Well.......... HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! :)
2011 was a great year for Think Atheist! Running it all down quickly now we have: 8,000 forum discussions, 6,000 blog posts, 5,000 videos, 18,000 photos, and 14,000 members! But we also saw massive growth in traffic to our community! 3 million 5 hundred thousand unique visitors found their way here and viewed 6 million 7 hundred 50 thousand pages in 2011! This was truly the year Think Atheist came into its own!
It was a great year for the Think Atheist Radio Show! We launched on March 27th thinking we'd start slow and gradually be able to build a reputation for putting on a quality show, and that this reputation would enable us to eventually get some big-name guests. Then, we rocketed off to success. Greg, our host, has done a great job with the interviews, and as producer I made some contacts at some big publishers so that we would be assured of being able to read books from and book the best most interesting guests before the books were even out yet, even working with my contacts to do giveaways of many of our guests books!
Since March 27th we've been linked to from RichardDawkins.net twice, Hemant Mehta's The Friendly Atheist, Ophelia Benson's Butterflies&Wheels (while also having Ms. Benson as a guest as well!), The Secular Outpost, Leiter Reports, and from Ex-apologist. We've had experts in the fields of biology, psychology, biochemistry, neurobiology, physics, ethics, the philosophy of science, the philosophy of religion, the Hebrew Bible, and many other subjects, as well as journalists exposing Scientology and religious child abuse.
We went from not even existing, to having thousands of listeners join us every month. We can't thank you all enough for your donations and for shopping the Think Atheist Radio Show Bookstore (which helps support the show) and for your tweets, Facebook likes, reshares and +1's, and, of course, for making time each week to listen.
We're going to reward you all for your support so far with more killer weekly guests to say thanks! We start things off tonight with the first airing of our interview with Dr. Phil Zuckerman. Dr. Zuckerman is a Professor of Sociology at California's Pitzer College. His research interests include atheism, secularism, and apostasy. His essays for numerous news outlets are well worth a read– see here and here for instance– and he is the author of the great Society Without God about how the healthiest societies in the world are also those that are the least religious, but we're eager to have him talk to us about his new book Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion. Dr. Zuckerman joins us to tells about the results of extensive interviews he performed looking into the reasons why people apostasize. The results are both deeply and compellingly personal and fascinating!
Alright! Let's kick off the third year of Sunday School! LINKS!!
New found gas cloud points to possible planets near the Milky Way's black hole.
This guy was an atheist faking religion, raising his kids in religion thinking it wouldn't take over their minds. He realized his error and put a stop to it before his kids were too far gone.
So this girl posted to the atheism portal on Reddit about a copy of a book by Carl Sagan that she had gotten for Christmas. Many of the atheists there responded with overt and awful comments that ranged from inappropriate to full blown misogyny. Rebecca Watson posted to Skepchick to express disgust. Kate Harding went the next step by saying that not only were the people that made the comments awful, but that the people that casually excused the comments are awful too. Greta Christina posted with comments in the same vein explaining why "Yes, but..." is the wrong response to misogyny. Stephanie Zvan makes a great deal of sense on the topic too.
Will 2012 be the year of the atheist? (note that the author refers to our forum and links to Think Atheist! Indeed, we've already had a few people join the community upon learning about us there.)
John Shook of the Center for Inquiry urges you to make your New Year's resolution to admit to being an atheist.
What do the events in the evolution of our universe look like on the scale of one calendar year? Perspective. U can haz.
Have you guys found me on Google+ yet? I share Sunday School links on G+ as I find them each day; no waiting till Sunday! There's a great community of people I share the links and interact with. And on Twitter is where we do our book giveaways! If you connect with me at either place, let me know you found me through Sunday School, say hi!
Jerry Coyne discusses the free will/determinism debate, looking at what recent neuroscience experiments in decision making say on the question and examining 4 arguments for compatibilism.
Chris Halquist posted to question just what is meant when someone refers to "great Christian thinkers".
Steven Pinker wrote for the Washington Post's On Faith column to answer the question that he gets asked a lot given the release of his recent book about how society has gotten less violent. Has religion made the world less safe?
10 images that changed the course of science (and one that's about to!)
American atheists must define themselves, not be defined by the religious.
PZ Myers posted a rousing defense of his in your face strategy of confronting religion in contrast to the accomodationists that it's hard to disagree with.
The website Sense About Science released their annual report Celebrities and Science, marking the particular brands of nonsense from notable celebrities and rebutting with real science.
NASA's twin GRAIL probes are settling into orbit around the Moon to begin studying its gravity in an effort to learn more about its formation and evolution.
A public school teacher boasts about regular and long term constitutional violations and then tries to hide the admission.
Obviously since it's the end of the year there's no end to the end of year best of wrap up posts. The Knight Science Tracker had a bunch of great links to many major sources' end of year best of posts.
Smithsonian had a wrap up of the top hominid discoveries of 2011.
Ethan Siegel produced a list of his top 10 posts of 2011 on cosmology and physics. All great stuff. Well worth a second look even if you've read them all before.
MSNBC's Cosmic Log posted their list of the top science videos of 2011.
Ed Yong posted his favorites from throughout the year.
And to take the cake there's a compilation of links to 30 different science writers and their end of year top posts lists. This will keep you busy for a while! If you can't find interesting stuff to read here.... check for a pulse!