March 21, 2010

Editor’s Note: Earlier this month, I wrote an essay encouraging atheists to join the Foundation Beyond Belief, a new charitable group doing good for human beings and the world in the name of freethought. I also offered to write a front-page post interviewing anyone who agreed to join the Foundation as a result of hearing about it on my site. This is the next in that series of interviews, which will be posted each weekend. Please welcome ANTLink! Tell us… Read more

March 20, 2010

• It’s about time! The SEC has charged a psychic with securities fraud for claiming to be able to supernaturally foretell the direction of the market. • The staff of IslamOnline, a Cairo-based journalism website that offers a platform for liberal and reformist views, have gone on strike over plans by the Qatari owners to impose stricter editorial controls and force a more conservative viewpoint. • I’m very glad to report that Ireland’s government is now backtracking on the ludicrous… Read more

March 19, 2010

I’ve written on the meanings of freethought and secularism, and in the third entry of this series, I want to discuss humanism. More so than the other two, humanism is a complex and fully formed life philosophy, so it’ll take the most effort to adequately define. Most concisely stated, humanism is the worldview which treats human beings – our lives, our needs, and our concerns – as of supreme importance. Humanism recognizes our deep and profound interconnection with the natural… Read more

March 17, 2010

Legal observers have noted for some time that the laws governing defamation in the United Kingdom are far more plaintiff-friendly than similar laws in the U.S. In the U.S., anyone claiming they were libeled has to prove that the allegedly libelous statements were false. But in the U.K., the burden of proof is reversed: the defendant in a libel suit has to prove that the statements they made were true. This creates a serious hazard to free speech: rich, litigious… Read more

March 15, 2010

When I reported on the emerging Catholic sex-abuse scandal in Germany, it crossed my mind that the Pope is German. But I hadn’t ever imagined that he’d have any personal connection to the allegations and confessions now being made there. Well, it looks like I was wrong: A widening child sexual abuse inquiry in Europe has landed at the doorstep of Pope Benedict XVI, as a senior church official acknowledged Friday that a German archdiocese made “serious mistakes” in handling… Read more

March 13, 2010

Editor’s Note: Earlier this month, I wrote an essay encouraging atheists to join the Foundation Beyond Belief, a new charitable group doing good for human beings and the world in the name of freethought. I also offered to write a front-page post interviewing anyone who agreed to join the Foundation as a result of hearing about it on my site. This is the next in that series of interviews, which will be posted each weekend. Please welcome TPO! Tell us… Read more

March 11, 2010

In the early chapters of Genesis, Yahweh makes a sweeping promise to Abraham, forefather of the Jewish people: “In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.” —Genesis 15:18 As I’ve mentioned in the past, this was no small matter: the land that God promised to Abraham would encompass most or all of the modern nations of… Read more

March 9, 2010

A few weeks ago, I mentioned briefly that the Catholic church had threatened to pull out of Washington, D.C., ending the social services they provide for thousands of people, if the city council passed a law recognizing same-sex marriage. Well, the council did pass the bill, same-sex marriage is now legal in D.C. (congratulations!), and the church looks set to keep its promise, starting with the termination of their foster-care program. They’ve also decided to end spousal benefits for all… Read more

March 8, 2010

The Case for a Creator, Chapter 9 Chapter 9 is ostensibly about the origin of biological information, but what it’s really about is the origin of life. We’ve discussed this in part in an earlier chapter, but Meyer has some other objections to raise. First up, Strobel raises the question of the “prebiotic soup” – the dilute broth of organic molecules that’s believed to have existed in the Earth’s oceans before the origin of life, a fitting stage for many… Read more

March 7, 2010

Editor’s Note: This past week, I wrote an essay encouraging atheists to join the Foundation Beyond Belief, a new charitable group doing good for human beings and the world in the name of freethought. I also offered to write a front-page post interviewing anyone who agreed to join the Foundation as a result of hearing about it on my site. This is the first of those interviews, which will be posted each weekend. Please welcome Daylight Atheism commenter Peter N!… Read more

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