Archive for October 2009

Misunderstood

Oct 11th, 2009 12:14 pm | By

Obama has an ‘adviser on Muslim affairs,’ Dalia Mogahed; she appeared on a British tv show hosted by a member of Hizb ut Tahrir, Ibtihal Bsis. Mogahed is on ‘the President’s Council on Faith-Based and Neighbourhood Partnerships,’ which is something the president shouldn’t have in the first place. On this tv show she said, according to the Telegraph, that the Western view of sharia is ‘oversimplified’ and ‘the majority of women around the world associate it with gender justice.’

Well if they do they’re crazy, but I don’t believe they do. The majority of women around the world aren’t Muslim, for a start, and not all Muslims are fond of sharia, so Mogahed’s statistic sounds made up.

Mogahed appeared

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Tony Blair Joins Rhetorical War on Atheists *

Oct 11th, 2009 | Filed by

‘Those who scorn God and those who do violence in God’s name, both represent views of religion.’… Read the rest



Egypt: Controversy Over the Niqab *

Oct 11th, 2009 | Filed by

This is the same government that is said to have prosecuted people for breaking their Ramadan fast. … Read the rest



Funds Cut Off for Iran Human Rights Watchdog *

Oct 11th, 2009 | Filed by

Many see the denial of funds as a shift by the Obama admin away from promotion of human rights in Iran.… Read the rest



Ireland: Library Funding Slashed *

Oct 11th, 2009 | Filed by

Galway Library has had cut the number of new books to one between all branches.… Read the rest



Which prior assumptions

Oct 11th, 2009 11:39 am | By

Epistemology is difficult. (Remember that long discussion between G and Ben the other day? Shop talk. Difficult shop talk.) This morning I was trying to figure out the meaning of a comment by Josh Rosenau on Jerry Coyne’s post last week on Dawkins and accommodationism and I followed a link to a three-year-old post by John Wilkins on agnosticism. It’s good, and interesting, and much of it I don’t understand. This for instance:

Probabilities are based in this case on prior assumptions – one uses Bayes’ theorem to determine whether or not the hypothesis under test is likely to be true, given other assumptions we already accept. And here is where the problem lies – which assumptions? To adopt

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Then Again – Ardi Was Married and Straight! Yay! *

Oct 10th, 2009 | Filed by

The species may have pair-bonded, therefore, marriage has meant woman and man for 4.4 million years.… Read the rest



Stupidest Article Ever to Appear in Major Media *

Oct 10th, 2009 | Filed by

‘Another group of researchers, many of them with advanced degrees in science, are unimpressed by Ardi.’… Read the rest



Journalist Talks to Dawkins About New Book *

Oct 10th, 2009 | Filed by

Popular science writers trade in awe, the sense of sublime wonder that drew them to it in the first place.… Read the rest



Nigeria’s ‘Indecent Dressing Bill’ *

Oct 10th, 2009 | Filed by

The bill mirrors that article of the Sudanese penal code under which Lubnah Hussain was arrested.… Read the rest



The Murder of Grace Ushang *

Oct 10th, 2009 | Filed by

She was a member of Nigeria’s Youth Service Corps; she was raped to death for wearing trousers.… Read the rest



They were bipedal and married: a romance

Oct 10th, 2009 11:44 am | By

Hey the Family Research Council has gone all Darwin and sciencey on us.

Some people believe that religious dogma is the only reason why anyone opposes same-sex marriage. Those who believe the human race began with Adam and Eve, and that their relationship was God’s model for marriage, believe marriage should be between a man and a woman. But those who don’t believe in the Bible, who think Adam and Eve are a myth, and who don’t accept a Christian view of the human person, have no reason to believe marriage is an opposite-sex union. Right?

Well, no, not exactly. Those who don’t believe the Bible is some kind of magic rule-book and who don’t want Christians telling them … Read the rest



As mild as doves

Oct 9th, 2009 12:21 pm | By

So the Church Times review of Does God Hate Women? is considerably more favorable than was Sholto Byrnes’s in the Independent or Cristina Odone’s in the Observer, to say nothing of Madeleine Bunting’s reception. There’s a profound irony in that, which I will not belabor.… Read the rest



Obama Adviser Defends Sharia *

Oct 9th, 2009 | Filed by

Says majority of women around the world associate justice for women with sharia compliance.… Read the rest



Atheism as Class-marker is Beside the Point *

Oct 9th, 2009 | Filed by

It would be outrageous to say that the reasons for choosing atheism over religion might actually be valid.… Read the rest



US v Freedom of Expression *

Oct 9th, 2009 | Filed by

Egypt and US co-sponsored a resolution condemning ‘negative stereotyping of religion.’… Read the rest



Nobel Committee Gives Obama a Surprise *

Oct 9th, 2009 | Filed by

Republicans are grumbling about star power.… Read the rest



Church Times Reviews ‘Does God Hate Women?’ *

Oct 9th, 2009 | Filed by

Surprisingly favorably. (The irony was entirely intentional! I know where ‘whited sepulchre’ comes from!)… Read the rest



C of E Grabs Power Back From Women Bishops *

Oct 9th, 2009 | Filed by

Committee agreed to automatically remove certain powers from female bishops and give them to their male colleagues.… Read the rest



Your Child is Missing? Here, Meet Our Medium *

Oct 9th, 2009 | Filed by

New Zealand public tv station inserts itself into missing child story by offering one of its ‘psychic stars.’… Read the rest