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This week on Think Atheist Radio we have our chat with Ms. Jen McCreight. Ms. McCreight is an aspiring biologist, an activist, speaker, and blogger. She graduated from Purdue University with a double major in Genetics and Evolution plus a minor in Psychology. While at Purdue she co-founded the Society of Non-Theists, for which she served as President for 3 years. She now does research at an ecological genetics lab while looking forward to working on her PhD in Genome Sciences. Her activism is focused on atheism, feminism, diversity, and LGBT issues. Ms. McCreight is on the Board of Directors of the Secular Student Alliance, she speaks at conferences around the country, and she writes at her blog Blag Hag on the Freethought Blogs network. Recently Ms. McCreight proposed "Atheism+" as a renewed focus on social justice issues like feminism, diversity, and LGBT issues. If you spend any time at all on the internet you've certainly read the great deal of discussion that has followed Ms. McCreight's proposal. There have been questions, agreements and disagreements. Some are for it, some against. We asked Ms. McCreight to join us to talk about her motivation behind the proposal, what it is (and what it isn't), and to ask her to respond to some of the questions people have posed. There's lots of excitement and discussion about Atheism+. Listen in!
Neil Armstrong's legacy went to waste but there's a new space race in the cards.
On the news, published in a new paper this month, that aphids may be the first animal that can photosynthesize. How?
What does the observable universe teach us about the unobservable universe?
A new study shows that political conservatives are more likely than liberals to twist reality to fit their beliefs.
One astrobiologist's plan to search for life on Jupiter's moon Europa: send 3 spacecraft in successive waves.
Chimpanzees only punish when they're personally wronged.
The belief that Europe and America will be hit least by climate change is in ruins.
Trapped in tree sap 230 million years ago, these arthropods have the distinction of being the oldest ever found, besting the previous oldest by a hundred million years!
New DNA analysis shows that ancient humans interbred with Denisovans.
Cyborg tissue. Half living cells, half electronics.
An estimate of the number of microbes on the ocean floor has been revised down by half. Don't worry though. There's still 10 million trillion microbes for every human on the planet.
8 countries where atheism is accepted, even celebrated, instead of demonized.
Gravitational waves detected from a pair of white-dwarf stars.
Massimo Pigliucci offered some thoughts on Atheism+, plus a comment on Richard Carrier's voice of support for the project. Meanwhile, on that same subject, Greta Christina had some thoughts on Atheism+ and diversity.
Steven Novella discusses the importance of replication to science, using as a jumping off point the now repeatedly falsified precognition study by Daryl Bem touted by the media upon its release.
Gay marriage in France. France wins. God fails.
Arctic sea ice is at its lowest extent on record. The fact that climate denialists are claiming that since the satellite data goes back to 1979, so therefore the extent of the ice is irrelevant, ignores the observational dating going back to 1870 and the proxy reconstructions going back 1,450 years. Par for the course for the denialists of course.
NASA's Wise telescope has added to its haul of discoveries, finding millions of supermassive black holes plus some blisteringly hot "extreme" galaxies.
Steven Novella provided some important thoughts on Massimo Pigliucci's recent post on the state of the skeptic's movement, what Pigliuicci called the "Community of Reason." Meanwhile, Larry Moran, focused on some of the things that Pigliucci wrote, asks what kind of knowledge philosophy can discover.
Brian Dunning consider the question of whether ghosts exist.
Why don't more atheists speak out against Islamaphobia?
There's been discussion in past years about advances in the science of trying to bring back to life extinct species. But, say we were able to do so– should we?
The Dawn Spacecraft has left the asteroid Vesta after taking 20,000 images while in orbit around the rock and is headed to the asteroid Ceres to continue to learn more about the formation of the solar system.
A head friar of a Catholic order, the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, says that when priests rape children, it's the "youngster [that] is the seducer."
The discussions about whether or not to include an exception for rape when outlawing abortion just seem to take as a given that these exceptions can be put in place without problems. But it seems they can't. Here's why.
Biogeography isn't often cited as evidence for evolution but it should be. Instances like this offer stark confirmation of common descent.
Could there be life in the universe far older than here on Earth?
Hemant Mehta points to a longread essay on Mormonism and its influence on Mitt Romney appearing in the Los Angeles Review of Books. I'm thankful to Hemant because it's an excellent read; well worth the time. Some great historical background on Joseph Smith and Mormonism.
Marco Rubio's comments at the Republican National Convention this week on "In God We Trust", religion, and patriotism are all that's needed to see why it must be dumped as the US motto.