atheist news feeds
Kevin Sorbo's not an atheist but he plays one in the movie “God's Not Dead”
Yesterday, Shane Harper (Disney's Good Luck Charlie) talked about his role as the earnest young college student forced to defend his faith through classroom debates that pit him against his atheist philosophy professor (Kevin Sorbo). He said his own ...
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MRFF Complains About Atheists Proselytizing at Air Force Academy? Surely ...
According to a member of the U.S. Air Force Academy Cadets Freethinkers Club, these "Ask an Atheist Days" are being held in protest of the Academy's refusal to allow their group to participate in S.P.I.R.E. (Special Programs in Religious Education). S ...
Religious Debate Intensifies on Academy WhiteboardMilitary.com
Mikey Weinstein enraged by evangelical athiestsColorado Springs Gazette (blog)
Air Force Academy Challenged Over Censorship of Bible VerseThe New American
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It’s nature’s revenge: a marlin attacked an oil pipeline, causing a 5 day shutdown and costing BP over $100 million.
The attack moose are in training for Keystone XL. It’s not going to be pretty.
Radio Host Mark Levin Hangs Up on 'Intolerant' Atheist
On the Monday airing of "The Mark Levin Show," Levin fielded a call from an atheist who told the radio host it "drives him crazy" when conservative people, like Levin, require potential presidential candidates to have faith in God. The two then began ...
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National Catholic Register
Atheist Organization Sets Its Sights on WTC Cross
National Catholic Register
That is the essential argument of the organization American Atheists before a federal appellate court in its continuing litigation over the so-called World Trade Center Cross. The cross is a piece of fused metal that became an instant defining image of ...
Nate Silver is putting together this journalism startup, and it’s already on the path to failure. I mentioned his oblivious sexism the other day, and now we learn the name of the ‘science’ writer he’s bringing to to cover the environment.
Nate Silver’s highly anticipated data-driven news site FiveThirtyEight launched on Monday, with a controversial figure covering science issues. Silver has brought on Roger Pielke, Jr., a professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, as a contributing writer – a political scientist who comes with a long history of data distortion and confrontations with climate scientists.
That last sentence is a lovely example of understatement. Pielke, both Jr. and Sr., are denialist kooks.
I don’t think I’ll bother reading FiveThirtyEight. “Data-driven,” hah.
Steven Pinker and Rebecca Goldstein explain the importance of reason…and empathy.
Here’s another twist on the problematic trend to hire more temporary/part-time/adjunct faculty at universities. It’s a disgraceful abuse of skilled academics and good teachers — would you believe that some schools hire adjuncts to teach four courses a semester (a brutal load, let me tell you) and pay them $16,000 per year? Who would be insane enough to accumulate all that college debt, then invest 4+ years in an advanced study program to get a Ph.D., for a poverty-level income? But that’s where we stand.
Here’s the other ugly side of the problem. The University of Idaho needed someone to teach microbiology, so they carried out a ‘national’ search for a temporary microbiologist, offering $6-8,000 per semester for a one year position with no promise of a continuation. Moscow, Idaho is a truly lovely place, but would you pack up and move across the country to spend one year in Moscow for maybe $16,000, and then probably have to move somewhere else again after that year was up?
No, you would not, if you had a choice. If you were really desperate, maybe.
But they hired someone. Someone local. They got Gordon Wilson who teaches at the New Saint Andrews College in Moscow. New Saint Andrews got some fame from Christopher Hitchens; Hitchens did a debate tour with Doug Wilson, the founder of the school. It’s notorious for a number of other reasons, too, including this stunning list:
In some circumstances, the penalty for adultery should be execution.
Women should be permitted to date or “court” only with their fathers’ permission and, if they’re Christian, date and court with only other Christians.
Woman “was created to be dependent and responsive to a man.”
A rapist should pay the victim’s father a bride price and, if the father approves, should marry the victim.
Gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people are “sodomites” and “people with foul sexual habits.” He favors the “exile [of] some homosexuals, depending on the circumstances and the age of the victim.”
Cursing one’s parents is “deserving of punishment by death. Parental failure is not a defense.” Christian parents “need not be afraid to lay it on” when spanking their children. If fact, in Wilson’s world view, “godly discipline” should include spanking 2-year-olds for such “sins” as whining.
“A rapist should pay the victim’s father a bride price and, if the father approves, should marry the victim.”
“Slavery as it existed in the South … was a relationship based upon mutual affection and confidence. … There has never been a multiracial society which has existed with such mutual intimacy and harmony in the history of the world.”
It’s also an incestuous little place of marginal academic credibility.
The faculty at New St. Andrews is hardly diverse. Several are N.S.A. graduates who went on to do master’s degrees elsewhere and came back to teach. Only 4 of 17 faculty members have Ph.D.’s (those few are always addressed as “Doctor” — proof that N.S.A. has not entirely escaped the intellectual insecurity typical of evangelical colleges). Doug Wilson’s son, son-in-law and youngest brother teach at the college. “Someone’s going to say, ‘Isn’t that a little cozy?’ ” Wilson admits. “Part of modernity’s negative legacy is the pretense of objectivity. All institutions thrive on interconnectedness, affection and loyalty.”
Read their statement of faith. Of greatest relevance is that they say:
In the beginning, God created the material universe from nothing in six ordinary days. He spoke, and by the Word of His power, it was. Our science on the nature and time of this event must be determined in full submission to the Word of God.
That’s right. The University of Idaho has just hired a young earth creationist, biblical literalist, and racist evangelical Christian to teach microbiology. UI biology students: you are getting ripped off.
For a sample of the mental gymnastics involved in creationist “science,” look no further than Wilson’s contribution [PDF] to a 2004 conference, in which he posits that God created every living thing with extra “gene sets” for carnivory, venom, pathogenicity, and other “natural evils,” which were, metaphorically, stored under glass to be activated by the Deity in the event of human malfeasance.
He’s going to be teaching microbiology.
He says he won’t be teaching creationism in the class — I don’t believe him — but this is what he does consider legitimate to teach.
I made it clear 9 years ago and this semester that I wasn’t going to promote my views or disparage evolutionary views in class. That said, I have stated that I do not share the views of common descent held by the main stream scientific community. Which is well with in my rights to do. The only thing that I have presented (briefly) is a distinction between historical science and empirical science, and that conclusions drawn from the former don’t have the high level of certainty as conclusions drawn from the latter. This distinction is not a creationist invention. Ernst Mayr holds to this as well. The conclusions drawn from historical science are as good as the presuppositions on which they are based. This was simply a moment to encourage students to exercise some critical thinking skills in assessing truth claims of the scientific community.
I do not consider Mayr the sine qua non of the science of philosophy (pretty far from it, actually), but you don’t get to use him to defend Ham’s idiocy. All biologists acknowledge a historical component to our science, but we don’t treat it as a pejorative, nor do we claim that it lacks observational power. Mayr’s thoughts on the subject are quite clear.
Despite the passing of a century before this new branch of philosophy fully developed, its eventual form is based on Darwinian concepts. For example, Darwin introduced historicity into science. Evolutionary biology, in contrast with physics and chemistry, is a historical science—the evolutionist attempts to explain events and processes that have already taken place. Laws and experiments are inappropriate techniques for the explication of such events and processes. Instead one constructs a historical narrative, consisting of a tentative reconstruction of the particular scenario that led to the events one is trying to explain.
For example, three different scenarios have been proposed for the sudden extinction of the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous: a devastating epidemic; a catastrophic change of climate; and the impact of an asteroid, known as the Alvarez theory. The first two narratives were ultimately refuted by evidence incompatible with them. All the known facts, however, fit the Alvarez theory, which is now widely accepted. The testing of historical narratives implies that the wide gap between science and the humanities that so troubled physicist C. P. Snow is actually nonexistent—by virtue of its methodology and its acceptance of the time factor that makes change possible, evolutionary biology serves as a bridge.
