About two weeks ago, the following comment was posted on the thread “The Aura of Infallibility” by one of the Christians whom I originally quoted in that post. There were some other discussions going on at the time and it fell off the recent comments list before it could attract any replies, and I thought it deserved some. So, I’m promoting it to its own thread. I’ll write my own response to it (and I’ll contact Matt to let him… Read more

Now that’s how you do it: This banner will soon be going up at the Loudoun County, Virginia courthouse, courtesy of the Freedom from Religion Foundation. Rather than remove a nativity scene from the courthouse lawn, the county board of supervisors voted to keep it, requiring the creation of a limited public forum where other groups also had the opportunity to put up seasonal displays. And as the FFRF cheerily points out: In addition to the Foundation’s banner, there will… Read more

Hudson Highlands Nature Center, November 2009. Photo by the author. Camera details: Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS. Click for larger version. Read more

The Case for a Creator, Chapter 7 Earth’s Size Gonzalez’s next assertion strikes me as highly dubious. He claims that, if the Earth were larger than it is, the higher surface gravity would tend to smooth out mountains and ocean basins, producing a perfectly spherical planet with little surface relief. (He provides no numbers on how much bigger the planet could be before this happens.) This would result in a “water world” whose surface was evenly covered by a shallow… Read more

By JulietEcho Editor’s Note: This piece emerged from the discussion of my recent post on the legality of polyamory. Please welcome Daylight Atheism’s newest guest contributor, JulietEcho, who has her B.A. in both Philosophy and Religious Studies and is also the administrator of the Friendly Atheist forum. You can e-mail her at ejsunflowers@gmail.com. I’ve been in a polyamorous relationship with my two partners for over three years now, and it’s been great. The only downside: the secrecy. Many people in… Read more

In January, I wrote about the Pakistani Taliban: All that is worst in the human spirit, all that is savage and low and cruel, finds its expression in the Taliban. They are amoral and nihilistic fanatics who never create, only destroy – whether it be the Buddhas of Bamiyan, the girls’ schools in Swat, or the very lives of those who oppose them. To them, everything good in life is a sin, and existence is a narrow, cramped, twisted path… Read more

By Sarah Braasch I leaned over to one of my teammates. “Why are there so many fat, white people on the plane? We’re going to Ethiopia. We’re flying Ethiopian Airlines.” “They’re missionaries,” she responded, completely uninterested. “What?” I gasped. It had never occurred to me. I was not pleased. Everything became so obvious. The Texas drawls. The recitations of Bible verses. The prayers. The seasoned braggarts recounting their prior trips to the Horn of Africa. The newbies airing out their… Read more

Back in January, I alluded briefly to the events in Uganda, where Christian abstinence-only programs have reversed the success of comprehensive sex ed and led to a rise in HIV infection rates. At the time, I mentioned Martin Ssempa, a pastor in the country’s booming Pentecostal Christian movement, and his involvement in a campaign to criminalize homosexuality. But this news has taken an even more ominous turn. Homosexuality was already illegal in Uganda, but a bill currently being discussed in… Read more

For the holiday season, some goodies this weekend: • First up, some music for the season: the blogger Lirone, of Words That Sing, in collaboration with William Morris, composer in residence at the British Humanist Association (did you know the British Humanist Association had a composer in residence? me neither!), has written a humanist carol, Gathering Round the Fire. It’s 99 cents on iTunes, and all profits will go to the BHA. I downloaded and listened to it, and I… Read more

The Case for a Creator, Chapter 7 Most of chapter 7 focuses on Guillermo Gonzalez’s “privileged planet” hypothesis. This argument, as he uses it here, consists of listing every way in which our planet or our solar system could have been different, and concluding that every single one of them would be completely fatal to life. Throughout this chapter, neither Strobel nor Gonzalez ask any of the obvious follow-up questions, such as whether different kinds of life could exist in… Read more

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