Why is a Creationist Giving a Commencement Address at a Top Science School?

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, discusses how a Creationist will soon be giving a commencement address at a top engineering school:

You can learn more about this story 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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After Backlash from Muslim Groups, Brandeis University Will No Longer Be Giving an Honorary Degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Last week, Brandeis University announced that it would be awarding honorary degrees to five notable figures, including atheist Ayaan Hirsi Ali for her advocacy of women’s rights around the world:

Hirsi Ali, in her bestselling books Infidel and Nomad, made no secret of the fact that Islam, as interpreted by militants, extremists, and even (in some cases) casual believers, was not only untrue but harmful to the world. Between female genital mutilation, honor killings, the idea of martyrdom, and the murder of her friend Theo van Gogh, you can understand why she has courageously put her own life on the line to speak out against the horrors of the faith. In her mind (and many atheists agree), the problem isn’t radical Islam. It’s Islam, period. Much like how Sam Harris criticized religious moderates in The End of Faith for providing cover to the extremists, Hirsi Ali minced no words in a 2007 interview when describing her goal of trying to defeat Islam as a whole because she didn’t believe the religion of peace was capable of being saved in its current form.

Almost immediately after the announcement of her honorary degree, Muslim groups began to protest her selection.

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The Onion Tackles Childhood Vaccinations; Downside? ‘You Have to Go to a Place’

The Onion tackles the pros and cons of vaccinating children in a way that perfectly reflects the anti-vaxxer mindset:

That’s just a glimpse. You’re gonna want to read that entire list :)

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The Judge Whose Decision Led to Town of Greece v. Galloway Expounds on the Establishment Clause

As we wait for the Supreme Court to rule in Town of Greece v. Galloway, the case involving public prayers at government functions, let’s recall what Judge Guido Calabresi (below) wrote for the United States 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in May of 2012. The panel said at the time that the sectarian prayers in Greece, New York were unconstitutional:

We conclude, on the record before us, that the town’s prayer practice must be viewed as an endorsement of a particular religious viewpoint. This conclusion is supported by several considerations, including the prayer-giver selection process, the content of the prayers, and the contextual actions (and inactions) of prayer-givers and town officials. We emphasize that, in reaching this conclusion, we do not rely on any single aspect of the town’s prayer practice, but rather on the totality of the circumstances present in this case.

Calabresi, however, doesn’t think the media has characterized his argument properly. It’s not that he’s against prayer; it’s actually much more complicated than that. In an interview with Marie Griffith at Religion & Politics, he elaborated on that idea:

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Dutch Jesuit and Humanitarian Who Made Syria His Home Is Murdered in Cold Blood; Islamist Rebels Suspected

When the Dutch Jesuit priest Frans van der Lugt turned 65, about a decade ago, he could have returned to his birth country and lived out his days in comfortable retirement. But van der Lugt chose to stay in the civil-war-ravaged city that had grown dear to him: Homs, Syria.

Eight weeks ago, The Economist had this to say about him:

A trained psychotherapist who is now in his 70s, he has been living in the Middle East since 1966. In the 1980s he set up an agricultural project outside Homs where young people with mental health problems could work. At an earlier stage in the current war, many Christians left the city after rebel forces moved in; he chose to stay, telling objectors that “I am the shepherd of my flock”. He is said to be the last European living in the heart of the city, now besieged by government forces.



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