So basically, Wilson is saying, Mayr used the word “historical”, therefore our wacky weird abuse of the word “historical” is valid. He’s an idiot.
The University of Idaho just hired an incompetent religious crackpot who thinks black people were happier as slaves and who despises women to teach a biology course.
And everyone is going to sit back and be fucking fine with it. And if you point out that this man isn’t fit to be pretending to be a microbiologist, he’s going to whine about the persecution of Christians.
Hartford Faith & Values, Yale Humanist Community host “Ask an Atheist” forum - Religion News Service
Hartford Faith & Values, Yale Humanist Community host “Ask an Atheist” forum
Religion News Service
HAR_Atheist-forum-ad_031714 Hartford, Conn. — Hartford Faith & Values (HartfordFAVS.com), Connecticut's nonsectarian, nonprofit religion news website, has teamed up with The Yale Humanist Community to host the forum “Ask an Atheist” at the Yale ...
Atheist Group Demands That Gov. Scott Walker Delete Religious Tweet
A Wisconsin-based atheist organization has demanded that that Governor Scott Walker remove a posting on the social media website Twitter that is religious in nature. The Freedom From Religion Foundation stated Tuesday that they took exception to ...
The Bible Verse That Could Land Scott Walker in a Major Battle With AtheistsTheBlaze.com
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Fred Phelps is out at Westboro Baptist. He’s off dying in a hospice. Apparently his sin was asking for more kindness. The former big voice of WBC, Shirley Phelps-Roper, has fallen out of favor. She has been replaced by a Council of Elders…all men, of course.
Pastor Fred Waldron Phelps Sr. was excommunicated from the Westboro Baptist Church after advocating a kinder approach between church members.
The excommunication occurred after the formation of a board of male elders in the church. The board had defeated Shirley Phelps-Roper, the church’s longtime spokeswoman, in a power struggle, and Fred Phelps Sr. called for kinder treatment of fellow church members.
The board then ejected Fred Phelps Sr., who founded the church in the 1950s.
Amazing. Yet, somehow, entirely unexpected. How could a woman be expected to run a Bible-based organization? How could kindness be tolerated in a church supposedly built around the teachings of Jesus? That goes against the entire history of Christianity!
This is Thunderdome, the unmoderated open thread on Pharyngula. Say what you want, how you want.
Christian News Network
Atheist Professor Finds Christ, Loses Promotion, Files Lawsuit
Dr. Mike Adams, a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina–Wilmington, was a favorite among colleagues—until his conversion to Christianity from atheism. After his conversion in 2000, which impacted his views on political and social ...
Atheist Turned Christian Prof. Denied PromotionChristian Broadcasting Network
Civil Trial Begins for UNC Professor Allegedly Denied Promotion Over ...Crossmap
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You may recall his too-brief stay here at FtB…he now has his own independent NonStampCollector blog.
Because treating people differently because of where their parents came from is state-sanctioned bigotry.
I'm an atheist. But I've got faith in Religious Studies
I was brought up by painfully atheistic parents. As a family, the closest we came to worship was listening with absolute reverence to Radio 4's Today programme every morning, and even that was turned off if 'Thought for the Day' got a bit too spiritual.
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Gary Hurd and Robert Richert are taking on ditzy creationists John Baumgardner and David Lehman tonight at 7pm Pacific time via the Backyard Skeptics on streaming video. The question is, “Does the Fossil Evidence Proof Evolution is True?” They’ll be taking questions by way of text messages sent to 714-394-6153.
The Truth of Genesis: Who Is the Greater Fool, The Atheist, Or The Muslim?
The Global Dispatch
What measure of inanity does it take to be an atheist? If twenty atheists are socializing in a house, and a twenty-first person ran in and said “there is a bomb about to go off in the basement”, how many atheists would remain in the house saying “I do ...
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