New United Arab Emirates Anti-Discrimination Law Will Punish Vocal Atheists Who Criticize Religion

You’ll be happy to know that President Sheikh Khalifa of Abu Dhabi just enacted a new law making it a crime to discriminate on the basis of “religion, caste, creed, doctrine, race, colour or ethnic origin.”

Just one problem with that. They’re not kidding about protecting people on the basis of religion:

[Read more…]

Black Skeptics LA Announce Winners of “First in the Family” College Scholarships

I mentioned back in April that the group Black Skeptics Los Angeles was giving out “First in the Family” scholarships, aimed at helping students who were the first in their family to go to college. This year, the Freedom From Religion Foundation gave the group a $10,000 grant to expand the program:

They just announced the winners, and when you read excepts from their essays, you can tell the scholarships are helping a lot of promising individuals:

[Read more…]

On Friday, An Atheist Officiated the First-Ever Gay Wedding in Puerto Rico

On Friday, writers Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro and Zulma Oliveras Vega joined together in the first-ever gay wedding in Puerto Rico.

And Luis R. Ramos (below), a Humanist celebrant, officiated the historic event.



[Read more…]

Friendly Atheist Podcast Episode 64: Dr. Paul Offit, Vaccine Expert

Our latest podcast guest is Dr. Paul Offit, a vaccine expert.

Dr. Offit is the director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a professor of Vaccinology and Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. He’s written tons of published peer-reviewed papers and received countless awards for his work. His latest book, Bad Faith, is all about how religious belief can undermine modern medicine.

On the day of taping, California had just passed a law making vaccinations all but mandatory, Jim Carrey had gone on a Twitter rant about vaccines, and a woman had died of measles.

We spoke with Dr. Offit about why people still don’t get vaccinated, how he responds to the most common arguments offered by anti-vaxxers, and why Bill Maher is wrong when he says we don’t need to get flu shots.

[Read more…]

In Defense of the $100 Million Donation Toward the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

After all those pictures of Pluto came back last week, plenty of people oohed and aahed over the details in the images. It’s really incredible that we landed on the moon 46 years ago and we’re already exploring the edge of our solar system.

But for all the jaw-dropping pictures, there are still people who wonder why we spent money on the journey at all… even though the $720 million New Horizons satellite cost less money than a football stadium. For that cash, we now have a slightly better understanding of the universe we live in and our place within it, arguably the biggest ideas humanity has ever grappled with. More directly, scientists will be parsing through the mission data for years to come, so there’s more information coming down the pipeline, and that doesn’t even address all the economic benefits that come from space exploration in general.

Following that, it’s exciting (yes, really) to hear that philanthropist and Internet entrepreneur Yuri Milner has just put down $100 million of his own money over the next decade to further the search for extraterrestrial life:

[Read more…]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X