Voices of Disbelief will likely be available around August of 2009.
The contributors are as follows:
1. Peter Adegoke
2. Athena Andreadis
3. Julian Baggini
4. Gregory Benford
5. Ophelia Benson
6. Russell Blackford
7. Susan Blackmore
8. Damien Broderick
9. Lori Lipman Brown
10. Sean M. Carroll
11. Thomas W. Clark
12. Austin Dacey
13. Edgar Dahl
14. Jack Dann
15. Margaret Downey
16. Taner Edis
17. Greg Egan
18. Nick Everitt
19. Prabir Ghosh
20. A.C. Grayling
21. Joe Haldeman
22. John Harris
23. Marc Hauser
24. Philip Kitcher
25. Miguel Kottow
26. Stephen Law
27. Dale McGowan
28. Sheila A.M. McLean
29. Adèle Mercier
30. Maryam Namazie
31. Kelly O’Connor (yours truly)
32. Graham Oppy
33. Christine Overall
34. Sumitra Padmanabhan
35. Tamas Pataki
36. John P. Phelan
37. Laura Purdy
38. James Randi
39. Michael R. Rose
40. Julian Savulescu
41. J.L. Schellenberg
42. Udo Schuklenk
43. Michael Shermer
44. Peter Singer
45. J.J.C. Smart
46. Victor J. Stenger
47. Peter Tatchell
48. Emma Tom
49. Michael Tooley
50. Ross Upshur
51. Sean Williams
52. Frieder Otto Wolf
A group of Christians from Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas, has decided to call upon the Almighty to stop the advancement of Hurricane Ike into Houston. By beseeching the assistance of Jesus, the alleged son of God, they have "power and authority to affect the weather," says one churchgoer upon questioning. When asked how it came to be known that they possessed this extraordinary ability, the answer was simple: faith. While it may seem absurd to claim any knowledge of this power since it has not been borne out by evidence of any kind, faith is all the evidence these believers need. Rev. Caldwell, pastor of the church, says, "It is definitely by faith that we know that we have an impact." Their church recently held a prayer meeting in order to officially command Ike to cease and desist its approach into the Houston area. Some participants claimed to have calmed Edouard and sent hurricane Gustav into southern Louisiana. No explanation was given for the Almighty's lack of regard for the residents in that area.
I found this gem of an article while perusing Psychology Today, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite magazines. I won't reprint the entire thing here, since it is long, but here's the link.
Ten Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature
Why most suicide bombers are Muslim, beautiful people have more daughters, humans are naturally polygamous, sexual harassment isn't sexist, and blonds are more attractive.
Alan S. Miller Ph.D., Satoshi Kanazawa Ph.D.
The implications of some of the ideas in this article may seem immoral, contrary to our ideals, or offensive. We state them because they are true, supported by documented scientific evidence. Like it or not, human nature is simply not politically correct.
Glory hallelujah! Finally, somebody is willing to tell truth even if it hurts somebody's feelings.
Men like blond bombshells (and women want to look like them)
Men prefer young women in part because they tend to be healthier than older women....
Men also have a universal preference for women with a low waist-to-hip ratio. They are healthier and more fertile than other women; they have an easier time conceiving a child and do so at earlier ages because they have larger amounts of essential reproductive hormones....
EFF and Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis, LLP, represent Brian Sapient, who uploaded an excerpt from a documentary that critiqued Geller's performances and abilities to YouTube. Explorologist claimed the clip infringed its copyrights. More information about the case is available here. Here is a previous post from Sapient on the court case.
The agreement should allow the healthy debate about the existence of 'supernatural powers' to continue without interference. As part of the legal settlement, Explorologist has agreed to license the disputed footage under a non-commercial Creative Commons license, preempting future legal battles over the fair use of the material. A monetary settlement was also reached.
Hehe...this article from Slate.com encapsulated the insanity that has forever gripped the anti-abortion movement. The double-speak required to pass this recent bit of legislation is beyond Orwellian. According to this recent mandate, abortion "will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being." Huh? Can you run that by me one more time? An implanted embryo is whole, separate, and unique? Then why does a mere separation of the placenta from the uterine wall inevitably result in death? Whether it happens via mechanical methods or spontaneously, it seems to be a near certainty that until the point of viability, which is somewhere between 20 and 28 weeks, detaching this supposedly whole and separate human being will result in its demise.
I agree with the author of this article: Abortions should be renamed "separations," and those who choose separation should no longer be held accountable for the consequences. After all, it is a "whole, separate, unique, and living human being."
This month's issue of Psychology Today has an interesting piece that reminded me of everybody's dear friend, Vox Day. He asserts in his blog and his book on many occasions that atheists are more likely to suffer from what he terms "social autism"--disorders such as Asperger's Syndrome or mild forms of autism. He bases this on informal internet surveys that questioned people on their personality traits. But is the correlation really there, or is this just another attempt to disparage atheists?
"It's All Geek to Me" by Benjamin Nugent discusses the difference between the systematizing brains of so-called "nerds" and the empathic brains of the more socially inclined. Although nerds, the "intellectually gifted but socially awkward" (p.39), do share some traits of those with ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorders) but not to a severe enough degree to be classified as a pathology. In fact, the behavior can be brought on solely by parenting style according to Dr. Mel Levine, and the socially inept can be taught the skills necessary for more intuitive social interactions. This is where nerdiness differs from ASD. ASD is persistent despite attempts at socialization.
In a recent study, researchers have found that people with higher concentrations of serotonin receptors were more likely to be religious or the nebulous "spiritual." This is interesting because it would explain the connection between transcendent experiences and the use of psychotropic drugs and also the inverse correlation between religiosity and depression. Check it out for yourself:
Of Serotonin and SpiritualityBy: PT Staff
Scientists see a biological underpinning for religiosity, and it is related to the neurotransmitter serotonin.
Serotonin, the brain chemical crucial to mood and motivation, also shapes personality to make you susceptible to spiritual experiences. A team of Swedish researchers has found that the presence of a receptor that regulates general serotonin activity in the brain correlates with people's capacity for transcendence, the ability to apprehend phenomena that cannot be explained objectively. Scientists have long suspected that serotonin influences spirituality because drugs known to alter serotonin such as LSD also induce mystical experiences. But now they have proof from brain scans linking the capacity for spirituality with a major biological element.
Well, kind of. In animated form.
The SheVibe poster is finished. I guess now I'm an atheist super-hero or something. Like Wonder Woman. Except less clothing. Hmmmm....*having thoughts about what kind of weapon I would have. Like a Reason Ray or something that would suddenly make people logical*
Anyway, I anticipate the usual reaction from the prudes and sexually repressed people. May I say in advance that not only do I not care what you think, I find both the "You're hurting women everywhere" and the "Truly rational people would never submit to a base desire such as...sex" complaints equally ludicrous, and I'll only laugh at you, so save your time and the bandwidth needed to tell me what a horrible person I am. After all, I am the Official Spokesperson of Atheists Everywhere At All TimesTM and something like this will only harm "The Cause." As you can see, I'm already aware of this. Don't make me shoot you with my Logic Laser.
For the rest of you (ie the human beings who accept that sex is a biological function and physical attraction is coupled with that), enjoy. I've got to get back to plotting my nefarious plan to destroy the public image of atheists and women.
Just had to post this so that everybody knows that I am not finished with chapter 4, nor did I saw I was. I found that there was enough material to cut it into 2 posts, and not wanting to make it too long, decided to dissect the foundation of chapter 4--the immorality of atheists, or lack of definable morality--before delving into the specifics.
Geez Vox, you shouldn't be so hasty to jump to conclusions.