New Creationist Research Shows That We Were All Immortal Until Adam Sinned

This isn’t a joke. Well, it is a joke, but it’s a completely serious joke.

You know how Creationists often complain they can’t get published in peer-reviewed journals? Well, Answers in Genesis (the Creation Museum people) began their own “journal” a while back so they could say, “Creationists get published, too!” The idea is that if it looks professional, gullible children (and adults) will think AiG does real science!

And the latest published, peer-reviewed paper is a perfect example of how Creationists approach big questions. Simon Turpin tackles the question we’ve all been wondering: “Did death of any kind exist before the Fall?” (PDF)

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Pat Robertson: God Doesn’t Perform Miracles in U.S. Because We’re Too Skeptical

Oh, Pat Robertson, you delightfully misogynistic old coot. You are always good for a chuckle. (Unless you say something that is actually deeply terrifying. In which case, you’re always good for a shudder.)

On Monday, Robertson was hosting The 700 Club as usual when he got the following email:

Why do amazing miracles (people raised from the dead, blind eyes open, lame people walking) happen with great frequency in places like Africa, and not here in the USA? What can we do to encourage those things to happen here? Is America too gone for miracles like this?

– Ken

It’s remarkable how a letter can be at once naive and simultaneously so close to being reasonable.

Now, if I were to answer this question, I would do so in one simple sentence:

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Arkansas State Representative Who Called Eight-Year-Old Atheist a Fool: ‘I Regret’ the Comment

On Tuesday, Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe signed into law a bill that will force all public school students in the state to observe a 60-second-long “moment” of silence.

It’s a horrible decision, it’s 60 seconds longer than any school needs, it accomplishes nothing that can’t already be done at home, and everyone knows it’s just a way to sneak prayer into public schools.

Earlier this week, I posted a message from state Rep. John Payton to a mother concerned about the effect the legislation would have on her atheist daughter:

As I summarized the message then:

A concerned mother writes to her state representatives urging them not to vote for legislation that will inevitably lead to the bullying of her atheist child… and one of the representatives writes back to say the eight-year-old girl is a fool with a darkened heart for not believing in God.

It’s not just insensitive. It’s a form of bullying from a high-ranking government official. He doesn’t give a damn what the little girl has to deal with at school because she doesn’t believe in his imaginary god.

It’s been a few days, but Payton has finally responded to the posting. A local paper got him to comment on his message (the article is unfortunately behind a paywall):

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="200"]Rep. John Payton[/caption]

Arkansas’ bill gained attention outside of the state Monday when the “Friendly Atheist” blog posted an e-mail from one of the bill’s sponsors, Rep. John Payton, R-Wilburn, to a mother who had written several lawmakers with concerns about how the legislation would affect her daughter, who does not believe in God.

“Romans 1:19-25 and Psalm 14:1 address your concerns,” Payton wrote in that e-mail, citing two verses that address disbelief. In the New International Version of the Bible, Psalm 14:1 says: “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.”

Payton said Tuesday the e-mail was “a sarcastic and unmeasured reply, and I regret making it. But I think they’re using an 8-year-old girl as a pawn.”

More like he regrets his email going public.

But the eight-year-old girl isn’t a pawn. She’s a student who doesn’t believe in God and, because of this useless drawn-out-”moment” of silence, she’s going to have a hard time dealing with her “loving” Christian classmates.

He doesn’t care, though. The bill passed. He’s Christian. He’s thrilled.

For what it’s worth, I had an email conversation with the girl’s mother last night — she told me Rep. Payton hasn’t apologized to her at all, despite only being an email address away.

Class act, that man.

Arkansas State Representative Who Called Eight-Year-Old Atheist a Fool: ‘I Regret’ the Comment

On Tuesday, Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe signed into law a bill that will force all public school students in the state to observe a 60-second-long “moment” of silence.

It’s a horrible decision, it’s 60 seconds longer than any school needs, it accomplishes nothing that can’t already be done at home, and everyone knows it’s just a way to sneak prayer into public schools.

Earlier this week, I posted a message from state Rep. John Payton to a mother concerned about the effect the legislation would have on her atheist daughter:

[More…] [Read more...]

Criticism of Islam Is Not ‘Islamophobia’

Sam HarrisThe End of Faith opens with a fictional account of a suicide bomber killing innocent people on a bus with the press of a button. We don’t know much about the bomber… but Harris suggests we do have a good idea of one thing: His faith.

Why is it so easy, then, so trivially easy — you-could-almost-bet-your-life-on-it easy — to guess the young man’s religion?

It’s writing like this, which has only grown stronger over the years, that has led many of Harris’ critics to call him “Islamophobic.” Harris, of course, contends that he’s criticizing faith and dogma, not people — and I agree with him. When I’m reading his books and blog posts, I see a writer who is raising controversial questions and answering them in ways that may not be politically correct, but none of those things are coming from a place of hate. Even when he suggested looking specifically for Muslims (or at least people who look like them) at airport security checkpoints, I didn’t get a sense he was being racist or anti-Islamic. Even if he ended up being way off the mark, his overall suggestion was more tactical and practical than anything racially motivated.

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Young Science Advocate Zack Kopplin Will be a Guest on Real Time with Bill Maher

Zack Kopplin, the 19-year-old leading the charge against the Republican War on Science in his home state of Louisiana, will be a guest on Real Time with Bill Maher tomorrow night:

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