Weekend Coffee: December 28

Coffee

While you rest and recover from all the holiday feasting, some links:• The eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that buried the Roman city of Pompeii also buried another town, Herculaneum. One of the buildings that's been unearthed was a rich Roman's villa - including the library. The thousands of scrolls it contained were thought to be charred beyond recognition, but high-resolution CAT scans and multispectral imaging are finally making it possible to read the lost scrolls from the Villa of the … [Read more...]

Upcoming Debate at the Midtown Scholar

MidtownScholar

If you're in or near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on December 14, come out and see me! I'm going to be appearing at the Midtown Scholar Bookstore for a debate with the Christian author Andrew Murtagh. (This is my first public debate! You'll only have one chance to see that.)We'll be discussing the existence or nonexistence of God, the proper role of government, and whatever else people in the audience want to ask. I expect we'll have these questions all resolved within an hour or two, so if you … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: November 9

Coffee

• Following the resignation of the previous team, CFI has announced the new hosts of their podcast Point of Inquiry, one of whom is my friend Lindsay Beyerstein. Congratulations!• This week's entry in the WTF Department: Richard Cohen, an awful columnist for the Washington Post, saw the movie 12 Years a Slave and was shocked to learn how bad slavery was. I wish I were kidding about that.• Three cheers for science! A new antiviral therapy can cure hepatitis C without a … [Read more...]

Speaking at NYC Atheists

JackOLantern

As I previously mentioned, I'm going to be speaking at the upcoming monthly meeting of NYC Atheists on Thursday, October 31. Yes, on Halloween! I'll be giving my very spooky talk on how it's possible to be good without gods (well, the idea seems to frighten some people).I'm told you can come in costume if you wish, and that there's a gathering afterwards in Greenwich Village, which I may attend as my schedule permits.LOCATION: New York City, NY; 15 W 39th Street, 3rd floor DATE: … [Read more...]

Why Have Comments

Postcards

As reported by Against the New Taboo, the magazine Popular Science announced last month that they're shutting off comments on new articles. Popular Science's post cited research on "the nasty effect", which found that hostile comments contribute to a polarized and dogmatic reaction from readers on both sides, impeding rather than advancing understanding.The way I see it, the fundamental problem of comment threads is that ideologues and crackpots almost always care more about a topic than … [Read more...]

Upcoming Events for Fall 2013

WorldMapOld

Here's what I'm doing with my time over the next few months:• First of all, from October 4 to 13, I'm going to be on vacation in Belgium. As I've always said, if I had to make a list of the best things that religion has contributed to the world, Trappist beer would have to be near the top. (Chimay? Oh yes indeed.)I expect things will be quiet on the blog, but I'll schedule some posts to go up while I'm gone, and I'll check in and approve comments as I have the time and internet … [Read more...]

Open Thread: Shameless Self-Promotion Sunday

Peacock

So, I have a teaser: I'm nearly ready to unveil a big, exciting project - you'll all find out about it soon. And since I haven't done one of these threads in a while, it seems only fair to offer others the opportunity as well.This is an open thread for the purposes of self-promotion. Do you have a blog or a Twitter you'd like to publicize, a Kickstarter project you'd like to promote, or a worthy cause you'd like to encourage others to support? Post in the comments and tell us all about it! … [Read more...]

Atheist Events in NYC This Weekend

If you're in New York City this weekend, there are two great atheist events going down!First, on Saturday the 27th, the Blackout Secular Rally is happening in Flushing Meadows - Corona Park from 1:30 to 6:00. (I've seen different webpages say it starts either at 12:00 or at 1:30, but the official Facebook event page says 1:30, so I'm going with that.) Sponsored by Black Nonbelievers and Black Atheists of America, it's the first atheist rally that will prominently feature nontheists … [Read more...]

Midweek Miscellany

• On Monday, I was on episode 3 of Ashley Miller's web show/podcast, along with her FTB co-blogger Kate Donovan, to discuss sterilization of prisoners in California, The Lone Ranger, and mental illness. Here's the YouTube link - check it out. (Yes, I know, I was harder to hear than everyone else. I need to fix my microphone settings for next time.)• We have two new atheist bloggers here on Patheos! Go say hello to Creative Atheist and Rock Beyond Belief.• And if you'd … [Read more...]

Women in Secularism Attendees’ Letter to the CFI Board

The following letter was originally written by Miri Mogilevsky of Freethought Blogs. As I'm a signatory, I'm reprinting it below. This was sent to the CFI Board of Directors as they prepare to meet this week to discuss the controversy surrounding Dr. Ron Lindsay's opening remarks at the Women in Secularism conference. If you have something to say about this, the CFI Board of Directors can be reached via the Corporate Secretary, Tom Flynn, at tflynn@centerforinquiry.net. If you'd like to, feel … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X