How American Christianity perpetuates: Example #1

A standard “From the Pulpit”-type article in a recent edition of the Sioux Falls (SD) Argus Leader newspaper illustrates one reason why Christianity has so robustly perpetuated for several centuries in the United States. Written by Christina O’Hara, rector of the city’s episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, the article—“If you’re called to new life, something may have to die”—was nominally about death but mostly about life after death. Readers likely don’t register that such religion-page articles, ubiquitous in thousands of… Read more

The Muslims are coming! It’s ‘war’, warns South Dakota senator

Apparently, would-be Muslim refugees to the United States and mainly-Christian interfaith proponents already here are now allies in a war against American Christianity. That’s the curious view of South Dakota state Sen. Neal Tapio, a Republican from Watertown, who tried to explain his position to reporters Thursday morning in a scrum at the state Capitol in Pierre. “Refugee resettlement and interfaith dialogue is a part of a war, a silent part. It’s a part about taking away the Christian fabric… Read more

Why Do We Believe in the Unbelievable? It’s Natural

Fascinating new research explores how we came to be what we are. Read more

Identity: The New Political Religion

Whether it’s Republican voters who think wealthy tax cuts will benefit them or Democrats who think Islam is promoting women’s rights, Americans are voting against their own interests because of political identity. Read more

How the Corporate Media Idealizes Science

What would we do without the media to tell us how great science is? The corporate-friendly freethinkers at Forbes Magazine don’t want us ever to have to answer that question, and they have columnists on staff to assure us that any of our doubts or concerns about the science industry are absolutely unnecessary. It seems that the sources the general public depends on for science communication are more interested in presenting a whitewashed, simplistic approach to science than engaging in… Read more

The Price Tag for “The Joy of Science”

The Cassini space probe has a hefty price tag, not only in material but also philosophical terms. Adam Frank at NPR geeked out back in May in a column called “The Joy of Science,” in which he rhapsodized about the beauty and wonder contained in the data retrieved by NASA’s Saturn probes. The Cassini space probe was sending us extraordinary pictures of Saturn’s rings while the Huygens lander was finding out about conditions on Titan, the planet’s largest moon. Frank… Read more

Feynman’s Folly and Why Philosophy of Science is Important

According to Richard Feynman, philosophy of science is for the birds. Philosophy of science is about as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds. (Usually attributed to Richard Feynman) This is a popular quote that comes up every time someone mentions the philosophy of science. Since Feynman was such a contrarian, I’m not sure he wasn’t just being ironic. However, the philosophy of science gets a bad rap from science fans in general, who are suspicious of attempts to… Read more

Science, Racism, and Motivated Reasoning

Racists have always used science as intellectual cover for their bias. Why is it such a reliable refuge for the prejudiced? Is Science Racist? In his new book, Is Science Racist?, professor of anthropology Jonathan Marks says that science has a double standard when it comes to wacky pseudoscience: If you espouse creationist ideas in science, you are branded as an ideologue, as a close-minded pseudo-scientist who is unable to adopt a modern perspective, and who consequently has no place… Read more

Pardon Me, Religion, I’m Sorry to Bother You: Dispatches on Canadian Secularism

Attempts to separate church and state are fuelling powerful debate in America. But what about Canada? Let’s take a brief survey of headlines and see. Read more

Finding Commonalities Between Nonbelievers and the Devout

Guest contributor Kate Harveston explores some surprising commonalities between atheists and Christians. Read more

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