Archives for March 2009

Darwin too controversial for Turkish science magazine

In the US, creationism is a menace that can do real harm to science. But at least the US is not a Muslim country.In the latest news about creation and evolution from Turkey, it appears that the leading, government-supported popular science magazine in Turkey has been prevented from running a cover story on the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth. Ă–mer Cebeci, a high official in the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (who incidentally is an engineering Ph.D. from Iowa State … [Read more...]

Greg Paul on Baylor Religion Study

The Council for Secular Humanism has put out a report by Greg Paul, "Is The Baylor Religion Study Reliable?". It criticizes the recent book published by Baylor, with lead author Rodney Stark, that reported that US religiosity remained stable and that there were no signs of secularization.Paul points out some very serious errors in the report. (I can't say I'm wholly surprised; I've lost a lot of respect for Stark over the last few years.) I'm less confident about the picture of secularization he … [Read more...]

Another faith-based US administration

Before the US elections in 2008, I complained about the Democrats, and grumbled that throwing the Republicans out was looking like it would not improve the prospects for church-state separation too much. So far, events seem to bear me out. In some respects, we have yet another faith-based administration. Yes, informal entanglements with religion have always existed in American politics and government. But this administration is pushing beyond this. The Democrats, as always, are at best … [Read more...]

What if God Disappeared?

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Infidel weirdness

I often think of religion in the context of weirdness. Especially when I get frustrated with religion, I tend to see God as the biggest paranormal claim out there, and the Abrahamic religions being as crazy as Scientology but made respectable by time and custom.That, actually, might be a good reason to also go looking for atheist versions of weirdness. We're all human, after all, and therefore we're all incurably insane.Individual examples are easy to find. One of my favorites is the Time Cube. … [Read more...]

5-minute description of atheism

Standing alone, atheism is a disagreement. Atheists do not agree that God exists. We are not absolutely certain that there is no God, but then again, we cannot know with 100% certainty that Santa Claus is not real. We think that God, like Santa Claus, is very likely a fiction.A rejection of God is only part of the story. Many atheists, certainly most of the atheists you encounter in academic and intellectual environments, reject all supernatural claims. We think there are no gods or demons, no … [Read more...]