Kiva Atheists’ Million-Dollar Milestone

I've written in the past about Kiva, the microcredit site that fights poverty by funding economic entrepreneurs in the developing world, and about how the largest lender community on the site is made up of atheists (and I'm happy to be one of them).Well, we've reached a new milestone. As you can see from Kiva's community page, the atheist team has just passed the $1 million mark in total dollars loaned, becoming the first team on Kiva to do so. Kiva's official blog has commemorated the … [Read more...]

The Case for a Creator: This Time It's Personal

The Case for a Creator, Chapter 5To wrap up his cosmological argument, William Lane Craig comes to a laughably specific conclusion:"A cause of space and time must be an uncaused, beginningless, timeless, spaceless, immaterial, personal being endowed with freedom of will and enormous power," he said. [p.108](He didn't add "who is three persons in one being and who sacrificed his son for the sins of the world", but clearly he would have gotten there if this interview had been just a few … [Read more...]

Take Action: Help Free Kareem Amer

Since I wrote about the Center for Inquiry's Blasphemy Day last week, this is a fitting followup. By participating in events like those, we demonstrate our commitment to defending the right of free speech. But we can also show that commitment in a more tangible way: by taking action on behalf of the prisoners of conscience around the world who've been imprisoned and punished for exercising that right.In this case, I'm speaking of Kareem Amer, an Egyptian blogger and law student who in 2007 was … [Read more...]

Militant Hinduism

People in Western societies often believe that Eastern religions are more peaceful, less fundamentalist, than Judaism, Christianity or Islam have historically been. And it may well be true that the fluid, polytheistic nature of Hinduism and Buddhism makes them more tolerant, more willing to accommodate differing beliefs, than the fiercely monotheistic religions whose gods are unable to abide any competition.Nevertheless, every religion has its violent, fundamentalist wing, and Eastern … [Read more...]

Anti-Atheist Bigotry Enters Another Campaign

Because this strategy worked so well for Elizabeth Dole, another conservative politician has decided to make a play for the bigot vote by stirring up anti-atheist prejudice against a challenger. In this case, it's on a smaller scale: a race for city council in Albuquerque, New Mexico. You can read about it in the New Mexico Independent, a local paper. (HT: Daylight Atheism reader Brian Westley, who was also the first one to tell me about the Dole ads. He's good at finding this stuff!)According … [Read more...]

Book Review: UFOs, Ghosts, and a Rising God

(Editor's Note: This review was solicited and is written in accordance with this site's policy for such reviews.)If you've been around the atheist blogosphere, you probably know the name Christopher Hallquist, author of the blog The Uncredible Hallq (I've always wondered, does he get more skeptical when he gets angry?).Well, it seems he's come into his own, because last month in the mail I got a copy of his new book, UFOs, Ghosts, and a Rising God: Debunking the Resurrection of Jesus, which … [Read more...]

Find Me on Atheist Nexus

I'm not generally a big user of social networking sites, but I did decide to join Atheist Nexus yesterday. If you're there too, you can find me there and add me as a friend. … [Read more...]

Another Branch on the Human Family Tree

I haven't written about any new transitional fossils in a while, so it's a great pleasure for me to mention this one: a hominid skeleton nicknamed "Ardi", a specimen of Ardipithecus ramidus. This species was known from other fossil fragments, but Ardi is one of the oldest and most complete hominids found so far, and may give us the most insight yet into what the common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees looked like.Ardi lived about 4.4 million years ago (by comparison, Lucy and her fellow … [Read more...]

The Religious Right Vision of Marriage, Continued

In my last post on the religious right view of marriage, some commenters took me to task for painting with too broad a brush. In this post, I'll consider how widely held such views are.It's a fair point that not all conservative Christians hold views as extreme as those I criticized. Nevertheless, the views treated in that post are just one end of a spectrum that encompasses nearly the entire religious right. Almost all of them argue that men should always wield the authority in a home and … [Read more...]

Three Cheers for Blasphemy Laws!

Today is International Blasphemy Day, inaugurated as a protest against the new Irish blasphemy law, the Muslim furor over cartoons of Muhammad, and every other law or social norm intended to protect religious ideas from criticism. From the Blasphemy Day website:The last day in September is the anniversary of the original publication of Danish cartoons in 2005 depicting the prophet Muhammad's face. Any visual depiction of Muhammad is considered a grave offence under Islamic law....The … [Read more...]