the skeptical community has a generally favorable view of Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Josh Rosenau argues that this view is unwarranted.
R. Joseph Hoffman has been wondering whether or not to give up on humanism.
the defeasibility test: if believers refuse to allow that counter evidence would cause them to change their beliefs then is there a point in debating them?
John Loftus attempts to answer once and for all the Christian charge that skeptics would refuse to believe no matter what god did.
last week i linked to Sam Harris' response to critics of his book The Moral Landscape. the conversation continued this week. Russell Blackford, who Harris was mainly addressing with his response, responded with some thoughts, twice. Jerry Coyne had some thoughts.
Josh Rosenau commented on Harris' response and Coyne's response to it.
recently i linked to coverage of Bill O'Reilly's most recent stupidity using ocean tides as evidence for the existence of god. rather than leave any doubt about his stupidity Bill O'Reilly posted a video to the internet where he explained further what he meant, thereby confirming just how stupid he is. Stephen Colbert had a hilarious take on it (video). Ethan Siegel explained the science.
a new Gallup poll has an equal percentage of Americans believing that religion should have less influence and more influence in the US today.
NASA this week announced that the Kepler telescope has spotted 1,235 exoplanet candidates. the candidates include a good percentage of Earth-sized and super-Earth planets. Greg Fish comments. Phil Plait too. alright, so some of the candidates are "Earth-like", but what does that actually mean?
finally, on the six ways to find another Earth.
Church of England attendance falls again as did the number of baptisms, funerals, and marriages.
President Obama invoked The Golden Rule in his National Prayer Breakfast speech but is The Golden Rule such a great thing?
on feather evolution- if they didn't evolve first for flight then what was their purpose?
Ethan Siegel responds to the oft heard "you can't get something from nothing!" assertion as support for the existence of god. (spoiler alert: yes, you can get something from nothing.)
Jerry Coyne recently posted about a visit he paid to a local church to have a dialog with the church members. Josh Rosenau read Coyne's post and concluded that Coyne was turning accomodationist. Coyne responded to say he absolutely was not, that his post suggested no such thing. Sean Carroll commented. Russell Blackford weighed in.
can electrical jolts to the brain produce Eureka moments?
some people are starting to suggest, refuse to vaccinate your kids, pay higher insurance premiums.
anti-choice conservatives often argue that abortion leaves mental and emotional scars, that it's traumatic. a new study says that it may be childbirth that is more traumatic than having an abortion.
Matt McCormick posted some thoughts on a new paper that shows a strong correlation between being religious and having other strange, delusional, bizarre, and paranormal beliefs. Tom Rees commented on the same paper.
this is just cool- it's a great illustration of how natural selection works. a genetic algorithm selects the best "car" from different mutations of cars. watch as what are initially unwieldy contraptions that don't move very well very far turn into nimble little machines. do yourself a favor and let it run for a few hours, better over night.
nothing in the "new atheism" says that "new atheists" can't be nice, "new atheism" and nastiness don't automatically go together.