Luke Muehlhauser did a fantastic interview with Richard Carrier (audio and transcript) that's now up at Luke's site. they talk about the methodology of Jesus-historians, Bayes' theorem and it's importance to the historian, and fine-tuning arguments.
at one point in the interview Carrier was critical of Lydia and Tim McGrew, husband and wife Christian apologists and philosophers, saying that an article of theirs was "crappy" and that it was "hoodwinking the public in a way." the McGrews have responded. Muehlhauser takes a look at the response.
New Testament scholar James McGrath comments on Carrier's thoughts in the interview.
Larry Moran links to a great discussion on just how similar humans and chimpanzees are.
up to two-thirds of Americans blame god for their problems.
this past September Keith Parsons announced he was "retiring" from the philosophy of religion because he felt that he could no longer respect the case for theism enough to want to devote professional activity to it. Julia Galef wrote about his decision for Religion Dispatches. his "retirement" prompted a lot of questions for Parsons from readers. he responds here.
the anti-vaccination Messiah Andrew Wakefield has been taking a well-deserved beating in recent months. this past week it got worse as the British Medical Journal published the results of an investigation into the claims Wakefield made in the now retracted paper that purported to show a link between vaccines and autism and that kicked off the whole anti-vaccination nonsense resulting in the illness and death of thousands of children. the investigation found Wakefield to have perpetrated an "elaborate fraud."
Anderson Cooper interviewed Wakefield (video) and laid the smack down on him.
Seth Mnookin sees a couple of problems in the story.
do we perceive reality? the checker shadow illusion.
The American Atheists have recently put up a billboard that reads "you know they're all scams" referring, of course, to religion. R. Joseph Hoffman and Alonzo Fyfe are among atheists who think the billboard goes way too far, Fyfe even calling the billboard "not only false" but "a derogatory and bigoted falsehood."
anyone who has looked into evolution enough knows the elegant simplicity of the process that leads organisms to adapt to their environment. but just as interesting perhaps is when organisms don't adapt.
Bill O'Reilly laid a heaping helping of stupid on the world this week when in an interview with American Atheists president David Silverman he pointed to the regularity of the ocean tides as evidence for god. plenty of humor came as a result (video) but Christopher of The Teapot Atheist took a serious look at teleology as an explanation for patterns in nature.
debunking thermal-image "ghosts" that have appeared on ghost hunting shows.
bacteria ate up all the methane released by the Deepwater Horizon well.
scientists construct synthetic proteins that sustain life.
the smell of female tears affects the sexual behavior of men.
the Scientology expose we've been waiting for is coming.
the modern scourge of "press-conference-science".
looks like the received view of active black holes at the center of galaxies being the result of galactic collisions is wrong.
tough bacteria use domesticated viruses to resist antibiotics.
too little oxygen and a sulfur overdose drove Cambrian extinction.
Luke Muehlhauser posted a video of two kids arguing over the existence of Santa with the title "this is what it's like to debate a Christian." the post got a couple of negative responses saying that the comparison is beneath those interested in serious respectful debate but Chris Hallquist thinks the analogy between god and Santa Claus has relevance.
more than 10% of teens who claimed to be abstinent tested positive for STD's. as Mike The Mad Biologist points out, this is either a major public health problem or significant theological event- the immaculate infection!
Luke Muehlhauser continues examining William Lane Craig's assertions about "the absurdity of life without god", this time asking whether ultimate meaning and purpose is even possible.