atheist news feeds

Atheist and Well-Known Scientist Claims Hollywood Discriminates Against Non ... - Christian Post

"Atheist" in google news - March 13, 2014 - 3:21pm

Christian Post

Atheist and Well-Known Scientist Claims Hollywood Discriminates Against Non ...
Christian Post
A well-known theoretical physicist and atheist has claimed that Hollywood is biased against his fellow non-believers, as evidenced by the way it treated him and his fellow filmmakers while he was trying to seek support for his documentary. Lawrence ...

Categories: Atheist News

Svante Pääbo on creationist reactions to Neanderthal interbreeding

The Panda's Thumb - March 13, 2014 - 1:29pm
People have been sending me this, so I might as well blog it. In February 2014, Svante Pääbo, who led the Neanderthal genome project, published a popular book on the sequencing of the Neanderthal genome, and reactions to it. I haven’t yet read the book, although I’m sure it’s great, based on talks I have seen by Pääbo. However, there is one passage that PT readers may find particularly interesting: Svante Pääbo (2014). Neanderthal Man:... Nick Matzke

The ghost at the atheist feast: was Nietzsche right about religion? - New Statesman

"Atheist" in google news - March 13, 2014 - 12:19pm

New Statesman

The ghost at the atheist feast: was Nietzsche right about religion?
New Statesman
There can be little doubt that Nietzsche is the most important figure in modern atheism, but you would never know it from reading the current crop of unbelievers, who rarely cite his arguments or even mention him. Today's atheists cultivate a broad ...

and more »
Categories: Atheist News

Advice to new parents

Pharyngula - March 13, 2014 - 11:10am

Vaccinate your kids.

Tara Smith is an expert in infectious diseases, and she also has a new baby (congratulations!) fussing up her house, so she knows what she’s talking about…and she explains why she vaccinated her kids. Just do it. It’s the only smart choice.

Categories: Our friends

I didn’t come from no monkey, updated

Pharyngula - March 13, 2014 - 11:03am

I was looking over the Discovery Institute’s Evolution News and Views site, prior to forgetting about it. I mentioned that I am forced to revamp my email handling and was going to be blocking a lot of noise from my work address, and as I was reviewing what domains I needed to allow through, I noticed that boy-howdy, I get a lot of crappy spam from the Discovery Institute (all of which is now getting blocked). So I actually bothered to go through one of their links and see what they’re babbling about now.

General impression: the Discovery Institute is really obsessed with Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. They’re flailing about angrily about how it’s just bad and awful and a serious threat. Good work, Neil deGrasse Tyson, you’re obviously doing something right!

The other thing that has them worked up, though, surprised me a little bit: they’re kind of peeved that scientists keep pointing to this evidence that humans and chimpanzees are close relatives, and they throw around a lot of sciencey words trying to cast doubt on the idea that we’re related. They don’t come out and openly deny it, exactly — but it’s still the stupid old yokel’s denial that they didn’t come from no monkey, stated a little more ornately to make it sound less stupid. They failed; it still sounds stupid. But have no fear, they’ve put their Top Man and Chief Scienceologist, Casey Luskin, on the job.

Oh, wait. That makes it even stupider.

It should be pointed out first that ID does not have an “official” position on common descent. Guided common descent would be compatible with intelligent design. However, many ID theorists do question the evidence offered for universal shared ancestry.

Scratch an ID theorist, and what do you find? Just another dumb evolution denier. Common descent, and in particular the close relationship between humans and other apes, is not in question at all, but the Discovery Institute can’t even muster an official position on it. Other basic science questions the Discovery Institute will not say a word about: the age of the earth, whether the human race was reduced to an 8 person bottleneck by a big flood 4,000 years ago, Jesus: magic man or genetic engineer?, and just how ignorant is Casey Luskin, anyway?

