The Evolution of God

The other day I was chatting with friends and the subject of God came up. (Imagine that!) They knew I was an atheist and one of them, who had been reading Karen Armstrong’s A History of God, told me that one thing in the book left a lasting impact on her. She said that it had never quite occurred to her that the God of the Hebrew Scriptures is a very different portrait than that painted by Christianity. “If God didn’t like a neighboring tribe,” she remarked, “he would instruct an Israeli king to … [Read more...]

Are you Rapture Ready?

The rapture index, now at 156, has been trending lower recently which is great because I'm not ready for Old Pitch to start ruling the world just yet. Of course there is another upside. If the rapture happens tomorrow then those of us left behind can just walk around and take our pick of nice cars. So at least in the post-nuclear Mad Max apocalypse we'll be driving around in style. I can just see some Christian looking down from his cloud saying "Hey! Look at those bullet holes in my car! I only … [Read more...]

Everything is Permitted Under God

There was a great opinion piece in the Sunday Times by Slavoj Zizek (behind the subscription firewall here). An atheist from the former Yugoslavia, Zizek criticizes the "Karamozov fallacy" in which Christians have long-argued that without God everything is permitted. As he points out, the Enlightenment principles in Europe that led to large numbers of atheists over the past few centuries (a demographic that is still fast growing) has shown the opposite to be true. Post-Enlightenment humanistic … [Read more...]

Church Burnings

The church fires of the past three months were very puzzling. At first, with black churches being set ablaze, it seemed like a classic hate crime. But then white churches went up in flames too. The mystery is only partly solved with the just-announced arrest of three white college students, all of whom met each other at Birmingham-Southern College. Yet, why would students at an elite Christian school (affiliated with United Methodist) allegedly torch area churches? Just for the thrill of it? … [Read more...]

Operation Clambake

I'd like to give a quick shout out to Andreas Heldal-Lund who continues to maintain Operation Clambake, a clearinghouse of valuable information on the Church of Scientology. Many of us infidels have corresponded with Andreas over the years and I remember a particularly tough time he went through five years ago keeping the secret library of Scientology online despite enormous pressures from the Church's legal team to remove all traces of these documents from the internet. So if you have burning … [Read more...]

Lessons from Primates

I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve been busy migrating the software that supports the secweb.org kiosk. That’s online now so I can breathe a little easier. Yesterday I read a fantastic article in the January/February issue of Foreign Affairs by primatologist Robert Sapolsky on primate behavior (also online here). The typical story of evolution, primates, and human history goes something like this: out of the group emerges a few alpha males who claw and tear their way to the top. Once there … [Read more...]

The Hidden Imam

In his speech before the United Nations last fall, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad prayed that Allah (God) might usher in the era of the “Hidden Imam.” It was a curious remark that at the time I filed away and resolved to research later. Well, it’s later. The “end times” to be precise, for the Hidden Imam is an eschatological figure in Islam that will bring about a new world order:"The Hidden Imam ... will eventually leave his Greater Occultation and appear (zuhur) to the world of humanity. … [Read more...]

Ken Ham: Postmodern Relativist?

In a series of feature articles prominently displayed on the Answers in Genesis (AiG) website, Creationist Ken Ham seems to promote a point of view that can best be described as postmodern relativism. In an article on searching for silver bullets, Ham writes:“[U]ltimately, the [evolution versus creation] argument is about how you interpret the facts—and this depends upon your belief about history. The real difference is that we have different ‘histories’…, which we use to interpret the science an … [Read more...]


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