Legal Thuggery Against Neurodiversity.com

Kathleen Seidel, author of the Neurodiversity weblog, writes extensively about issues related to autism. Among other things, she gives the scientific perspective on claims that autism is caused by vaccination. One of her recent posts, The Commerce in Causation, concerns the career of one Clifford Shoemaker - a lawyer who's represented hundreds of clients making this allegation, including an ongoing suit, Sykes v. Bayer. Many of these cases have come before the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation … [Read more...]

Update on the UC-Calvary Lawsuit

One of the first posts on Daylight Atheism, over two years ago, was "The Fallacy of Free Speech", about a private Christian high school which sued the University of California because the UC had refused to give college credit in biology for courses which taught young-earth creationism. Well, the wheels of justice grind exceedingly slow, but they do eventually turn. Last week, a federal judge issued a preliminary ruling which, while it does not completely prevent the case from going forward, … [Read more...]

No Religious Exemptions from Child Abuse Laws

Several people have mentioned this tragic story from Wisconsin, in which an 11-year-old girl died of juvenile diabetes after her parents decided to pray for her recovery rather than seek medical help. Shockingly, the town police chief said that "there is no reason to remove" her remaining three siblings from the home. Haven't her parents already demonstrated that they are a clear and present danger to the well-being of their offspring? The district attorney is considering filing charges, but if … [Read more...]

Three Objections to Objectivism

I recently finished reading Ayn Rand's The Virtue of Selfishness, and I wanted to offer some comments on her moral philosophy.There are several good reasons why I ought to like Ayn Rand. She was an atheist, and proudly so, and argued for the supremacy of reason as the only valid way of knowing. I agree with this. She denounced communism and supported capitalism. I agree with this as well. Her works are still very popular in some circles and offer a vision of a rational, productive life which … [Read more...]

Atheists at 75%?

Not in the general population, alas. But a poll in a recent front-page post at Daily Kos, Hobbits 2.0?, had some stunning numbers:The poll was about which viewpoint best fits the site contributors' positions on human evolution, with four options corresponding to young-earth creationism, old-earth creationism, theistic evolution, and non-theistic evolution (i.e., no god involved). Not surprisingly for a progressive political site, the two creationist options received negligible … [Read more...]

Chris Hedges the Nihilist

Earlier this month, I chastised the theologian John Haught for falsely claiming that atheism leads to nihilism. Now the journalist Chris Hedges has launched his own attack on modern atheists, and the bizarre part is that he attacks us for possessing precisely the opposite failing: because, in his eyes, atheism does not lead to nihilism, and he considers this far more dangerous.Hedges is one of the last people I'd expect to feel this way. He's written books with titles like American Fascists: … [Read more...]

Delusions of Persecution

Late last year on Freethought Radio, Dan and Annie Laurie played a remarkable clip from James Dobson, talking on his own radio show about their program:The problem is that the Christian ethic is literally hanging by a thread. I heard just a few weeks ago that Air America, the very leftist radio entity... have come up with a program that will be aired across the country that is atheistic - admittedly atheistic in nature.Freethought Radio was on the air for some time before it was picked up … [Read more...]

Images of Mohammed

This is an image of the Muslim prophet Mohammed:Via AINA; first published by Jyllands-Posten September 2005So's this:Via AINA; first published by Jyllands-Posten September 2005And also this:Via Wikimedia CommonsI bring this up because, as you might have guessed, free speech and Islam are again in the news. Last month, over a dozen Danish newspapers reprinted one of the twelve drawings of Mohammed that caused such a furor after they were first … [Read more...]

An Open Letter to Ellen Johnson

I was away last weekend and came back to an astonishing story: Ellen Johnson, Madalyn Murray O'Hair's successor as president of American Atheists, has proudly announced that she didn't vote in the recent presidential primaries. Even more jaw-dropping, she's urged atheists not to vote in the general election either. Here's the video, which is still linked from American Atheists' homepage at the time of this writing.Friendly Atheist, Atheist Revolution, and others have discussed this story, and … [Read more...]

The Stained-Glass Ceiling

Back in November, U.S. senator John Kerry made some probably accurate, if rather unfortunate, remarks about the probability of an atheist being elected to national office:"The vast majority of Americans say they believe in God," Kerry said, responding to a question about the likelihood of an atheist or agnostic winning the presidency. "The vast majority of America, at some time, goes to church, and I think it matters to people. When you are choosing the president of the United States, people … [Read more...]


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