The way Luskin questions the shared ancestry of humans and chimpanzees is to simply dump, with virtually no explanation, lists of legitimate scientific papers that show various common genetic properties. Codon frequency can affect transcription rates, so synonymous changes in nucleotides of a sequence may have phenotypic effects; yes, this is true. Position effects can also affect phenotype; this is also true — translocations, movement of a chunk of DNA from one location to a different one, can modify gene expression. Pseudogenes aren’t always free from selectional constraints, and sometimes also modulate the expression of other genes — yeppers. These are also all basic facts that we’ve known for decades, that have been worked out by scientists, not creationists, and that have absolutely no relevance to the question of whether chimpanzees and humans are closely related. They say that there are many complicated ways in which variation can arise in a lineage, that it’s difficult to reduce the degree of difference between two species to a single number, but everyone who does any bioinformatics at all already knows that.

For instance, here are two sequences. How different are they from one another? Can you give me a simple number that summarizes the variation?



Biologists are already intimately familiar with the difficulty of describing the variation in sequence between species. If it were just a matter of a string of DNA accumulating point mutations, it would be relatively easy, and we could simply measure how many positions had acquired a novel nucleotide, but mutations can be all kinds of other things, like translocations or inversions or deletions or duplications. So Casey Luskin high-handedly informing us that measuring variation is more difficult than just enumerating a linear series of nucleotide changes is absolutely nothing new, and telling us that pairwise comparisons are complex, therefore we should doubt the relationship between two primates, is utterly bogus and logically fallacious.

The question should be, “if we compare the differences between chimpanzee and human genomes, messy and complicated as they are, are they less different from one another than, say, the human and gorilla genomes? Or the human and mouse genomes? Or the human and fly genomes?” Just comparing any two species can only tell you that they have differences and similarities; you need to do multiple comparisons between different species and an outgroup to get a feel for the relative magnitude of differences.

Luskin’s only approach, carried to an excruciating degree, is to simply say there sure are a lot of differences between humans and chimpanzees (six million years of divergence will do that), therefore it is reasonable to question their relatedness. Yeah, and my brother is a few inches taller than I am and has red hair, therefore we can’t possibly be related.

Casey Luskin isn’t the only IDiot on staff at IDiot Central. They also have Ann Gauger. She does exactly the same thing, citing a Science article that discusses the difficulties of quantifying the differences between genomes. It also points out that the subtle differences can be immensely significant, which Gauger makes much of.

Here are some large-scale differences that get overlooked in the drive to assert our similarity. Our physiology differs from that of chimps. We do not get the same diseases, our brain development is different, even our reproductive processes are different. Our musculoskeletal systems are different, permitting us to run, to throw, to hold our heads erect. We have many more muscles in our hands and tongues that permit refined tool making and speech.

Golly, yes. We’re different from chimpanzees. We do things they don’t, and they do things we don’t. My brother has red hair, and mine is brown. None of this is controversial, or in any way challenges the idea of relatedness or degree of relatedness. To do that, you have to compare multiple lineages and quantify all these variations — we go beyond simple nucleotide counts, for instance, to ask how many duplications? How many regulatory changes? How many deletions? And when we measure those, doing more than just asking how many bases are different between two different genes, we also get measures of relatedness. And they line up!

Gauger notably fails to refer to the figure in the article she cites.

Throughout evolution, the gain (+) in the number of copies of some genes and the loss (–) of others have contributed to human- chimp differences.

Why, Ann, why? Because it actually demolishes your whole argument by demonstrating degrees of similarity between different species using a different index, the number of gene duplications and deletions? If you want to question chimp/human propinquity, you don’t get to simply ignore the data we use to justify that.

But of course, Gauger wants to argue that the unique attributes of humans are somehow especially special and deserve special consideration — that they completely set us apart from other animals.

Going beyond the physical, we have language and culture. We are capable of sonnets and symphonies. We engage in scientific study and paint portraits. No chimp or dolphin or elephant does these things. Humans are a quantum leap beyond even the highest of animals. Some evolutionary biologists acknowledge this, though they differ in their explanations for how it happened.

You know, I would agree that we carry out certain things to a greater degree than other animals — we do have more elaborate language, more intricate technologies, much more complex art. But other animals exhibit curiosity, playfulness, exploration, communication, and we can look at a chimpanzee, for instance, and see attributes that we’ve amplified and expanded. The roots of our humanity are patent in other species, and we are not qualitatively unique. Furthermore, other species have abilities we don’t. Can you sing under water and have your music transmitted over hundreds of miles of ocean? Can you wash your car with your nose? Aren’t you a little bit embarrassed by the puniness of your teeth?

