few things before we begin:
first, i want to say thanks so much to everyone who entered the contest to win a signed copy of J. Anderson Thomson's new book Why We Believe in God(s). if you were among those that entered i expect my contact at Pitchstone Publishing, the book's publisher, to have the winners for me shortly. i'll be announcing them on Twitter followed by a post Think Atheist. if you want the news as fast as possible your best bet is to follow me on Twitter.
second, not wanting to confuse people, and wanting to concentrate on one contest at a time, i have been keeping quiet on a second contest that i just recently finalized the details of. Dr. Michael Shermer will be joining us on the Think Atheist Radio Show live on Sunday June 19th. leading up to his joining us we'll be having a contest whereby 3 Think Atheist members will win a signed copy of Dr. Shermer's new book The Believing Brain! i'll have additional details soon!
third and finally, tonight on the podcast we're featuring a live chat with physicist Dr. Lawrence Krauss. it will certainly be fascinating stuff so don't miss it! and remember, you can always check out past episodes of the show from the archive. follow the show on our host page or on iTunes. and if you enjoy the show please take a second to post a review on iTunes for us. we appreciate it!
alright. remember to "like" this edition of Sunday School if you enjoyed it! (the "like" button is at the bottom of the post before the comments section).
here we go...
you know we have to get the Rapture stuff out of the way first right?
so we're all still here. hardly surprising given the number of times this has happened (or hasn't happened) in the past! people have disrupted their families, they've stopped paying bills and stopped saving for their kids' college. one woman tried to kill herself and her two daughters in order to avoid the Tribulation. another man planned on euthanizing his pets so they wouldn't suffer. sigh.
but what happens to groups like this once the dust from the failed prophecy settles?
meanwhile, the pot calls the kettle black when other Christians call Camping's brand of silliness the nonsense that it is while insisting that their brand of silliness is Truth.
twins infected with HIV at the same time. the virus evolves differently in each. one becomes much sicker.
Eric MacDonald has taken to his blog to defend Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion against theist reviewers who have taken issue with it on several fronts. his posts make for good reading and he responds ably to the criticisms in many areas, even if Jerry Coyne disagreed on a couple of points. check out the first, second, and third posts with more promised.
"Belief systems are backed by a variety of research but it's not nuggets of information we need but rather a view of the whole"
the peppered moth is perhaps the most well known example of natural selection's power to modify organisms with the kind of speed Darwin never imagined. now it seems we've found the gene responsible.
the Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception: made up.
the other big story this week was one Damon Fowler. Damon's high school was planning on having a school led prayer at graduation. Damon wrote the school's administration to assert the constitution in these matters, saying that if the school was intent on breaking the law he would contact the ACLU. well. the school backed down. but a teacher bad mouthed Damon publicly. Damon's brother wrote a fantastic letter to the teacher.
then a rehearsal for the graduation violated the constitution anyway. and then the actual graduation did too. so now the school is probably going to be sued and have to pay thousands to defend itself, money it should be spending on educating students, not leading them in prayer to the violation of this country's founding document. PZ Myers and Hemant Mehta commented.
fear of terrorism makes Pakistani students turn to religion.
"Why are so many of our beliefs out of sync with reason, evidence, and argument? And, what, if anything, can we do to guard against falsehood, while at the same time increasing the stock of the true things we believe?"
often you hear the brain being compared to a computer. but the analogy only extends so far.
Richard Dawkins is being accused of cowardice for refusing to debate William Lane Craig.
we'd all be superheroes... if we just paid attention!
there's a new study out that says that there are huge numbers of star-less planets roving the galaxy. so the next question is, are there rogue planets out there that we're at risk of encountering?
new DNA research has uncovered a startling thing: deliberate typos.
Stephen Hawking: "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark."
Rabbi David Wolpe was upset by this. Jerry Coyne addressed Wolpe's criticisms of Hawking.