News and Links for Atheists: “Announcing a new video series – The stories of young Scientologists not told in ‘Going Clear'”

Announcing a new video series — The stories of young Scientologists not told in ‘Going Clear’

Now, the two young men from those stories, Aaron Smith-Levin and Nick Lister, are teaming up to create a new YouTube channel that will feature the stories of other young Scientologists who grew up in the church and believe they have a unique view of it.

A Texas Christian couple fled the country after failing to raise a starved child from the dead

In Texas, two church members have fled to Mexico after an anonymous tip was called into the local police that church members had been trying to resurrect a child from the dead.
The child reportedly died a week earlier according to NBC News.

Bill Maher’s Bigoted Atheism: His Arrogant Shtick Is Just as Ugly as Religious Intolerance

You know what you call someone who makes sweeping generalizations on billions of people based on the extreme actions of a few? A bigot. Bill Maher, for example, is a bigot. And if you’re a fan of his smug, dismissive shtick, you’re a bigot too.

I’ll let you guys argue about this one amongst yourselves.

How Christians Think They Can Convert Atheists… According to WikiHow

You learn a lot about campaigns when you read their strategy memos. WikiHow contributors have put together a page on How to Persuade an Atheist to Become Christian, and it’s probably a little more revealing than they intended.

Correct.

Australia to stop welfare cash of anti-vaccine parents

Learning the Hard Way: My Journey from #AntiVaxx to Science

10 Questions With Science Babe, the Blogger Who Took Down Food Babe

The article referenced in the link above, written by the Science Babe, appears here. If you’re a Food Babe fan, please read it. Sorry guys, but she doesn’t know what she’s talking about and her campaigns are actually hurting the quality of the foods she targets, not helping them.

FDA and Homeopathy

The skeptical community is abuzz with the announcement by the FDA’s announcement that they are reviewing the “regulatory framework” of homeopathic products and are open to public input. We have written about this at Science-Based Medicine, and as you can imagine, this is a serious topic of discussion among the editors.

Not unlike the Food Babe, homeopathy is full of shit.

More evidence that near death experiences are related to brain activity, not the supernatural

So even more research, then?

Atheists Rewrite The Ten Commandments — They’re Much Better Than The Originals

Like that’s hard. Seriously.

Author Suggests Jesus Never Existed After Finding No Mention Of Him In Historical Texts

News and Links for Atheists: “The Secret Knowledge is just ignorance by another name.”

The Secret Knowledge is just ignorance by another name

Meaning that body of information not everyone has, that body known only to those few people who had the good sense to go off the beaten path and seek it. It is information you’ll never see in your “newspapers” or “network news” or any other place overly concerned with verifiable “facts” and reliable “sources.” It will not come to you through a university “study,” peer-reviewed “article,” renowned “expert,” government “agency” or any other such traditional bastion of authority.

I have to agree, in general.

Your Brain Is Primed To Reach False Conclusions

But, as Offit’s story suggests, the fact that a child became sick after a vaccine is not strong evidence that the immunization was to blame. Psychologists have a name for the cognitive bias that makes us prone to assigning a causal relationship to two events simply because they happened one after the other: the “illusion of causality.” A study recently published in the British Journal of Psychology investigates how this illusion influences the way we process new information. Its finding: Causal illusions don’t just cement erroneous ideas in the mind; they can also prevent new information from correcting them.

Myths Debunked

Religious Right Activists Love To Spread False Information About The Separation Of Church And State. Here Are Ten Rebuttals:

Biology Professor Says Creationist Magazine Misquoted Him To Perpetuate Lies Against Evolution

This one is both for ex-Witnesses and atheists, really.

A biology professor is speaking out, demanding an apology and calling for an end to attempts to “perpetuate lies against evolution” after a statement from him was taken out of context in a creationist article in Awake!, a Jehovah’s Witness publication. He says that a portion of his statement was picked from the whole, leaving a completely different impression from his actual statement.

What? The Watchtower Society misrepresent someone’s point of view? I mean, they’ve been doing that for over a century, so why assume they’d stop now? Wait, that’s totally consistent. Sorry.

