News and Links for Atheists: Video of Bill Maher Reading from “The Purpose Driven Life”

Bill Maher Reads from The Purpose Driven Life

I’m so there.

Puppets Like Skepticism, Too

This week I was interviewed by Farrah, a puppet on the Hoggworks Studios video podcast called The Rant Puppets. He asked me about bird smarts, critical thinking, crystals, PZ Myers, and chiropractic medicine. I liked his hair. Enjoy…

Is Obama more religious than George W. Bush and can atheists trust him?

Maybe yes and maybe no. I still like what Obama is trying to do as President.

Why I Deny the Virgin Birth of Jesus

An ancient book says a man 2,000 years ago was born of a virgin and was sired by God himself. I once believed this, because I believed the Bible — a book I thought God himself wrote.

I was wrong. Here are five reasons why I no longer believe in the virgin birth.

I’m with Daniel (the author) on this one. I even doubt that Jesus was a real person, much less a supernatural messiah.

Scientology Meets It’s Match Or More Religulousness From The Hollywood Elite

Last week’s invitation-only GATE event drew an audience of about 500 that included Adrian Grenier, Jackson Browne, Garry Shandling, and Virginia Madsen. Melissa Etheridge was among the speakers. And if you think this group isn’t serious about transformational entertainment, consider that the meeting continued for four hours. (Tolle teaches that time is an illusion so perhaps that was not a problem.)

[Jim] Carrey himself has long been into a mixed-bag of spirituality—a filmmaker once told me that the actor “talked about Jesus, Gandhi, and Mohammed in a way that made me think he had not done the reading.” He’s been into Tolle for a while now and at the meeting, he explained that he’d come to an understanding that his thoughts were illusory and thought is responsible for “if not all, most of the suffering we experience”—Tolle in a nutshell.

A Conversation With WhoIsYourCreator.Com

A reader sent in his email exchange with WhoIsYourCreator.Com, a Christian creationist website. It’s much longer than anything I normally post, but I thought it was interesting enough to pass on.

Instead of just quoting something from the article, I will quote PZ Myers who commented about it: “Dishonesty has consequences, and creationists are fundamentally distorting the evidence to fit their desired conclusion. That hurts them when people take a moment to actually examine what they are claiming.”

He’s right. The badly researched “Creation Book” was one of the things that pulled me out of the Watchtower Society.

The Unreasonable Faith of Martin Luther

Christian Belief as a Natural Phenomenon: A Six-Part Series Part 1: Why Cognitive Science is essential to understanding Christianity.

Christian Belief Through the Lens of Cognitive Science: Part 2 of 6

Christian Belief Through the Lens of Cognitive Science: Part 3 of 6

I hope to read the rest of this series soon.

Outragously Irresponsible Claim by Weak-Minded Theist Group

The title may be a tad inflammatory, but so were the words this group put on their billboard: “Sweden is one of the most secular countries in the world. It’s a land of no color where children will you for candy.”

A Guide to Christian Clichés and Phrases

Charlotte Allen Anti-Atheist Editorial In LA Times

Charlotte Allen is bored of atheists? We’re bored of the standard Christian arguments and hate speech – there’s nothing new under the sun there.

This is a bit of a rant, but a good one.

News and Links for Atheists: Lotta Videos Today.

Sapolsky on Religion

Stanford’s Robert Sapolsky, one of the most interesting anthropologists I’ve heard lecture, gives us 90 minutes on the evolutionary basis for literal religious belief, “metamagical thinking,” schizotypal personality and so on, explaining how evolutionarily, the mild schizophrenic expression we called “schizotypal personality” have enjoyed increased reproductive opportunities.

‘Daniel Dennett – The Genius of Charles Darwin: The Uncut Interviews’ by Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins

Betty Bowers Explains Traditional Marriage

This one you just have to see for yourself.

‘Richard Dawkins and John Lennox at the Oxford University Museum’ by Richard Dawkins, John Lennox –

Video Contest by The Reason Project

The primary goal of The Reason Project is to promote critical thinking. We invite you to help us by participating in our yearly video contest.

The prize for the Winning Video of 2009 will be $10,000.

The prize for Second Place will be $4,000.

The prize for Third Place will be $1,000.

Stay tuned to this page: videos will be posted here, and visitors to the site will be able to vote for their favorites.

Bush’s Shocking Biblical Prophecy Emerges: God Wants to “Erase” Mid-East Enemies “Before a New Age Begins”

The revelation this month in GQ Magazine that Donald Rumsfeld as Defense Secretary embellished top-secret wartime memos with quotations from the Bible prompts a question. Why did he believe he could influence President Bush by that means?

The answer may lie in an alarming story about George Bush’s Christian millenarian beliefs that has yet to come to light.

Teenager faces prosecution for calling Scientology ‘cult’

A teenager is facing prosecution for using the word “cult” to describe the Church of Scientology.

The unnamed 15-year-old was served the summons by City of London police when he took part in a peaceful demonstration opposite the London headquarters of the controversial religion.

Officers confiscated a placard with the word “cult” on it from the youth, who is under 18, and a case file has been sent to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Are they sure that The Church of Scientology isn’t owned by the RIAA?

Support Simon Singh – support truth in science

Scientist and author Simon Singh is being sued by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) for saying that the claims made for the “therapy” are unproven.

