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An Atheist Epiphany

perspective[1]I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked over the years how I became an atheist, and my answer has always been disappointing, unsatisfactory or unbelievable to believers. [Read more]

Gee, I Guess Maybe I’m Not An Atheist After All

From a silly little Gospel Centered Arminian Blog, a screed, “The Point of Atheism.” It’s nothing you haven’t seen before dozens of times–the author was witnessing to an atheist (“Jason”), and ignored everything Jason said. [Read more]

Keeping God Out of the Funeral

cross[1]Almost three years ago, on July 24th, just a month after I founded Grief Beyond Belief on Facebook, I went to a Baptist funeral.  When I returned home after the event, I wrote the following. [Read more]

Muslim Creationists Are as Obtuse as the Christian Kind

Over the last few days, I’ve had a ‘conversation’ with a Muslim creationist on Twitter. He’s claiming that the embryology in the Quran is accurate and specific, and amusingly, he’s citing this article on the web to support his claim, saying that it is on his side. [Read more]

Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph to Pay for Failure to Report Abuse

FINN-master495[1]A Roman Catholic diocese in Missouri has been ordered to pay $1.1 million to victims of sexual abuse for breaking its promises on improving the way it deals with abuse cases. [Read more]

Pope Francis Jokes ‘Woman Was from a Rib’ As He Avoids Vow to Reform Church

In his first interview with a female journalist since his election to the spiritual leadership of the world’s 1.2 billion baptised Catholics, Pope Francis dodged a string of questions about whether he intended raising the status of women in his church and made a joke about women being “taken from a rib”. [Read more]

Church-State Separation Group Challenges Grant for Brooksville Common

herletters051614_13049931_8col[1]The Brooksville Common is on land owned by First United Methodist Church of Brooksville and was built almost entirely with more than $200,000 raised from church members and other private donors. [Read more]

Donations to Religious Groups Drop Despite Increase In Philanthropy

According to the new Giving USA report, which happens to be the most popular yearly study on philanthropy, Americans are making lesser charitable donations to religious groups, despite philanthropic activities increasing consistently. [Read more]

Elton John Preaches On Jesus, The Church, & Same-Sex Marriage

elton-john[1]Elton John is one of the most iconic musicians of the past half century. The awards and accolades he’s received are too numerous to recount here. But it seems we can now add to his long list of accomplishments the title of preacher. [Read more]

How Will They Woo Evangelicals This Time?

Apparently the Republican party is going to try and energize the evangelical vote again for the 2014 elections. Apparently the problem is that the old groups like the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition have either disappeared or have diminished clout and as a result the numbers of evangelicals who vote has declined, with only a third of the estimated 89 million turning out in 2012. [Read more]

Huntsville City Council Prayers — Should a Moment of Silence Replace Possibility of Another Wiccan Prayer?

15299676-mmmain[1]Mobs “waving pitchforks and torches” have not materialized in the wake of the donnybrook, which received national attention, over whether or not a Wiccan high priest should pray in public during a Huntsville City Council meeting, said Blake Kirk, a high priest of the Oak, Ash and Thorn tradition of Wicca, who lives in Huntsville, Ala. [Read more]

New Jack Chick Comic — Demons

jack-chick-demons1[1]This is what we’ve all been waiting for — a new comic from Jack Chick, the world’s greatest theologian, philosopher, illustrator, communicator, and creation scientist. He is also the purveyor extraordinaire of the most mindless, theologically primitive version of raw, young-Earth creationism that can be found anywhere. [Read more]

Full-Day Pre-K Choice for New York City’s Religious Schools

NY-DB803_PREK_G_20140629163217[1]For years, many Jewish and Catholic schools have offered a half-day of secular prekindergarten in the morning paid for by the city, followed by religious instruction in the afternoon on their own dime. [Read more]

Are ACE Schools Using Misleading Advertising?

The world has learned that ACE schools teach that evolution is a lie, wives must submit to their husbands, being gay is a sin, and abortion is murder. But for some ACE graduates, that might not be the most damaging thing. [Read more]

Good News Club Targets Children for Summer Salvation; One City Fights Back

cef-pied-piper[1]In past summers, Child Evangelism Fellowship has targeted children in Boston, Denver, Chicago, Little Rock, Salt Lake City, and the Twin Cities for conversion to their brand of biblical fundamentalism. This summer they chose Portland, Oregon. It may have been a mistake. [Read more]

Ethical Education Starts with Curiosity

“What we really have to do as parents is not create this fortress around [our kids], but create space where they can think for themselves and engage in ideas, including ideas that are different from our own,” says McGowan, also stressing that morality is grounded in empathy. [Read more]

Rethinking the Placebo Effect: How Our Minds Actually Affect Our Bodies

nothing_webb[1]In 2013, Neil deGrasse Tyson hosted a mind-bending debate on the nature of “nothing” — an inquiry that has occupied thinkers since the dawn of recorded thought and permeates everything from Hamlet’s iconic question to the boldest frontiers of quantum physics. [Read more]

What God Does to Your Brain

When neuroscientist Andrew Newberg scanned the brain of “Kevin”, a staunch atheist, while he was meditating, he made a fascinating discovery. “Compared with the Buddhist monks and Franciscan nuns, whose brains I’d also scanned, Kevin’s brain operated in a significantly different way,” he says. [Read more]