But Gauger is oblivious to the astounding beauty of other organisms — it’s all about us.

In truth, though, we are a unique, valuable, and surprising species with the power to influence our own futures by the choices we make. If we imagine ourselves to be nothing more than animals, then we will descend to the level of animalism. It is by exercising our intellects, and our capacity for generosity, foresight, and innovation, all faculties that animals lack, that we can face the challenges of modern life.

Generosity? Has Ann Gauger never had a dog?

As for innovation, yeah, I agree. Humans do have some novelties. Here’s a paper about the de novo origin of human protein-coding genes, that compared those chimpanzee and human genomes looking for just the unique genes in the human lineage (this is only one measure of difference, of course; they are not looking at location or sequence comparisons, just what genes are brand spankin’ new and not shared at all with chimps). They found a few.

Many new genes, generated by diverse mechanisms including gene duplication, chimeric origin, retrotransposition, and de novo origin, are specifically expressed or function in the testes. Henrik Kaessmann hypothesized that the testis is a catalyst and crucible for the birth of new genes in animals. First, the testes is the most rapidly evolving organ due in part to its roles in sperm competition, sexual conflict, and reproductive isolation. Second, Henrik Kaessmann speculated that the chromatin state in spermatocytes and spermatids should facilitate the initial transcription of newly arisen genes. The reason for this is that there is widespread demethylation of CpG enriched promoter sequences and the presence of modified histones in spermatocytes and spermatids, causing an elevation of the levels of components of the transcriptional machinery, permitting promiscuous transcription of nonfunctional sequences, including de novo originated genes.

Behold my ball sack, noble repository of all that is precious and special and extraordinary and exceptional in mankind. How come the creationists never have time to praise the mighty testicle, and are always going on and on about sonnets and symphonies and such?

I am quite comfortable with my status as an animal. I have a lot of respect for other organisms, and I can also recognize traits that are particularly human. Why this puts creationists on edge is a mystery: I just blame it on their ignorance.

Categories: Our friends

SEKULOW: Atheists' dismantling of crosses dishonors the fallen - Washington Times

"Atheist" in google news - March 12, 2014 - 9:30pm

The Global Dispatch

SEKULOW: Atheists' dismantling of crosses dishonors the fallen
Washington Times
This same atheist group, the American Humanist Association, has, for the time being, obtained a court order to block construction of a war memorial inside of a city-owned baseball stadium in California, because the planned memorial includes a soldier ...
Atheists Are Not Offended by a Cross, They Are Offended by DiscriminationHuffington Post
Atheist group still battling to remove World Trade Center cross from 9/11 MemorialThe Global Dispatch
Does 'Miracle Cross' belong at 9/11 museum in New York?Los Angeles Times
The Catholic Review -AMERICAblog (blog)
all 22 news articles »
Categories: Atheist News

Atheist group accuses BPD Chief AC Roper of using office to 'blatantly promote ... - (blog)

"Atheist" in google news - March 12, 2014 - 6:28pm

Atheist group accuses BPD Chief AC Roper of using office to 'blatantly promote ... (blog)
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - An atheist group is lashing out at Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper, claiming the chief is using his office to blatantly promote Christianity. The Freedom From Religion Foundation on Wednesday said it has filed a complaint and ...
Alabama Police Chief Under Fire from Atheist Activist Group for Using Prayer ...Christian News Network
Birmingham Police Chief responds to atheist group's accusationsAlabama's News Leader
Liberty Counsel defends Alabama police chief from atheist attackOneNewsNow
Alabama' -Minneapolis Star Tribune
all 22 news articles »
Categories: Atheist News

The Empty, Boring Atheism of Richard Dawkins - Catholic World Report

"Atheist" in google news - March 12, 2014 - 3:31pm

The Empty, Boring Atheism of Richard Dawkins
Catholic World Report
I recently interviewed American atheist leader David Silverman on my television show. He became a legend in his own lunchtime recently when his organization's booth was first accepted and then rejected by CPAC, the Conservative Political Action ...

