New Book Gazes Skeptically at the Star of Bethlehem

The Star of Bethlehem, as told in the Bible and other myths, did some impressive things that stars don’t normally do, moving in different directions, hovering in one spot, oh, and heralding the birth of the messiah. But what, if anything, was really going on?

Kimberly Winston of the Religion News Service recently interviewed Aaron Adair, the author of a new book on the subject, The Star of Bethlehem: A Skeptical View, and they run through some of the theories, ruling many of them out. Comets and supernovae, for example, don’t fit the picture. But one idea that sticks out to me, and also to Winston, is that the “star” may have been something a little more mechanical in nature [Read more…]

Generation Atheist is Free on Amazon This Week!

My friend Dan Riley wrote a book last year called Generation Atheist. It’s a collection of true stories about people who transitioned from godly to godless.

All this week (through Friday), the book is free on Kindle! I urge you to get your copy now if you haven’t already!

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David Niose’s Nonbeliever Nation is Now Available in Paperback

David Niose is the author of the excellent Nonbeliever Nation — a book that’s now available in paperback:

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An Intimate Conversation with George Carlin

In 2001, journalist Larry Getlen sat down with comedian extraordinaire George Carlin for the interviews that lasted a total of five hours. It culminated, at the time, into a one-page collection of quotations for Esquire magazine.

Now, more than five years after Carlin’s death, Getlen has released an edited book of their full conversation, one that will make you want to revisit his classic bits all over again.

The book is called Conversations with Carlin: An In-Depth Discussion with George Carlin about Life, Sex, Death, Drugs, Comedy, Words, and so much more:

In the excerpt below, the two discuss Carlin’s early experiences with religion:

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The Best Atheist Books of 2013

For the past several years, we’ve seen a large number of atheism-related books hit the market. Unlike the books written by the New Atheists, however, the recent releases aren’t just about why you should stop believing in God. They cover different aspects of faith, cater to a variety of audiences, and (most shocking to me) were put out by several different publishers.

Below are my picks for the best atheism-related books of the year. They’re the ones I’ll be referencing for years to come and the ones I would highly recommend to anyone who wants to explore faith with a critical eye.

#9) Beyond Belief: The Secret Lives of Women in Extreme Religions edited by Cami Ostman and Susan Tive (Seal Press, 2013):

We already know religious extremism is bad, but it poses a host of unique obstacles for women. The message is clear: If you’re female, God has a special, shitty role for you. In this powerful book, Ostman and Tive share the gut-wrenching stories of women who belonged to those harmful faiths and managed to break free.

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