News and Links for Atheists: Obama to name faith council, panel Members to give policy input

Obama to name faith council panel
Members to give policy input

The group, which will be announced at the National Prayer Breakfast, is geared to give ministers more input into policy decisions than previous administrations have allowed them to do.

Professor Richard Dawkins on Darwin

Lotta videos of Dawkins for your viewing pleasure.

Those fanatical atheists

It’s popular these days to equate those who question God with the worst kind of zealots, but it’s not fair

Miracles and the Law of Large Numbers

Believer categorically deny that a purely natural explanation for the events is even possible. The problem is, these “miracles” are often not so improbable after all. To understand why, we just need to know a little math and statistics — subjects which too few people understand well.

L Ron Hubbard Recording About Xenu Aired on Australian TV

“Noah’s Flood” Not Rooted in Reality, After All?

Yes, even more evidence has been found.

Number of alien worlds quantified

Probably The Dumbest Creationist Argument Ever

Don’t be too sure.

The Perfect Christian Body

Which Authors Present the Best Case Against Christianity?

Cast your vote.

Who was the first atheist?

Review: Religulous


I knew I wanted to see Religulous the moment I had heard of it. So let me give you the setup for my first viewing: there was me (an atheist) eager to see what Bill Maher had in store. Then there was my wife (a Jehovah’s Witness) seated beside me. She probably wasn’t so sure this was a good idea. But I had already put the disk in the DVD player and — more importantly — I had actually bought the damn thing so there was no way she was going to let it go to waste. (My wife comes from a long line of incredible cheapskates, so that was that.) Now I hadn’t previewed Religulous for her or anything like that, so I didn’t know how offensive it would be to her. But I had seen Maher’s interview on the Daily Show where he explained his belief that atheism was a religion. Most atheists would disagree with Maher on this, so I figured he would offend me too. Not so. In fact, I preferred Religulous to many other documentaries of its kind.

Continue reading

News And Links For Atheists: Religious displays to be debated in court

Religious displays to be debated in court

Presidential Election yields 2008’s Top 10 Religion Stories

On Religion: How Teens Think About Religion

Video Online: Richard Dawkins Interviews Derren Brown

VIDEO: Richard Dawkins interviews Prof. Michael Baum

My Christmas message? There’s probably no God

It is neither emotionally nor spiritually deficient to reject religions that seek to infantilise us with impossible beliefs

Note that this one is from the Guardian, so it’s about the United Kingdom and not the United States.

Ghost Stories: Visits from the Deceased

You might also be interested in a related story here.

The Future of Man–How Will Evolution Change Humans?

Contrary to popular belief, humans continue to evolve. Our bodies and brains are not the same as our ancestors’ were—or as our descendants’ will be

God Is a Problem, Sources Say

How secular newsrooms handle stories with a religious component.

Muslim Scientists Prepare for Battle With Creationists

What are the atheists afraid of?

This is one to read if you don’t mind the ravings of an annoying guy who doesn’t like us … and wants to make really sure we know it, too.

The atheists predictably demanded a display themselves. Their wish was granted when city officials caved, but rather than being a statement of their nonreligious, unbelieving “faith,” they chose to denigrate and insult my religious beliefs.

I, and many other Christians, simply won’t sit still for this behavior. I know I have friends who are either self-proclaimed or silent atheists, and this column is not about them (even though I can’t understand their decision and know they are making the biggest mistake possible). This column is for the radical members of their group.

Don’t ya love it when the uber-fundies tell us what they really think? They do it so rarely.

News and Links for Atheists: If Religion Makes You More Honest…

If religion makes you more honest…

…why is it that the most corrupt countries are also the most religious? An earlier post describes evidence that religious beliefs can affect honesty. Implanting subliminal religious messages, and making people feel like they are being watched by supernatural entity, both can act to make people behave more honestly.

But there is a lot more to religion than this, of course. And advocates of religion would have us believe that more religion equals a better, more honest society. This is a claim that can be tested – by looking at country differences in religious fervour and corruption.

Are Christians happier than non-Christians?

I’ve often heard the argument that Christians are happier than non-Christians. I’m not sure how that is quantified — I was happy as a Christian, but I’m just as happy now. Perhaps I was a little happier at the beginning of my Christian journey, but that’s normal when you get into something new that you enjoy. I get a little happier when I sit down to a good book or to a good meal, too.

Does Religion Make People Nicer?

Only if they think Sky Big Brother is watching

In his new movie Religulous, comedian Bill Maher makes wicked fun of the religiously credulous. But it turns out that the folks who believe in talking snakes and seventy-two virgins per martyr may be on to something. As whacky as some dogmas are, religions do appear to encourage generosity and honesty. At least that is the claim made in a fascinating review article, “The Origin and Evolution of Religious Prosociality” (subscription required) published in the current issue of Science.

Everything you need to know about ID

It’s a wonder that these people know how to tie their own shoes. I was sent a link to Perry Marshall’s Intelligent Evolution Quick Guide, and it is certainly a fine example of the kind of reasoning that allows creationism to thrive.

Palin Debate Flow Chart

YouTube Video: The REAL Sarah Palin

I think I need to start checking out these Barely Political folks. Enjoy!