Categories: Atheist News

Chaos in email land!

Pharyngula - March 12, 2014 - 3:19pm

The combination of an attempted hack, jacking up my email security, and breaking my usual email reader have lead to a worse-than-usual mess in my email in-box, and I’m implementing a few changes that won’t affect most of you who write to me, but just in case, I’m spreading the word.

You want to email me? You can still use [email protected]. That is the only valid address for most of you.

Some of you occasionally write to my address. That one is getting thoroughly locked up: if you send email there, it will automagically be fed into a nuclear furnace and vaporized, unless you are writing to me from another address or from a small set of authorized domains (and I won’t tell you what they are). Pretend that email address doesn’t even exist anymore. This has become necessary as essential work and student email has been getting buried under the noise.

I’m actually enjoying the purity and simplicity of that account right now — it’s so clean and manageable!

Categories: Our friends

Whoa, the Disco Institute has the Anecdote to Faulty Thinking!

The Panda's Thumb - March 12, 2014 - 2:23pm
Imagine that. The above is the copy I got in an email. Somebody spilled the beans, alas, and the corrected version with “antidote” has been posted. Too late, we’ve gotten our belly laugh! Nyah Nyah, Discovery Institute, no memory hole is big enough to make this laughable faux pas go away.... Dave Thomas

Atheist ad disappears from Sudbury Transit bus -

"Atheist" in google news - March 12, 2014 - 11:57am

Atheist ad disappears from Sudbury Transit bus
An atheist-themed bus ad that ran on a Sudbury Transit bus in January has vanished, says the head of the local branch of the Centre for Inquiry. Supplied photo. Tweet. Comments | Print | Report a typo | Contact the Editor. Perhaps it was divine ...

Categories: Atheist News

Republicans never stray far from their racist roots

Pharyngula - March 12, 2014 - 11:50am

Former second place winner of the US presidency Paul Ryan reveals his understanding of poverty. It’s those black people.

House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) previewed his upcoming legislative proposals for reforming America’s poverty programs during an appearance on Bill Bennett’s Morning in America Wednesday, hinting that he would focus on creating work requirements for men “in our inner cities” and dealing with the “real culture problem” in these communities. “We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with,” he said.

Ryan also cited Charles Murray, a conservative social scientist who believes African-Americans are, as a population, less intelligent than whites due to genetic differences and that poverty remains a national problem because “a lot of poor people are born lazy.”

Don’t anybody tell him that he’s already got the white racist vote totally locked up, he doesn’t have to keep pandering to them.

Categories: Our friends

An atheist can be pro-life only by lying about the science

Pharyngula - March 12, 2014 - 10:08am

Hemant Mehta let an anti-choice atheist romp about and make her secular pro-life argument, but since he thinks it’s important to give a forum to bullshit but doesn’t think it’s important enough to criticize, I guess I have to. It’s by Kristine Kruszelnicki, president of Pro-Life Humanist, and we’ve dealt with her before; she’s the one who debated Matt Dillahunty in 2012, and lost miserably. She acknowledges that right at the beginning of her post, and then proceeds to make the same stupid argument.

Before we address the question of bodily autonomy in pregnancy, let’s meet the second player. What does science tell us that the preborn are? To be clear, science doesn’t define personhood. It never could. When I debated Matt Dillahunty on the issue of abortion at the 2012 Texas Freethought Convention, I’m afraid that as a first-time debater I really wasn’t clear enough on this point — and was consequently accused of trying to obtain rights from science. Science can’t tell us whether it’s wrong to rape women, torture children, enslave black people, or which physical traits should or should not matter when it comes to determining personhood. Science may be able to measure suffering in living creatures, but it can’t tell us why or if their suffering should matter.

Notice what she’s doing here. She recognizes that she totally got skewered on her claim that Science says abortion is wrong, so she’s nominally distancing herself from making moral claims with science. But guess what her very next sentence is?

However, science can tell us who among us belongs to the human species.

She’s doing it again. She’s claiming that science justifies her position.

