Archives for May 2006

Patricia Princehouse receives Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award

Reported by the NCSE: the Playboy Foundation has just awarded Case Western Reserve University's Patricia Princehouse one of eight 2006 Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Awards for her role in some of the recent defeats of the intelligent design movement, especially in Ohio. I am glad for Princehouse, but I am also guessing this will not ease creationist paranoia about the "cultural consequences" of modern science education. … [Read more...]

Belief among applied scientists

It's finals week, and I'm trying to postpone grading exams and papers until I can't avoid it. So, trying to waste half an hour on something not involving physics, I stumbled on the web site for Physicians and Surgeons for Scientific Integrity. This, evidently, is a new organization of MD-types who think there's something wrong with Darwinian evolution -- an ID-sympathizer group, in other words. Now, it's hardly news that many doctors are creationists of some kind or other. A 2005 poll of … [Read more...]

New Chick Tract

Jack Chick just put a new tract out -- you know, those asinine and bigoted gospel tracts that are some of the best entertainment for skeptics. Go enjoy it... … [Read more...]

Reason for hope

I apologize if this is old news to others here, but I just noticed this: as of 26 Apr, there are 10,348 clergy signatories to An Open Letter Concerning Religion and Science. Among other things, the letter states:We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests. To reject this truth or to treat it as “one theory among others” is to deliberately embrace scientific ign … [Read more...]

Hostility to Atheists

Ilya Somin is a law professor at George Mason University who recently wrote several blog entries on prejudice against atheists, especially in the law:Hostility to AtheistsMore Hostility to AtheistsStill More Hostility to AtheistsHostility to Atheists in the 1991 General Social SurveyMurders of Atheists Because of Their Beliefs about ReligionSomin later massaged these posts into a more formal article, "The Final Prejudice," that was published in The Legal Times, but that article is not available … [Read more...]

Sometimes (unless you ask for something trivial) the answer is “No.”

A Christianity Today article describes, in part, how seven-year old Becky's mother helped her to overcome her uncertainty about the existence of God:An idea I'd heard several months earlier came to mind. "Let's make construction paper flowers and write a prayer request on each one. We'll pray every day for the requests. When God answers one, we'll stick the flower on the wall until we have a whole garden of answered prayers. We'll be able to see God in how he answers us."By the end of that first … [Read more...]

Atheism with a Smile

In light of Rabbi Gellman's recent editorial about "angry atheists," here's a piece of good news. The LA Times recently reported on a high-profile counter-example: Julia Sweeney, a "smiling atheist."(Thanks to Eddie Tabash for pointing out this article to me.)For more information, see Julia's blog. … [Read more...]

Sunday Mail Service in a Christian Nation

Here is an interesting article on the Founding Fathers' intent for the separation of church and state, focusing on the practices of the Post Office:'d never seen some of these points before. Thanks to Bill Schultz for pointing this out to me. … [Read more...]