Update on Fort Worth Bus Ads

I have a short update on the atheist ad campaign running on Fort Worth buses. In my last post, I mentioned that a coalition of city pastors were furious over the ads and tried to organize a boycott. (Would it help to tell them that this is how atheists feel all the time? Probably not.)The boycott appears to have gone nowhere fast, but something else did happen: another Christian group paid for vans displaying a religious message to follow the buses around town all day. Personally, I think … [Read more...]

Atheists Don’t Debate (Except When We Do)

A Review of When Atheism Becomes Religion, Part IIIn chapter 3, Hedges gives a two-and-a-half-page-long excerpt of a debate he had with Sam Harris at UCLA in May 2007, moderated by the columnist Robert Scheer, about whether Islam encourages suicide bombing:HARRIS: OK, well, let me deal with your taking the measure of the Muslim world. Happily we do not assess public opinion by having New York Times journalists go out and live in the Muslim world and make friends and get a vibe... A single … [Read more...]

The Bechdel Test for Religion

If you're an informed observer of media, you may have heard of the so-called Bechdel test, popularized by cartoonist Alison Bechdel, that's used to judge the female-friendliness of movies and other media. For a movie to pass this test, it has to have:(1) two or more female characters; (2) who talk to each other; (3) about something other than a man.Despite this being such a low hurdle - it doesn't establish that the movie is in any way feminist, merely that it treats women as something more … [Read more...]

Find Me in Free Inquiry

By EbonmuseBefore my flight leaves, I'm just dropping by to post a quick note: the newest (June/July 2010) issue of Free Inquiry magazine contains an original article by me, "Diplomats and Rabble-Rousers". The article discusses my views on the New Atheist movement and those who criticize it, pointing out that our accommodationist opponents are overlooking a basic lesson from history about what makes social reform movements successful. Go check it out! I'll post a web link at a later date if … [Read more...]

The Science Gap

While we're on the topic of science and the public, I came across another opinion poll worth mentioning: a survey released this month by Pew, Public Praises Science; Scientists Fault Public, Media, which analyzes how the public views scientific achievement and what professional scientists think of how their work is covered in the media (HT: Obsidian Wings). There's lots to chew over in this report, but I want to focus on this section, which shows how many ideas that are accepted by an … [Read more...]

Science Needs Good PR

My recent post on Project Steve brought several comments arguing that it's pointless to take a survey of scientists, like this one from Freidenker:Frankly, I have no idea whatsoever how many scientists accept or reject evolution, and furthermore - it doesn't matter: even if all scientists all over the world rejected evolution, the evidence for evolution is still there....to really survey the scientific community for evolution support is truly a stupid thing to do: popularity has no bearing … [Read more...]

New Post on Dangerous Intersection

I've put up a new post on Dangerous Intersection, "A 24-hour news network lineup I’d like to see".This is an open thread. … [Read more...]

Elizabeth Dole's Campaign Manager: We Regret Nothing

Regular readers of Daylight Atheism may recall how this site became involved in the U.S. Senate race in North Carolina last October. Trailing in the polls and running low on money, Republican senator Elizabeth Dole quoted Daylight Atheism in anti-atheist smear ads in a last-ditch attack aimed at her Democratic challenger Kay Hagan. Thankfully, Dole's brazen appeal to bigotry was an utter failure, and Election Day saw her defeated and Hagan victorious.Now Dole's campaign manager, Marty Ryall, … [Read more...]

Fertile Soil

We've arranged a global civilization in which most crucial elements - transportation, communications, and all other industries; agriculture, medicine, education, entertainment, protecting the environment; and even the key democratic institution of voting - profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this … [Read more...]

Daylight Atheism in the News

I just have to boast: I'm on TV!Well, sort of, anyway. Daylight Atheism commenter RiddleOfSteel has brought to my attention this clip, in which Richard Dawkins is interviewed for the Canadian TV program The Agenda. As we all know by now, my essay "The New Ten Commandments" is quoted in Dr. Dawkins' book The God Delusion, and about halfway through the clip (at around 4:10), the interviewer reads one of my ten commandments verbatim.That being said, I have to raise a substantial objection to … [Read more...]


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