s Yule Sermon

I woke up at 3 AM earlier this week to see the lunar eclipse. Dressing in the dark, my wife and I went out into the freezing silence of the winter solstice to see the moon: a small disc high in the sky swallowed by the planet's shadow, glowing coppery-red with the reflected light of every sunset on Earth.I'll admit, it wasn't the most spiritual experience I've ever had (being fully awake tends to facilitate those transports of awe and wonder). But I'm glad I saw it, nevertheless. If nothing … [Read more...]

Using Purchasing Power for Good

Since 'tis the season for commercialism, shopping sprees and big-ticket purchases, I thought I'd write a post that I've had in mind for a long time. It's less about atheism per se, more about rationalism and being aware of the ways our choices shape the world around us.We may scoff, and rightfully so, when the Supreme Court uses free speech as an excuse to lift campaign-finance restrictions on huge multinational corporations. But it's true, nevertheless: Money is a form of speech - and not … [Read more...]

Chris Hedges Doesn’t Believe In Moral Progress (Except When He Does)

A Review of When Atheism Becomes Religion, Part IIIAs I've written before, Chris Hedges is a nihilist. He flatly denies the possibility of moral progress, and vehemently asserts that any efforts to improve humanity will inevitably end in mass slaughter and destruction. He says so bluntly at the beginning of his book:Those who insist we are morally advancing as a species are deluding themselves. There is little in science or history to support this idea. Human individuals can make moral … [Read more...]

Atheists Haven’t Forgotten Poland

I've mentioned in the past that as the Catholic church dwindles and ages, it's increasingly having trouble finding enough people who want to join the priesthood, and it's relying heavily on the few Catholic-majority countries remaining, such as Poland, that are net exporters of priests. At the time, I mused:Even former Catholic strongholds such as Italy and Spain, the article points out, have only a 10-20% rate of church attendance. In this respect, it seems that Europe is leading the way; … [Read more...]

The Language of God: Science Works!

The Language of God, Chapter 5By B.J. MarshallThe tagline of this books is "A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief." I've seen that the central thesis of the book is trying to harmonize religion and science, so I was surprised to find Collins spending a lot of time talking about how he mapped the genome - I could almost read the nostalgia in his voice - including the privatization issue that arose when Craig Venter (Celera) got into the genome-mapping fray. Part of how Chapter 5 begins is … [Read more...]

Update on Fort Worth Bus Ads

I have a short update on the atheist ad campaign running on Fort Worth buses. In my last post, I mentioned that a coalition of city pastors were furious over the ads and tried to organize a boycott. (Would it help to tell them that this is how atheists feel all the time? Probably not.)The boycott appears to have gone nowhere fast, but something else did happen: another Christian group paid for vans displaying a religious message to follow the buses around town all day. Personally, I think … [Read more...]


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