A couple of noteworthy articles from this week that I didn’t have time to write more about:
• To begin with, there’s this excellent and in-depth profile of the FFRF’s Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor, from a local alternative paper in Madison.
• Archaeologists have discovered a genuine burial shroud from the first century CE. Unlike the Shroud of Turin, its radiocarbon date fixes it to the correct time period; it also has a very different weave than the more famous Turin hoax.
• Churches in Malaysia are being attacked by Muslims, who are angry over a court ruling that struck down a government ban on the use of the word “Allah” by Christians. Perhaps we should get Nancy Graham Holm over there to explain to the Christians that it’s their own fault they’re getting firebombed, because they rudely persist in using a word of which Muslims are the rightful owners.• A muckraking blogger named Failed Messiah exposes the scandals of the Orthodox Jewish world. (HT: New York Times).
• The Telegraph tells us that heroic behavior among animals is more common than previously thought. Who was it that said only human beings have a sense of morality?
• And finally, a story I may return to later: New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has invited atheists to the city’s annual interfaith breakfast for the first time ever. Bravo, sir! It feels good to be taken seriously by politicians for once.