before we get to the links i wanted to let everyone know that there's a new "contact us" page on TA
. you can now reach the Think Atheist administrators by email and by phone (and a snail mail contact is being worked out). i'm eager to see a new feature in use- voicemails left at the contact number can be embedded as an audio file. should be hilarious the first time someone leaves an ignorant message of hate! :)
i also wanted to ask that these Sunday School posts be for information purposes and as the seeds of personal blog posts or forum topics. last week's edition turned into a lengthy discussion on Jesus historicity when there are already existing threads for the discussion of that topic. compliance with this request not only makes for centrally located easily followed discussions on specific critical topics but it also makes searching for those topics far easier insofar as threads and blog posts on those topics will be tagged appropriately.
see something among the links here that you want to discuss at length?- that's part of the reason why i collect and produce the series and i'm thrilled if you do. just please either search for an existing topic on that subject or create your own blog post or forum thread. once you create that blog post or forum thread please by all means post the link here so that anyone interested in discussing the topic can easily find your post/thread.
alright, let's go to school......................
Ken Pulliam asks why do people continue to believe in spite of the evidence
. he also has two good posts on the foundation of Christian belief in either faith or reason. check those posts out here
in the second edition of Sunday School
i linked to Jerry Coyne's comments on the creationist turd of a movie called Darwin's Dilemma.
now paleobiologist and author
Martin Brashier takes the movie's claims apart
Luke at Common Sense Atheism has a response to Bill Craig's assertion
that life is absurd if there is no god.
there have been some hilarious defensive responses
- conspiracy theory garbage really- on the part of the anti-vaxxer wackaloons to Andrew Wakefield's Lancet paper being retracted. more by Orac
Answers in Genesis has produced its own iPhone app so, as PZ Meyers suggests
, if you're interested in having an at-home frontal lobotomy then here's your chance. Stephen Fry: humanist.
here's an update on the whole Texas school textbook standards process
Former Pastor Bruce Gerencser gives his answer to the common question to atheists
, if religion doesn't matter to you then why do you spend so much time on it? (via Loftus at DC
intelligent design? more like stupid design!
and even more like simple natural selection. (again, via Loftus at DC
in science vs. religion news, Jerry Coyne tries to figure out what the hell Andrew Brown is trying to argue
in his recent article at The Guardian. and if Brown's contention isn't silly enough, there's this
in my supplement to Johnny's January 10th SMS
(call that post Sunday School version 0.0) i linked to a DC Science post on the results of attempts to get the details of what exactly gets taught in homeopathy courses. DC Science has an update on those attempts and their results
. if these people believe in the objective validity of this stuff then why are they so desperate to keep the content of these courses secret?
shuttle astronauts are adding the last major piece to the ISS
. the module in question has huge windows that afford a 360° view of surrounding space and, of course, of earth. should be good for some incredible photographs. if they can just get the thing installed properly
! the mystery of dark matter solved?
no real surprise here... the 5 week old New Hampshire gay marriage law is already under attack
by the usual suspects.
new research showing the areas of the brain where spiritual feelings are produced. check it out: Tom Rees at Epiphenom
, Andrew Wiseman at 80beats
, and Science Daily
5 ways to fix the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
the unexpected: looks like Muslims do want their women to be educated
. although left unsaid is what exactly respondents would consider "education" in this context.
ever wonder what it would look like to approach and fall into a black hole? wonder no more!
(via Coyne at WEIT
new techniques will improve early radiocarbon dating
the definition of what constitutes "life" has always been a moving target. has the problem been solved?
craters on Mars provide a record of major environmental changes over billions of years
John Avise's new book Inside the Human Genome
takes a look at the flaws in our bodies as evidence for evolution and against intelligent design. looks like an interesting read. what initially appeared to be a meteorite impact
in Mexico has been established to be the remains of a Russian satellite
more commentary on Cherie Blair's ruling against jail time for a man simply because he is religious. check it out here
Mark Goodacre, Associate Professor of New Testament at Duke University,
has a great 3 part series of podcasts on the topic of the Synoptic Problem. if you're unfamiliar with the problem it goes to the reliability of the gospels as ancient sources period, the question of whether or not the gospels contain eye-witness accounts, the dating of the gospels, and other issues. check out the 3 parts here
, and here
climate change is already changing the habits and diets of animals
in areas where climate change is most extreme.
Saturn's equinox provide stunning video of north and south pole aurora at the same time
and give scientists important clues to the nature of Saturn's magnetic field.
got kids? more recommendations for Daniel Loxton's evolution book for kids Evolution: How We And All Living Things Came To Be
. check it out here
lots of posts on the sequencing of a 4000 year old man's genome. read about it here
, and here
. we may soon be able to clone a Neanderthal... but should we?
need mobile climate change science? there's an app for that...
the Anglican Church in Canada may be one generation away from extinction
. atheists are just as ethical as religionists
, new research shows. more on the new research here
, and here
, including a link to the paper itself here
Scott Clifton (Theoretical Bullshit) posted a YT video on the Kalam Cosmological Argument
and uses the Kalam to formulate an argument against the existence of god. then he posted some clarifying points
does the media in the US have a blind spot for Christian extremism
?ingredients for life present on Saturn's moon Enceladus
. more at 80beats
. of course, that includes water
sure, scientists make errors but the beauty of the scientific endeavor
is its self-correcting nature.
last week i linked to a Times Online article that listed their view of the top 30 science blogs. turns out one of the blogs on the list is decidedly unscientific
Jim Lippard makes an important point
when he asks why no one has produced a viable climate model that explains our observations WITHOUT taking into account anthropogenic causes of current warming trends.
do we have a moral obligation to seed the universe with life?
sea urchins: no eyes, no problem.
the sun is ramping up again. sunspots are coming back.
do we have a right to tell people when they're wrong? how about an obligation?what will you miss when atheism goes mainstream?did bacteria develop more complex cells earlier in evolution
than we thought?Neil Godfrey posted this great map
showing the reality of the extent of "orthodox" and "heretical" Christianity in the early history of the faith. it's a great illustration of the bankruptcy of the notion that "heretical" sects arose later only to pervert the true teachings of an original "orthodoxy". indeed, it is because the terms orthodox
are value judgments retrojected into a past that doesn't jibe with what we know of the historical reality that i put them in quotations. turns out in most places "heretical" Christianity was the orthodox form. so much for Apostolic Succession.
after last week's post by James McGrath on the mythicist's misunderstanding of the historical endeavor Neil Godfrey responded
. there has followed a back and forth between McGrath
and Godfrey on both their blogs. interesting stuff, well worth a look. how many hours did you waste on prayer
while you were still a believer? remember, Pascal's Wager suggests you have nothing to lose in believing and being wrong! LOL.
the Mariana Trench
is deep. how deep? this image
will give you some idea of the scale.
alright everyone, that should hold you over until next Sunday! hope you enjoy. feedback on the Sunday School series and/or suggestions for sources for science, skepticism, atheism, and related topics are always welcome.
happy Valentine's Day!