Are they sure that the British Chiropractic Association isn’t owned by … never mind.


The Museum’s two themed alternatives—God’s Word versus Human Reason—might make it sound like it is presenting a choice between those famous opposites: blind faith and science. In fact, the Museum won’t concede that science points away from Genesis (although “secular scientists” and the “mass media” can make this mistake); it argues that when both are understood properly, Genesis and scientific findings support one another. It’s not so much that God is better than science; it’s that God is a better scientist. This is a pattern you will notice throughout: the Museum co-opts the hallmarks of the scientific method for its own ends. In his Dictionary of Received Ideas, Flaubert notes the common view: “A little science takes your religion away from you; a great deal brings you back to it.” This could be the Museum’s motto.

George Tiller and Bill Donohue: How Religion Twists the Moral Compass

I want to talk about the power that religion has to twist the human moral compass.

I’m going to start by being fair. Religion is far from the only belief system or ideology that can inspire people who think they’re doing good to commit terrible, heinous acts. Political ideology, for instance, can do the same thing: as we’ve seen in the Stalinist Soviet Union, or the United States in the W. Bush administration. The process of rationalization is far from limited to the world of religion. And because rationalization is often self- perpetuating — when we do something bad, we find a rationalization for why it wasn’t bad, which makes us more likely to do that bad thing again — it can lead otherwise sane and moral people, step by step, into committing atrocities we would otherwise recoil from in horror. This is not limited to religion: it is a fluke of how the human mind works.

Christians battle each other over evolution

Maybe this will keep’em occupied so they’ll leave the rest of us alone.

God’s place is in heaven, not deciding NBA Finals

Dwight Howard was asked a simple question. Howard’s answer shockingly veered off into some potentially highly controversial — if not offensive — territory.

Why, Howard was asked, should the Orlando Magic be picked by the media or others to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers?

“God,” was Howard’s response.

He apparently wasn’t joking. Howard was claiming that God favored the Magic.

Howard was given a chance to reconsider his words. He didn’t hesitate. “That’s the reason” the Magic would win, Howard continued, according to ESPN. “I’m telling you.”

This is one of those things that bugs me with religious believers: the tendency to give all credit to God. Apparently we mortals can do nothing without God making it so. Just had life saving surgery? God pulled you through. (Instead of just preventing the problem in the first place.) Survive a terrible accident? Lucky God was there. (It would have been even luckier if he’d stopped the accident, but anyway…) What about the humans who actually did the work of performing the operation or of engineering a car that could withstand the impact?

I think it’s nice for a religious believer to tell themselves that God was watching, that he cared, and that he stepped in. That means you’re favored a little more than the other guy who didn’t make it, ya know? Unless you’re a friend or relative of his. Then God just decided to “call them home” or something like that.

All I’m sayin’ is that there’s a lotta flip-flopping and rationalizing going on around here.

News and Links for Atheists: Richard Dawkins at the University of Oklahoma

VIDEO: Richard Dawkins at the University of Oklahoma – Introduction

Oklahoma legislator proposes resolution to condemn Richard Dawkins

PODCAST: Where Is God?

Hey, yeah! I’ve been asking that one for years…

PODCAST: Phrasing a Coyne: Jerry Coyne on Why Evolution Is True

Scholar Claims Dead Sea Scrolls ‘Authors’ Never Existed

Biblical scholars have long argued that the Dead Sea Scrolls were the work of an ascetic and celibate Jewish community known as the Essenes, which flourished in the 1st century A.D. in the scorching desert canyons near the Dead Sea. Now a prominent Israeli scholar, Rachel Elior, disputes that the Essenes ever existed at all — a claim that has shaken the bedrock of biblical scholarship.

VIDEO: A Skeptic in Creation Land

I visited the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, run by Answers in Genesis, the young-earth creationist organization run by Ken Ham, an Old Testament looking figure if ever there was one. I will be writing more about my experience in my monthly column in Scientific American (May 2009), but the highlight (also discussed in the column) was my interview with Dr. Georgia Purdom, the museum’s “research scientist” who explained what type of research one can do at a young-earth creationist organization, and why she thinks Francis Collins is wrong in his evolutionary understanding of the human genome.

Dembski Weasels Out

Here, Ian Musgrave tears Richard Dembski a new one. Again.

On a side note, I actually got to correspond with Ian Musgrave some years ago over some questions regarding the Watchtower Society’s “Creation Book”. (Better known as “Life-How did it get here? By evolution or creation?” to non-Jehovah’s Witnesses.) Nice guy, very helpful.

Deluding Australia

One aspect that shocked me, though, was how popular homeopathy is there. We went into a pharmacy so I could get decongestants (this entire planet irritates my sinuses), and the homeopathic garbage was everywhere.

News and Links for Atheists: HD Video Of The Four Horsemen On YouTube

VIDEO: The Four Horsemen HD – Now on YouTube

The Catholic Crusade Against a Mythical Abortion Bill

At a time when the United States is gripped by economic uncertainty and faces serious challenges in hot spots around the globe, some American Catholics are finding it both curious and troubling that their church has launched a major campaign against a piece of legislation that doesn’t exist and wouldn’t have much chance of becoming law even if it did. To many critics, it feels like the legislative equivalent of the dog that didn’t bark.

It’s Official: Men Win!

Been long enough since we won anything, hasn’t it fellas? So where’s my check?

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