WaPo Reporter Gene Weingarten, a Pulitzer Prize Winner, Wrote “Me & Dog,” a Children’s Book on Godlessness

I consider the Washington Post‘s Gene Weingarten to be one of the best journalists in the country. He jumped onto my radar screen five years ago, with a truly gut-wrenching feature article about distracted parents who leave their young child in the car without realizing it, with tragic consequences.

Another story of his, a lovely tribute to aging dogs and how they process their memories, is equally unforgettable.

Others value his talents at least as much as I do — Weingarten is the recipient of two Pulitzer Prizes.

Today I learned that he is also an atheist (although that particular “secret” was out years ago; I just missed it). More importantly, he isn’t going to take the incessant Christian drumbeat in the U.S.A. lying down anymore. After Weingarten noticed the ocean of religious books for children, and the paucity of atheism-themed kids’ books, Weingarten penned Me and Dog, a riff on power and religion. Here’s the Amazon description:

[Read more...]

A Book About Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible

I want Jerry Coyne‘s new book: Faith Versus Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible. Now. But apparently I have to wait several months since it’s not out till May…

Doesn’t mean I can’t pre-order it many times over.

[Read more...]

We Understand That the “Fittest” Survive, but How Did They Get That Way in the First Place?

How do random mutations in our genes really create the kind of diversity of life we see in the world today? Charles Darwin certainly had no idea, since the genetic revolution happened long after he died.

Now, researcher and evolutionary biologist Dr. Andreas Wagner has written a book explaining how life can adapt in a way that’s much faster than simple random variations. It’s called Arrival of the Fittest:

In the excerpt below, Wagner explains the concept of the “Universal Library”:

[Read more...]

Friendly Atheist Podcast Episode 19: Dan Arel, Author of Parenting Without God

Our latest podcast guest is Dan Arel, author of Parenting Without God:

[Read more...]

Young Adult Novels Strengthened Her Faith. But the Bible Soon Put a Stop to That

It’s interesting to me what keeps people in Christianity and what they believe keeps them in it. There were a few things, as I was growing up in the Sovereign Grace Ministries cult, that were “approved” for my media consumption but were directly counterproductive to keeping me in step with the cult’s ideology. I am grateful they slipped under the wire — these are the things that broadened my thinking and kept me from getting stuck in that world.

The Guardian recently ran a piece about young adult (YA) literature and how the author’s exposure to a certain “Christy” book (a perennially popular Christian YA series when I was a kid) was a breath of fresh air when her mom refused to answer hard life questions for her.

It was much more influential to her faith, she says, than the Bible:

[Read more...]