The Science Gap

While we're on the topic of science and the public, I came across another opinion poll worth mentioning: a survey released this month by Pew, Public Praises Science; Scientists Fault Public, Media, which analyzes how the public views scientific achievement and what professional scientists think of how their work is covered in the media (HT: Obsidian Wings). There's lots to chew over in this report, but I want to focus on this section, which shows how many ideas that are accepted by an … [Read more...]

Send a Blogger to Antarctica

I was asked in e-mail to pass along news of this contest, which some Daylight Atheism readers may be interested in.Quark Expeditions is sponsoring a "Blog Your Way to Antarctica" contest. Anyone can submit a 300-word essay explaining why they should be the one to join a voyage to Antarctica scheduled for February 2010, and the entrant who gets the most votes will become the trip's official blogger and will post daily updates about their experience.Here's the list of current entrants. (There … [Read more...]

Clinic Escorting Journal: Day One

"Ignorance, poverty and vice must stop populating the world. This cannot be done by moral suasion. This cannot be done by talk or example. This cannot be done by religion or by law, by priest or by hangman. This cannot be done by force, physical or moral.To accomplish this there is but one way. Science must make woman the owner, the mistress of herself. Science, the only possible savior of mankind, must put it in the power of woman to decide for herself whether she will or will not become a … [Read more...]

The Case for a Creator: The More Things Change

The Case for a Creator, Chapter 3Strobel's discussion of embryonic similarities with Jonathan Wells leads into a broader discussion of homology, which deserves its own post.I've been harder on Wells than I otherwise would because he, unlike the vast majority of creationists, has a legitimate degree in biology. It's impossible that he doesn't understand some of the things he claims not to understand, or that he doesn't know the actual scientific explanations for the questions he poses. … [Read more...]

Answering the Accommodationists (Again)

A great deal of flak has been flying back and forth across the blogosphere in recent weeks on, once again, the issue of compatibility between science, atheism and religion. The latest round was sparked by a Pew study on how the public views conflicts between science and faith, with Jerry Coyne arguing for incompatibility, Chris Mooney taking the opposite position. I have a few thoughts of my own.First, the survey. There are a few choice pieces of data, such as this one which finds that … [Read more...]

Book Review: Misquoting Jesus

Summary: An eye-opening look at just how much the text of the Bible has changed over the centuries. Not to be missed.I've read two other books by Bart Ehrman, Jesus, Interrupted and God's Problem, and while they were both competent, readable works explaining the principles of biblical textual criticism, neither one really floored me. But I circled back around to read some of his earlier books, and I'm glad I did. His 2005 book, Misquoting Jesus, is by far the best of Ehrman's works that I've … [Read more...]

The 39th Humanist Symposium

Welcome to the 39th edition of the Humanist Symposium! This is a blog carnival for atheists and agnostics with a mission: not considering yet more arguments for or against the existence of God, but taking that as settled, to demonstrate how nonbelievers find happiness and meaning in life, and how a rational perspective informs our view of moral issues. All of today's entries do a marvelous job of advancing that goal, so without further ado, let's get to them:First up, it's Chris Hallquist of … [Read more...]

Making Progress Toward a Secular America

The Fourth of July should be a time for patriotic Americans to reflect on the progress our country has made and to rededicate ourselves to the cause of making it better where work still needs to be done. We can find material for both of those avenues in this article by Katrina van den Heuvel in the Nation, Rediscovering Secular America (HT: DC Secularism Examiner). It's a heartening glimpse into the political progress that freethinkers are making, including at least two news items I didn't know. … [Read more...]

Hooker Hunting in God's Country

By Sarah Braasch[Editor's Note: Please welcome Sarah Braasch back to Daylight Atheism for her second guest post! You can read Sarah's bio from a post last month.]A few months ago, through some fault of my own, I found myself on a driving tour of Naples, Italy, assiduously avoiding the unwanted sexual advances of some US Navy boys. I was not enjoying myself much at all when one of the sailors suggested we go hooker hunting, as he so charmingly phrased it. I was suddenly rapt with attention … [Read more...]

To Those Who Doubt Their Religion

This post isn't for confirmed atheists, nor for confirmed theists. It's not for people who've already made up their minds, one way or the other.No, this post is for the seekers, the in-betweeners, the tormented doubters. It's for the uncertain agnostics, people who aren't certain what they believe; it's for people who feel like they no longer belong in their church, but don't know of an alternative; and it's for people who are experiencing a full-blown crisis of faith and don't know where to … [Read more...]