She is at least aware that the right of women to autonomy is an extremely strong argument against her position — it’s how Dillahunty slammed her in the debate — and the entire post is about how she gets around that tricky problem of denying women control of their own bodies. Her solution? Simply decree by fiat, with the stamp of approval of her version of science, that the fetus and the woman have fully equal status as human beings, and that all discussion has to grant the fetus every privilege we do the woman.

If the fetus is not a human being with his/her own bodily rights, it’s true that infringing on a woman’s body by placing restrictions on her medical options is always a gross injustice and a violation. On the other hand, if we are talking about two human beings who should each be entitled to their own bodily rights, in the unique situation that is pregnancy, we aren’t justified in following the route of might-makes-right simply because we can.

At least this time, she didn’t sprinkle photos of bloody fetus parts in her post, and she avoided the most egregiously absurd elements of her position. This is my summary of what she said at the debate:

She made it clear that she opposes a whole gamut of basic rights: birth control methods that prevent implantation are wrong, because that’s just like strangling or starving a baby; no abortion in cases of rape or incest, because the baby doesn’t deserve punishment; she did allow for abortion in cases that threaten the life of the mother at times before fetal viability, simply because in that case two fully human lives would be lost.

She sounds like a very liberal Catholic atheist.

But that’s the entirety of her argument, both in that piece and on the pro-life atheist web site: the fetus is fully human from the moment of conception, and science says so.

When it comes to normal human reproduction, sperm and ovum merge to form a new whole. They cease to exist individually and become a new substance that is not the mother and not the father but a new body altogether, one that is also human and has the inherent capacity to develop through all stages of development.

When we talk about rights and personhood, we leave the realm of science for that of philosophy and ethics. History is ripe with examples of real biological human beings whose societies arbitrarily decided they didn’t qualify as equals, on account of criteria deemed morally relevant. At one point (and still, in many ways, today), it was skin color, gender, and ethnic background. Now, we can add to that list consciousness, sentience, and viability. We haven’t evolved so fast in 50 years as to be immune from tribalistic us vs. them thinking. If science defines a fetus as a biological member of our species, is it possible that our society is just as wrong in denying them personhood?

What happens when both a woman and her developing fetus are regarded as human beings entitled to personhood and bodily rights? Any way you cut it, their rights are always going to conflict (at least until womb transfers become a reality). So what’s the reasonable response? It could start by treating both parties at conflict as if they were equal human beings.

You get the idea. If she repeats that the conceptus becomes fully human at the instant of fertilization, and that science says so, over and over, we surely must be persuaded that she’s right, and we have to concede that she’s making an entirely secular argument, because SCIENCE. Unfortunately for her, she’s not actually using SCIENCE, but has mistaken BULLSHIT for science.

Let me tell you what science actually says about this subject.

Science has determined that development is a process of epigenesis; that is, that it involves a progressive unfolding and emergence of new attributes, not present at conception, that manifest gradually by interactions within the field of developing cells and with the external environment. The conceptus is not equal to the adult. It is not a preformed human requiring only time and growth to adulthood; developmental biologists are entirely aware of the distinction between proliferation and growth, and differentiation. So science actually says the opposite of what Kruszelnicki claims. It says that the fetus is distinct from the adult.

Of course, science also has to concede that because there is a continuum of transformation from conception to adulthood, it can’t draw an arbitrary line and say that at Time Point X, the fetus has acquired enough of the properties of the adult form that it should be now regarded as having all the rights of a member of society. That’s a matter for law and convention. But we already implicitly recognize that there is a pattern of change over time; children do not have all the same privileges as adults. Third trimester fetuses have fewer still. First trimester embryos? Even less. We all understand without even thinking about it that there is a progressive pattern to human development.

But what about this claim that science can tell us who among us belongs to the human species?

First question I have is…which species concept are you using? There are a lot of them, you know; I daresay we might be able to find a few, that when inappropriately and too literally applied, would define away my status as a human, which simply wouldn’t do. There are also a lot of non-scientific or pseudo-scientific definitions of what constitutes a human that have been historically abused. Were the Nazis being scientific when they defined sub-species of humans and classed Jews, Gypsies, and Africans as something less than fully human? What, exactly, is Kruszelnicki’s “scientific” definition of human, that she’s using so definitively to declare a fetus as completely human?

