Saturday Open Thread: Random and Interesting

After all the heavy stuff we debated on the site this week, I figure it's time for a change of pace. And since it's the weekend, let's celebrate with something to lighten the heart and lift the spirit.This is an open thread for you to tell us about something cool and interesting you've come across lately - music, books, art, movies, food, whatever - something that makes you happy and that you think more people should know about. It doesn't have to be new, just new to you!I'll start out by … [Read more...]

The Contributions of Freethinkers: Ursula K. LeGuin

Although I've highlighted the lives of some amazing feminists on Daylight Atheism, I don't want to give the impression that the only thing women can be famous for is fighting for the rights of women. Today's post is a reminder that freethinking women have made their mark in other areas of human culture as well.Science fiction and fantasy have always been heavily male-dominated fields of literature. A 1966 reader poll of sci-fi's greatest novels didn't list a single entry written by a woman, … [Read more...]

Movie Review: Agora

When I wrote my review of Creation last year, a commenter suggested I see Agora, the 2009 film by Alejandro Amenábar about Hypatia of Alexandria. It took me a long time to get around to doing that, but I've finally seen it, and it was worth the wait. It only had a very limited theatrical release in the U.S., but if you have Netflix or similar, I strongly encourage you to see it.Agora is set in Alexandria, Egypt, in the late fourth century CE. Egypt is a Roman province in this age, and … [Read more...]

Movie Review: The Nature of Existence

(Author's Note: The following review was solicited and is written in accordance with this site's policy for such reviews.)Summary: The documentary equivalent of World Religions 101. Not much new ground is broken in this broad survey of the world's major belief systems - although there are a few interesting surprises - but what made me happier was the fair hearing given to the atheist and scientific viewpoint in areas that have traditionally been considered the exclusive property of faith.In … [Read more...]

Some Sad News

I'm saddened to report the passing of David Randolph. He was 95 years old.Mr. Randolph was a renowned conductor and choral director, a fixture in the New York music scene for decades. He was known for hosting a weekly classical music program on WNYC, for teaching music at several local universities, and for a critically praised book, This Is Music. However, he's best known as the conductor of the secular St. Cecilia Chorus, which he had led since 1965 (!). He was also an outspoken freethinker … [Read more...]

Book Review: The Atheist’s Creed

(Editor's Note: This review was solicited and is written in accordance with this site's policy for such reviews.)Summary: A scholarly survey of the atheism of dead white guys.Much like Christopher Hitchens' The Portable Atheist, Dr. Michael Palmer's The Atheist's Creed is intended as an anthology of atheist thought from historical to modern times. Beginning with the ancient Greeks, Palmer traces the development of atheist thought to the European Enlightenment, then branches out into … [Read more...]

Movie Review: Creation

Last night I had a chance to see Creation, the independent film by British director Jon Amiel that presents an account of the life of Charles Darwin and his struggle to write his great work, On the Origin of Species, while mourning the death of his beloved daughter Annie. The movie is based on Annie's Box, the biography of Darwin written by his great-great-grandson, Randal Keynes.The movie opens promisingly, with Darwin's eldest daughter Annie asking him to tell her a story. He obliges her by … [Read more...]

Losing Their Religion

I recently finished Daniel Radosh's Rapture Ready!, a book exploring Christian pop culture and some of its stranger manifestations, from theme parks like Florida's Holy Land Experience to the Ultimate Christian Wrestling pro circuit (no joke). But one event that he paid special attention to was Cornerstone, a Woodstock-like Christian music festival held each year in Illinois that routinely draws hundreds of acts and tens of thousands of people. According to Radosh, Cornerstone had a more open, … [Read more...]

Weekly Link Roundup

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 enjoyed it greatly. … [Read more...]

Book Review: 36 Arguments for the Existence of God

(Author's Note: The following review was solicited and is written in accordance with this site's policy for such reviews.)Summary: Sparkling writing; marvelous characters; could have benefited from a tighter narrative.This is the first time I've ever reviewed a work of fiction for Daylight Atheism, but this one was well in tune with my site's mission and merited the exception: Rebecca Newberger Goldstein's 36 Arguments for the Existence of God. Despite the title, it's a novel, not an … [Read more...]


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