Archive for October 2009

Italian Scientists: Turin Shroud is Medieval Fake *

Oct 6th, 2009 | Filed by

Scientists couldn’t explain how the image was left on the cloth; now the trick has been duplicated.… Read the rest

Child Witchcraft and Child Rights in Akwa Ibom State

Oct 6th, 2009 | By Leo Igwe

Child witchcraft stands for the claim that children can be witches and wizards or that infants can or do engage in witchcraft activities like turning themselves into birds or insects – at night – to suck blood or mysteriously inflict harm on someone. It is the belief that children have evil powers which they use or can use to destory people particularly their family or community members. As I have pointed out here, child witchcraft is a claim, a belief – a superstitious belief. Child witchcraft is manifested in different forms: accusation, confession and persecution.

Children are accused of being witches and wizards. Somtimes children who talk in their dreams or sleep walk are said to be witches. They are … Read the rest

Who, me?

Oct 5th, 2009 5:27 pm | By

In which we learn that Dawkins does not actually have fangs and a dripping cleaver.

To most observers, Dawkins is the textbook aggressive champion of evolutionary theory…In person, Dawkins fails to live up to the “aggressive” label…So he is genuinely puzzled by people calling him aggressive. “Well, I’m nothing like as aggressive as I’m portrayed. And I’m always being labelled ‘strident’. In the bestseller lists it always has a little one-line summary of the book, and for my new one it says ‘strident academic Richard Dawkins’. I’m forever saddled with this wretched adjective. I think I’m one of the most unstrident people in the world.”

Well don’t I know the feeling – though of course on a much smaller … Read the rest

Jesus and Mo Celebrate Blasphemy Day *

Oct 5th, 2009 | Filed by

Atheists squirm in agony.… Read the rest

Ahmadinejad is…shh…Jewish! *

Oct 5th, 2009 | Filed by

Experts suggested his track record for hate-filled attacks on Jews could be a ploy to hide his past. … Read the rest

‘Compassionate’ Bishop Charged in Child Porn *

Oct 5th, 2009 | Filed by

‘Until women find a little bit more of their place in the church, and until we get rid of the men’s club, we’re in trouble.’… Read the rest

Dawkins Believes People Can Change Their Minds *

Oct 5th, 2009 | Filed by

There are lots of people who think they are creationists who are just beginning to question what they were taught. … Read the rest

Dawkins Does a McLuhan

Oct 4th, 2009 5:59 pm | By

Jerry Coyne took a few minutes from all the fun he was having at the Boys’ Atheists jamboree to do a quick post on Dawkins and accommodationism.

An alert reader called my attention to two blog posts by Josh Rosenau and Chris Mooney/Sheril Kirshenbaum, both claiming that Richard Dawkins explicitly voiced accommodationist views in a Newsweek interview. “He’s changed!” they say.

Has not, Jerry says.

Well, I know Richard Dawkins. I am at a meeting with Richard Dawkins. I just discussed these accusations of accommodationism with Richard Dawkins. And I can tell you, Chris, Sheril, and Josh, that Richard is not one of you.

And, satisfyingly, he includes Richard’s written confirmation that he is no accommodationist:

How utterly

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Ben Goldacre on Studies That Move Goalposts *

Oct 4th, 2009 | Filed by

Researchers can mischievously change their stated goal, or ‘primary outcome,’ after their trial has finished… Read the rest

Religious Organizations May Still Discriminate *

Oct 4th, 2009 | Filed by

Not on the grounds of race, disability, etc, but on the grounds of sex, marital status or sexuality.… Read the rest

Jerry Coyne Reports From the Atheist Shindig *

Oct 4th, 2009 | Filed by

Dan Dennett talked about ‘deepities’ such as Karen Armstrong’s ‘God behind God.’… Read the rest

Australia: Religious Schools Discriminate *

Oct 4th, 2009 | Filed by

And the Attorney-General says go right ahead.… Read the rest

Publisher Drops Novel Over Fear of Muslim Rage *

Oct 4th, 2009 | Filed by

A German publisher has cancelled plans to publish a mass-market novel for fear it might face violent protests.… Read the rest

Oh look, there’s one now

Oct 3rd, 2009 12:18 pm | By

Wow. Just…wow.

Took in Richard Dawkins doing a reading, question-answering, and book-signing for his most-recent publication tonight, in a sold-out theater at the U of Toronto…The theater contains around 600 seats, and of the 80 people I counted, about two dozen were women. That’s approximately 30%. By comparison, Ophelia Benson was carping yesterday about women only comprising 20% (i.e., 4 out of 21) of the speakers at the Atheist Alliance conference. I say that the latter figure is within engineering/experimental accuracy (or whatever confidence interval), especially since the speakers at any conference should be from at least the top 20% of the professionals in it; and unless the conference is a Celebration of Womynstruation, you’ll already be “scraping the bottom

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Slippery Language and Free Speech *

Oct 3rd, 2009 | Filed by

The Executive Branch’s endorsement of speech-restrictive norms could affect how the courts interpret the First Amendment.… Read the rest

IHEU Calls the Vatican to Account for Child Abuse *

Oct 3rd, 2009 | Filed by

The speech also drew attention to the Vatican’s failure to comply with its obligations under International Law.… Read the rest

IHEU Statement on Child Abuse and Holy See *

Oct 3rd, 2009 | Filed by

The church ‘has been given a free ride by the international community because of its presumed moral leadership.’… Read the rest

Vatican Continues its Inelegant Dance *

Oct 3rd, 2009 | Filed by

We’re bad but they are worse, says Catholic church sullenly.… Read the rest

Science Provides 11 Ardi Papers, Free *

Oct 2nd, 2009 | Filed by

Science for the public. Thank you.… Read the rest

A Big Hello to Ardi *

Oct 2nd, 2009 | Filed by

The fossil skeleton of Ardipithecus ramidus, a hominid from 4.4 million years ago, is the oldest such fossil ever found.… Read the rest