Right Now: A Conversation Between an Atheist and a Catholic

I don’t normally do debates, but at 3:00 (CT), I’ll be having an online conversation with one of Patheos’ Catholic bloggers Billy Kangas:

We’ll be discussing the importance (or not) of traditions, the World Vision U.S. controversy, the Pope, and whatever other questions you may have for us.

You can watch the whole thing right here (and feel free to chime in with questions):



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This Must Be the ‘Jenny McCarthy Effect’ in Action

When it comes to autism, what does the science tell us? And how does the media cover it?

Neuroscientist Sam Wang, in an essay for the New York Times, goes into both issues:

A study published last week found that the brains of autistic children show abnormalities that are likely to have arisen before birth, which is consistent with a large body of previous evidence…

Over the last few years, we’ve seen an explosion of studies linking autism to a wide variety of genetic and environmental factors. Putting these studies in perspective is an enormous challenge. In a database search of more than 34,000 scientific publications mentioning autism since its first description in 1943, over half have come since 2008.

That’s all well and good, but the graphic included in the piece is a doozy. It shows that when it comes to the science, we ought to be paying closer attention to genetic and environmental factors (the risk of autism is much higher if you have an autistic twin or had an injury to your cerebellum before birth)… and we should stop pretending that vaccines have any connection to it, as shown by the final item on the list:



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Church Full of Oil Salesmen Claims to Cure Everything from Heart Defects to Mental Illness

The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God in Auckland, New Zealand has found the cure for damn near everything: “tumours, mental illness, stomach and bladder problems, marriage difficulties, strokes and heart defects.”

Their cure: Olive oil.

Don’t believe it, you say? Well, the oil was “blessed” in Israel… and it’s magical now. So there!

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What Are You Doing for the National Week of Action? (Hint: Not Praying)

In response to May’s National Day of Prayer, those of us at Foundation Beyond Belief are promoting something called a National Week of Action. (You know, to actually make a difference.)



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No, These Are Not 7 Things That Prove God is Real

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, responds to a Charisma article called “7 Things That Prove God is Real”:

The original article is here and you can read my written rebuttal 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!

And if you like what you’re seeing, please consider supporting this site on Patreon.

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