How will Homeland Security know that a Syrian Christian is not a Muslim terrorist in disguise?

Do you think that the Tremendous One is making unethical decisions that are stomping on American values? Are his companies already violating their own ethics pledge? Email him, privately, with your concerns about the fate of journalists.

There are now more atheists in England and Wales than there are Christians. The UK government should not prop up the Church of England.

Even if belief in gods brings comfort to some people I remain anti-theist because I am interested in the truth.

Two Christians defend themselves against child rape and kidnapping charges by using their Bible while three more are convicted of child abuse at a religious private school in Alabama.

If there was a god why would He care if we believed in Him or not? If we found the source of human consciousness would it change how we asked such philosophical questions?

Does religious participation contribute to human flourishing?

This weeks’ Woo: Down to Earth explanations for alien abductions.

Climate Change: Silencing the EPA will make America unhealthy again.

Richard Feynman once said that knowing that all things are made of atoms is enormous information to have about the world. He would have enjoyed challenging Mother Nature’s curveballs.

If life springs from disorder then does Evolution have a direction?

Ten things we did not know last week. Some photographs from Africa.

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Have a great week everyone!

“Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear."

Thomas Jefferson, 1787.

What a perfect quote for the day..,
Thank you, Reg!

The Queen made Olympian Mo Farah a Knight and 4 weeks later Donald Trump makes him an alien.

Loving the 'how you make decisions'.....something I struggle with severely...

Thanks Reg

Thanks for your comprehensive syllabus.  Lots to consider.

I was disturbed by the Harvard professor's essay on religion and medicine.  (BIg Guestions Online).  Not the facts - it is true that participants in certain religious communities live longer and have fewer illnesses, are happy and thrive, because facts are facts.  But rather, his applications for that information leave room for prejudice and abuse, exclusion and judgement within privileged medical settings -

"Some researchers have suggested that patients be given a short, four-question spiritual history in the clinical context:

Is faith (religion or spirituality) important to you in this illness?
Has faith been important to you at other times in your life?
Do you have someone to talk to about religious matters?
Would you like to explore religious matters with someone?"

I've known so many people who felt excluded by doctors and nurses for being gay or transgender.  I've known a number of doctors who refused to see such patients.  I've known patients who chose their doctor based on religion.  Catholic hospitals dominate some areas, leading to issues with access to birth control and end of life care.

Medical systems like easy answers.  If they judge that people who go to religious services, are less likely to use services or contract expensive diseases, they like to put that to work.  How much of a stretch is it, to then charge more or exclude nonreligious people, because of a perception that religious participation saves the health plan money?  They do that with smokers and people who drink more.  Employers get into the act by drug testing employees, including for nicotine, as a requirement to reduce accidents, or save healthcare costs.

Then we also need to consider, if attendance in religious services makes for better health, is that true in all countries?  The USA is one of the most religious, but least healthy, of developed western countries, and with the most expensive health care.  Correlation is not causation, but maybe there are shared causes for both our religiosity and our bad health, despite the studies stating the opposite.  No links there, my flawed memory is the source.

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