Several Atheist Groups File Joint Amicus Brief for Supreme Court Prayer Case

You’re going to see a few of these coming down the pipeline in the next few days. With the oral arguments for Town of Greece v. Galloway, the Supreme Court case that could decide the fate of government invocation prayers, taking place in just over a month, pro-church/state separation groups are beginning to file their briefs in support of the Galloway side.

(If you need a refresher on what the heck I’m talking about, just check out this post, some of which I’m reposting below.)

Yesterday, a joint brief was filed by a number of groups, including the Center for Inquiry, Americans for Religious Liberty, and the various members of the Secular Coalition for America (including American Atheists, American Ethical Union, American Humanist Association, the Institute for Humanist Studies, Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, Secular Student Alliance, and the Society for Humanistic Judaism).

The focus of the brief in almost entirely on the last Supreme Court case to deal with government prayer: Marsh v. Chambers.

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Jon Stewart’s Extended Interview with Richard Dawkins

In case you missed it, here’s the extended interview with Richard Dawkins from last night’s episode of The Daily Show.

Part One aired on TV (and my response is here), Parts Two and Three are only online.

There’s an awkward moment near the middle of Part Two when Stewart asks Dawkins where he goes where he dies. Dawkins hesitates and Stewart takes the opportunity to chime in, “So you don’t know.” Dawkins eventually responds, but it’s disappointing he didn’t have a pithy one-liner ready to go for that.

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What is the God of the Gaps Argument?

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, answers the question: What is the God of the Gaps argument?

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…]

What I Wish Richard Dawkins Would Have Told Jon Stewart

On tonight’s episode of The Daily Show, host Jon Stewart asked Richard Dawkins the following question:

Do you believe that the end of our civilization will be through religious strife or scientific advancement? What do you think will, in the long term, will be more damaging to our prospects as a human race?

(***Update***: Mediaite has the video.)

Dawkins responded by saying “Both.” His argument was essentially that scientific advancement would give us weapons that, in the wrong hands, could be used for evil. And if religious fundamentalists ever got their hands on those weapons, we’re screwed.

That’s a fair point.

If Dawkins had the chance to elaborate, though, here’s what I wish he would’ve said:

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The Universe Verse: The Rhyming Scientific Comic Book That You Know You Want

James Dunbar has been working on a rhyming scientific comic book for several years now. It has resulted in three books — BANG!, It’s Alive!, and Great Apes! — which take us “from the Big Bang to evolution to the dawn of human civilization” and now he wants to combine them all into one high-quality edition he’s calling The Universe Verse.

I want this. I want to have babies just so I can buy this for them.

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