Creativity: Then and Forever

asimov_1-300x300[1]“CREATIVITY” is a word often associated with the beautiful in form and function, something precious to human beings, who tend to think they invented it. Beauty? If we’re so aware of that, why do we uglify the places where we live? Why do we do so much watching and listening to the uglier aspects of life, as if the important thing is for a camera to linger on a particularly messy corpse? [Read more]

Skeptics Who See Things: The Curious Visions of Mark Twain and Barbara Ehrenreich

MARK TWAIN, the revered American humorist and writer, was a famous skeptic and critic of organized religion. He wrote that “Faith is believing what you know ain’t so,” and that the Bible contains “upwards of a thousand lies.” [Read more]

Knowledge is Power

zenos_redo-830x460[1]Zenos Frudakis (above) considers himself a humanist first; sculpture is his medium. Using Francis Bacon’s quote, “Knowledge is Power,” as the theme, Frudakis was commissioned by Francesca Cottone Shaughnessy to create a sculpture “to inspire students to enjoy the pleasures of learning.” It features busts of famous thinkers, artists, activists, politicians, and scientists throughout history, along with their famous words or works. [Read more]

The Science of Why We Don’t Believe Science

truth_425x320[1]“A MAN WITH A CONVICTION is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point.” So wrote the celebrated Stanford University psychologist Leon Festinger (PDF), in a passage that might have been referring to climate change denial. [Read more]

Earth-Like Planet Discovered Nearby

giliese-832c[1]A UNSW-led team of researchers has discovered a potentially habitable Earth-like planet that is only 16 light years away. The “super-Earth” planet, GJ 832 c, takes 16 days to orbit its red-dwarf star, GJ 832, and has a mass at least five times that of Earth. [Read more]

Obstacles to Critical Thinking in the United States

a49f1e89fd7f1757da46c879033ca973[1]The freedom to be dumb appears to be an endearing quality of the American people. It’s as if most of us are ignorant and proud of it. The fact that the rest of the industrialized world is leading us when it comes to educating our children in relevant subjects is a sign we must change our approach and get rid of obstacles such as fundamentalist dogma and our obsession with entertainment. [Read more]

This is Why Some Urban Legends Go Viral

gq645ptv-1403863922[1]Urban legends get around, but we don’t really understand why. We conducted a study to explain how misinformation spreads surprisingly fast and why people feel compelled to share it. [Read more]

You Have No Idea How Wrong You Are

Wrong-way[1]I’ve just discovered what might just be my new favorite lecture on Youtube. Pseudonymous philosopher Sisyphus Redeemed describes a sample of the many ways we have been wrong throughout history and looks at the implications of our capacity to be certain we are right, when in fact we are wrong. In a whistlestop tour of some fundamental principles in psychology and philosophy, we learn how we are likely to be wrong about: Our beliefs, our emotions, why we believe our beliefs, when we change our minds, why we change our minds, the accuracy of our perceptions, the accuracy of our self-evaluations and how wrong we are. [Read more]

Noninvasive Brain Control

Noninvasive-brain-control[1]Optogenetics, a technology that allows scientists to control brain activity by shining light on neurons, relies on light-sensitive proteins that can suppress or stimulate electrical signals within cells. This technique requires a light source to be implanted in the brain, where it can reach the cells to be controlled. [Read more]

Minister Housing Allowance — Will It Be Changed?

Ministers have a special tax benefit for the amount of housing allowance they receive. They can exclude from gross income for income tax purposes the rental value of homes furnished by churches as part of their compensation. [Read more]

“…A Minefield” – The Zealotry Continues

Another serious blow to Separation of Church and State has been delivered by SCOTUS. In a 5-4 decision, the conservatives on the court have become the Mullahs issuing another fahtwa from their divinely inspired vulture perch. The dark ages will return. Not only are corporations people. [Read more]

Wyoming Catholic Groups Win Injunction Request on Federal Health Care Law

Roman Catholic organizations in Wyoming secured a court order Monday blocking, at least for now, a provision of the federal Affordable Care Act requiring them to take steps to allow hundreds of employees to secure contraception and abortion services. [Read more]

How to Fight the Islamic Trojan Horse? Accept Jesus!

There is a double standards in the UK with regards to religion in schools. We don’t mind the teaching of “Christian” values. See Christian values are seen as local and from places that are near to us. So if we hear Christian hymns being sung in schools, we turn a blind eye to it. [Read more]

Discovery Institute Jihad Against Darwin Day

You already know about the Discovery Institute’s crusade against the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science — we wrote about it here:Science Museum Promotes Science — Scandal! The Discoveroids had learned that the museum was organizing a Darwin Day event, which alone is enough to enrage them. [Read more]

Missing Word in ‘Bless USA’ Sign Causes Concern

Whether folks are religious or not, some people in Las Vegas feel there is a word missing from a sign now hanging over a New Mexico main street – a word that almost always starts a phrase written on the sign. The sign that welcomes people heading to the Fourth of July Fiestas on the historic Bridge Street in Las Vegas says, “Bless the USA.” [Read more]