She doesn’t say. She can’t say. She’s not applying a scientific test, but a traditional and colloquial one, which she’s then claiming by implication as synonymous with an unstated scientific definition. That’s dishonest and more than a little annoying.

Reading between the lines on her horrible little website, I’m guessing that she’s using a trivial and excessively reductive definition of human: it’s human by descent. The cells come from the division of human cells, so it is by definition not a monkey or a llama or a beetle cell, it’s a human cell.

Of course, that’s not enough: by that definition, sperm and eggs would be fully human, and women would be committing murder every time they menstruate, and men would be committing genocide every time they ejaculate. So she has a patch to work around that:

There is no such species as “sperm” or “ovum”. Sperm and ovum are not distinct unique organisms. They are in fact complex specialized cells belonging to the larger organism, namely the male and female from which they came. In other words, they are, like skin cells and blood cells, alive and bearing human DNA but nonetheless parts of another human being, even when mobile like the sperm.

There is no such species as “man” or “woman” either; we can always find some characteristic of an individual to distinguish them from a species (well hey, just the fact that they are an individual is enough). Her waffling about the status of sperm and ovum is ridiculous; I can give you species definitions that would recognize haploid gametes as fully human. If your restriction is simply that one is a complex, specialized cell belonging to the larger organism, well gosh, the zygote fits that, too! A fertilized egg is not a generic human cell: it is incredibly specialized and complex.

I can’t help but notice that multicellularity isn’t part of her definition of “human”. Nor does it include any craniate characters, like having a notochord or a brain or branchial arches. There are a lot of scientific definitions of our species that the zygote fails!

If we’re going to emphasize the “not part of a human being” aspect of her fuzzy definition, then we have another problem. If you pooped this morning, that turd contained shed human epithelial cells, now swimming free. I could actually say, with full scientific accuracy, that that was a human turd. Why aren’t you giving it full legal protection?

She has an escape clause for that, too.

Sperm and ovum lose their individual identity and their function as sperm and ovum once they have merged. Instead of being parts carrying 23 chromosomes from two different human beings, the unification and merging of their chromosome pairs has now created a new whole with a new set of chromosomes and a cellular structure that now contains the inherent capacity to grow and develop itself through all stages of human development. This of course is something that neither sperm nor ovum parts had the inherent capacity to do on their own. It’s something that only whole human beings can do.

Oh. So here’s her full definition of a fully human being: it is a totipotent cell with the capacity to develop into a human being. Alas, her last sentence is wrong. Whole human beings cannot do that. It means I am not human, only a few small bits of me can aspire (in vain! I’m done with that) to someday fuse with another haploid cell and briefly become fully human, in the few days of happy cleavage before their cells become committed to specialized fates, which then are not fully human.

The only logical scientific conclusion one can make from Kruszelnicki’s hopeless definition is that blastocysts are fully human, but people are not.

Which actually doesn’t surprise me at all, and fits quite well with what I hear from the fetus-worshippers.

As I said before, there certainly are secular arguments for all kinds of nonsense — “secular” is not a synonym for “good”. We have to do more than simply accept arguments because they don’t mention gods, we also have to apply logical, reasonable philosophical and scientific filters to those secular arguments. The one obvious conclusion from any examination of these so-called “pro-life” arguments is that they are sloppy and dishonest, and not deserving of recognition by reasonable secular people.

Being atheist is not enough. One of the implications of an absence of gods is that revelation is invalid, and that we have to rely on reason and evidence to draw conclusions…and further, I would add, that we have to define values that we consistently and rationally apply, and we have to assess whether our methods appropriately serve those values. I choose to value the equality of a community of living, fully-born human beings, and when irrational superstitious attachment to status of a blastocyst compromises the autonomy and worth of members of that community, I choose to reject that belief. It helps quite a bit, though, that the “pro-life” position is so incoherent and anti-scientific.