The dinosaur deniers

So now apparently it’s a thing amongst the devoutly religious not only to believe that evolution is false, but that dinosaurs never existed.

College Students Are Abandoning Religion In Record Numbers

More than 1,000 Ontario teens potentially exposed to measles at Toronto Christian concert, health officials warn

Crows Understand Analogies

 

News and Links for Atheists: A Previously Unreleased Interview with Christopher Hitchens

A new and previously unreleased interview with Christopher Hitchens

#232 Debate – AronRa vs Bob Dutko – Where Did It All Come From – 2012

Dutko only recently found his way onto my radar. But I thought this interview with AronRa (pronounced AR-ren-rah, not Aron-rah) was interesting. Especially with regard to conversations about whether atheists believe there is no god or whether we merely withhold belief in one. I think the key issue is how you use the word believe. It can be used to describe an opinion as well as a conviction. Most atheists don’t have a strong conviction that there is no god.

Bob Dutko Replies: And Why He Fails

This video addresses issues Dutko raised when a YouTuber posted a video criticizing Dutko. It doesn’t matter if you know anything about Dutko or not. The points apply to many conversations like this one.

What the anti-vaxxers are getting dangerously wrong

One thing is certain—the distortion of the facts about vaccines could have dangerous consequences for public safety and public health. In this post, we’ll cover some basic facts about vaccines, their significance, their contentious history and their recent misrepresentation by the anti-vaccine movement.

Anderson Cooper, Ex-GOP Rep. Throw Down over Vaccine-Autism Link

You know how there are lots of anti-vaccine people who say that vaccines give their kids autism? Well, that’s not true. It’s been thoroughly discredited. But former Republican Congressman Dan Burton believes that the mercury in vaccines can cause autism in children, and faced off against Anderson Cooper last night over that very subject.

Measles Outbreak Hits Texas Church That Preached Against Vaccines

The Food Babe is a Raving Lunatic

Your vitamins are lying to you: Why Big Herba is out of control

We often hear about the evils of Big Pharma, but it’s not the only medicine industry putting your health at risk.

Hey, Kids! If You Don’t Listen in Church, God Will Kill You

This is about Jehovah’s Witnesses but it appears on Patheos, a major atheist website. Good to see that Hemant Mehta is paying attention. :)

Jehovah’s Witness leaders have a simple message for children: Pay attention at meetings or you will be killed… just like Noah would’ve been.
You can see it in their latest propaganda video:

Add nature, art and religion to life’s best anti-inflammatories

Merry Christmas 2014

Merry Christmas to all my fellow geeks and heathens. As a (sort of) gift, I am providing links to some of my YouTube playlists for you to ignore or enjoy. Note that I would like to edit the start and end times for some of these, but it seems that YouTube (aka Google) has decided to take this feature away. For some reason.

I maintain all these playlists to varying degrees.

Entertainment

Canada’s Worst Driver is probably my favorite reality TV show. And most episodes are available on YouTube! The last 6 seasons are at least. I maintain this playlist because my wife and I like to go back and watch it from time to time. As more episodes become available, I will add them.

Canada’s Worst Handyman is another good reality TV show from Canada. It’s also very Wintery, so it feels like Christmas. :)

Here is a playlist featuring movies, TV shows and other videos for geeks. Many of these are anime. Note that some of these get deleted from time to time and I have no control over that.

This is a playlist of standup comedy in no particular order.

Secularism, Atheism, and Skepticism

Conspiracy Roadtrip is a BBC show that takes true believers in various conspiracy theories, including the idea that evolution is a scientific conspiracy, on a bus throughout the United States to show them the evidence that their belief is wrong and to see if they can change anyone’s mind. Note that the host of the show is a nonbelieving comedian, but he seems to treat the people pretty respectfully.

This is a collection of secular and atheist videos I’ve found across YouTube in no particular order.

Below are two playlists of my favorite Atheist Experience episodes and clips.

List 1:

List 2:

Here is a small list of ex-Jehovah’s Witness videos. Note that it includes the one about Kissing Hank’s Ass. :)