Global trends towards secularization

Brink Lindsey has an interesting post at his blog about the increasing numbers of nonreligious people globally over the last five decades, and speculation about why the U.S. remains so religious. He suggests that it's not the separation of church and state (with Australia and New Zealand as counter-examples to the U.S.), but ethnic heterogeneity and geographic mobility--that church membership acts to ease the transition of a move to a new geographic region.The post that inspired Lindsey's … [Read more...]

Nonbelief and mainstream values

There is a lot of prejudice toward religious nonbelievers in many parts of the United States; indeed, throughout much of the world. We're not trusted. One of the first questions we face is whether we can be moral — after all, even if perchance we might behave decently, what possible basis can we have for such behavior? What keeps us from cheating if no one else, not even the gods, are watching? Open skepticism brings a burden of social mistrust.So we get pissed off. It's bad enough that … [Read more...]

Hedges vs. Hitchens

Apparently there was an atheism vs. God debate between Chris Hedges and Christopher Hitchens last week. Hedges took a liberal Christian view, while Hitchens took the crusading Islamophobic atheist position.It doesn't sound like it was all that illuminating, however. Perhaps it's selective reporting that reduces participants to stereotypes. Nevertheless, in the story, Hedges and Hitchens both seem to represent classic forms of boneheadedness. Hedges comes across as woolly-headed liberal … [Read more...]

Official Companion Web Site for EMPTY TOMB Launched

LINK … [Read more...]

Clark Adams, RIP

I received the unfortunate news this morning that Clark Adams has died, and that he took his own life.Clark was a long-time board member of the Internet Infidels (and for many years its public relations director) and a frequent speaker and attendee at atheist, freethought, humanist, and skeptical events. He was a jovial, funny man whose talks about atheism in popular culture were always crowd-pleasers. He was not particular about what label to put on his nonbelief, and was supportive of all … [Read more...]

Where does this confidence come from?

Some years ago I became interested in criticizing the latest mutation of creationism, intelligent design. In 2004, this culminated in the publication of Why Intelligent Design Fails, one of the leading books critical of ID, which I co-edited with Matt Young.Lately I've eased off on ID, because I decided that I had said what I could about the subject. ID just wasn't intellectually interesting anymore: having figured out exactly why ID fails, we could learn what we could from that and move on. And … [Read more...]

ID proponent denied tenure

Guillermo Gonzalez, an astronomer at Iowa State University who is best known as an Intelligent Design proponent, has just been denied tenure. So far it seems unclear what role ID played in this denial, though it's a real possibility since Gonzalez has been active and reasonably productive in mainstream astronomical research.In the fall of 2005 I invited Gonzalez over to give a straight astronomy talk to my physics department and an ID talk for my interdisciplinary "Weird Science" class. Now, I'm … [Read more...]

Secularism vs. Democracy

Among those who care, it should be reasonably well-known by now that secularism is in deep trouble within the Muslim world. The Muslim experience with secularism has typically followed what I have called "military secularism," where reforming constituencies such as military elites have pushed Westernization in order to force their societies to catch up to the advanced West. Typically this has involved suppression of religiously-inspired cultural reactions; military secularism has not given … [Read more...]


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