An Excerpt from Magnificent Mistakes in Mathematics

Alfred S. Posamentier and Ingmar Lehmann, who previously wrote the excellent book The Fabulous Fibonacci Numbers (1997), have teamed up once again to write Magnificent Mistakes in Mathematics (Prometheus Books, 2013).

It’s a book with a self-explanatory title, and you only need a high-school-level background in math to understand it.

The following are excerpts from the book, reprinted with permission of the publishers:

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Non-Religious Weddings Are on the Rise in Ireland

Just weeks after I posted about the rise of godless funerals in Ireland, there’s another trend worth noting in the country:

Demand for the Humanist Association of Ireland’s secular weddings has surged as the moral authority of the once almighty Catholic Church collapsed in recent decades amid sex abuse scandals and Irish society’s rapid secularisation.

But statistics show rising demand for non-Church weddings. In 1996, 90 percent of Irish weddings were performed by the Catholic Church or the Church of Ireland. But by 2010 that percentage had fallen to 69 percent.

The pent-up demand from those who want more than a civil ceremony in a registry office but reject a religious wedding has created a major backlog for the humanist group’s ceremonies director.

More godless weddings and more godless funerals. Let’s hope there’s no connection.

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Should Atheists Pray?

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, answers the question: Should atheists pray?

Herb Silverman offers his take on a similar question here.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the project — more videos will be posted soon — and we’d also appreciate your suggestions as to which questions we ought to tackle next! [Read more...]

The Duck Dynasty Patriarch Actually Used Pascal’s Wager to Make His Point

Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the family in Duck Dynasty, spoke at Rick Warren‘s Saddleback Church over the weekend.

He’s a Christian, and the sermon was pretty much what you might expect, but at one point, he did something I’m surprised any Christian still does: He used Pascal’s Wager:

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Atheists Counter Christian Protesters Outside Comic-Con

If you visited Comic-Con in San Diego over the weekend, you may have encountered street preachers near the Civic Center trolley stop. It’s really a perfect spot for them, given all the sinners walking into the convention hall…

On Saturday afternoon, though, Brian Stone and a few of his friends decided to respond to them with signs of their own :)

See if you can guess which ones they are:

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