Another take: even if you accept Kruszelnicki’s premise that a conceptus is “fully human” (I don’t), her argument doesn’t work and was dismantled over 40 years ago.

Categories: Our friends

A Christian's guide to empathising with atheists. - News24

"Atheist" in google news - March 12, 2014 - 7:52am

A Christian's guide to empathising with atheists.
I have been wanting to tell Christians what it is like to be an atheist for some time now, but have been struggling and wrestling with the exact method to convey a mode of thinking so diametrically polar to the other without intoning an ...

and more »
Categories: Atheist News

My local 'atheist church' is part of the long, inglorious march of gentrification - The Guardian

"Atheist" in google news - March 12, 2014 - 12:16am

The Guardian

My local 'atheist church' is part of the long, inglorious march of gentrification
The Guardian
The Sunday Assembly, an atheist church founded in London last year, has set up shop a few stops up the train line from the Oxford Tavern, in Redfern. They swap out hymns for pop songs, motivational speeches for readings, and celebrate “the one life we ...

Categories: Atheist News

Abraham Lincoln had no sense of humor. Well known fact.

Pharyngula - March 11, 2014 - 10:05pm

Obama appeared on the awkward comedy show, Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis, to plug the affordable care act. Fine; it’s an angle.

Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: President Barack Obama from President Barack Obama

The right wingers are cranky about it, as represented here by Bill O’Reilly:

Because, as a published historian like O’Reilly knows, Lincoln had no sense of humor and never told a joke.

Categories: Our friends

Atheist group says 9/11 museum shouldn't display cross-shaped beams - The Catholic Sun

"Atheist" in google news - March 11, 2014 - 6:02pm


Atheist group says 9/11 museum shouldn't display cross-shaped beams
The Catholic Sun
A small group of agnostics, atheists and freethinkers gather for a streetside demonstration in Laguna Beach, Calif., in May last year. A small minority of Americans — 5 percent — say they do not believe in God or any universal spirit. About a quarter ...
Does 'Miracle Cross' belong at 9/11 museum in New York?Los Angeles Times
Should the NYC 9/11 Museum include an i-beam “cross”?AMERICAblog (blog)
This War Memorial May “Shock” & “Upset” Angry Atheists, But to Tear It Down ...American Center for Law and Justice
Huffington Post
all 14 news articles »
Categories: Atheist News

Atheists Are Not Offended by a Cross, They Are Offended by Discrimination - Huffington Post

"Atheist" in google news - March 11, 2014 - 3:32pm

The Global Dispatch

Atheists Are Not Offended by a Cross, They Are Offended by Discrimination
Huffington Post
When the 9/11 Museum in New York City announced it's plans to include this cross in the museum's memorial, it should be as no surprise that American Atheists took offense and filed a lawsuit to stand up for American's First Amendment rights. Proponents ...
Should the NYC 9/11 Museum include an i-beam “cross”?AMERICAblog (blog)

all 22 news articles »
Categories: Atheist News

Atheist group says 9/11 museum shouldn't display cross-shaped beams -

"Atheist" in google news - March 11, 2014 - 2:57pm

Atheist group says 9/11 museum shouldn't display cross-shaped beams
But a group called American Atheists has sued in federal court to have the cross taken out of the exhibit and replaced with a plaque that would say “atheists died here, too,” according to a Religion News Service story. American Atheists Inc. first sued ...
Does 'Miracle Cross' belong at 9/11 museum in New York?Los Angeles Times
Should the NYC 9/11 Museum include an i-beam “cross”?AMERICAblog (blog)
This War Memorial May “Shock” & “Upset” Angry Atheists, But to Tear It Down ...American Center for Law and Justice

all 16 news articles »
Categories: Atheist News

Neil deGrasse Tyson on Why He Doesn't Call Himself an Atheist - Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

"Atheist" in google news - March 11, 2014 - 2:38pm

Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

Neil deGrasse Tyson on Why He Doesn't Call Himself an Atheist
Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies
Published March 9, 2014, Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson returns for this episode of Rationally Speaking, with a particular question to discuss: Should he call himself an atheist? The impetus is a recent dust-up over Neil's appearance on Big Think, ...

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Categories: Atheist News
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