The “war on Christmas” gets thinner by the minute *

Dec 8th, 2010 | Filed by

The American Family Association is furious because Radio Shack, Office Depot and Staples use the word “holiday” in some of their advertising.… Read the rest

A win for the Louisiana Coalition for Science *

Dec 7th, 2010 | Filed by

Students in Louisiana public schools get to have quality biology textbooks.… Read the rest

Rush Limbaugh asks *

Dec 7th, 2010 | Filed by

“If people cannot even feed and clothe themselves [because they are too poor], should they be allowed to vote?”… Read the rest

God buys a bus ad

Dec 7th, 2010 4:57 pm | By

Oh how sweet – theists (or am I supposed to call them people of faith?) are so caring and concerned and helpful. There is this terrible atheist bus ad campaign in Fort Worth, Texas, saying that lots of Murkans are good without god – no I don’t know how such a thing could be allowed, but it was, and as much as 4 buses are carrying this horrible malicious insulting ad, and the concerned helpful Christians of FW have pitched right in and paid for a van to follow that bus around and counterdickt it. That’s good because of course as the nice woman with the giant torture device around her neck says, the bus ad is an insult … Read the rest

Conference on Apostasy, Sharia and Human Rights *

Dec 7th, 2010 | Filed by

London, December 11. Mina Ahadi, Maryam Namazie, Roy Brown, Peter Tatchell, Marieme Helie Lucas, Gita Sahgal, Joan Smith…… Read the rest

Hitchens on Assange *

Dec 7th, 2010 | Filed by

 The moral “other half” of civil disobedience is that you stoically accept the consequences that come with it.… Read the rest

Secularism in Pakistan *

Dec 7th, 2010 | Filed by

The country is in an uproar over the controversial ‘blasphemy laws’ imposed by military dictator General Zia-ul-Haq in the early 1980s.… Read the rest

California buys execution drug from UK *

Dec 7th, 2010 | Filed by

UK last month said it planned to limits exports of the drug, thiopental sodium, because of the UK’s “moral opposition to the death penalty.”… Read the rest

HRW calls on PA to free Walid Hasayin *

Dec 7th, 2010 | Filed by

Palestinian Intelligence agents arrested Hasayin on suspicion of posting messages on Facebook and blogs that criticized Islam and other religions.… Read the rest

Ratzinger is such a lovely fella *

Dec 6th, 2010 | Filed by

“The Pope recognises that not all Catholics follow the teachings of the church” so it’s fine that he tells people with AIDS not to use condoms.… Read the rest

Yay billionaires get to be even richer even longer! *

Dec 6th, 2010 | Filed by

Obama gives it all up.… Read the rest

Don’t be a phick

Dec 6th, 2010 12:23 pm | By

Phil Plait is disappointing some very long-term fans. They’re telling him so in comments.

He did a post yesterday saying congratulations to Chris Mooney on being appointed to the Board of the American Geophysical Union

to advise the AGU on how to better and more effectively communicate with the public and lawmakers in Washington.

Comments came in saying skeptical things about Mooney and effective communication. Phil asked for evidence that Mooney “isn’t above banning reasonable dissent from his own blog.” Evidence came in from commenter after commenter. That was more than 24 hours ago, and as recent comments have pointed out, Phil has yet to acknowledge it. What kind of science communication is that?

What sort of science

Read the rest

Date for Rapture has been settled *

Dec 6th, 2010 | Filed by

It will be May 21, 2011. Plenty of time to pack carefully.… Read the rest

Another biblical museum for Kentucky *

Dec 6th, 2010 | Filed by

Hey it will create jobs! Jobs in the exciting field of telling people that the bible is a historical document.… Read the rest

The level of humility in scientific discourse

Dec 5th, 2010 4:51 pm | By

An observation by Sam Harris in The Moral Landscape:

“while it is a standard rhetorical move in such debates to accuse scientists of being ‘arrogant,’ the level of humility in scientific discourse is, in fact, one of its most striking characteristics. In my experience, arrogance is about as common at a scientific conference as nudity. At any scientific meeting you will find presenter after presenter couching his or her remarks with caveats and apologies. When asked to comment on something that lies to either side of the very knife edge of their special expertise, even Nobel laureates will say things like, “Well, this isn’t really my area, but I would suspect that X is…” or “I’m sure there are several … Read the rest

Ratzinger dealt with the case himself

Dec 5th, 2010 12:00 pm | By

Oh gee surprise surprise what do you know – 

Germany’s Catholic Church systematically covered up cases of sexual abuse within its own ranks for several decades, according to an expert study commissioned by the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising.

Total cognitive dissonance. Religion makes people good, and it especially makes them compassionate. Any fule kno this, so it must be true. But if people are compassionate…they don’t conceal cases of sexual violence against children, do they. Compassionate people are motivated to do other things, such as making sure no more children will be the objects of sexual violence. Compassionate people are concerned with the suffering of other people as opposed to themselves – their first impulse is to protect victims Read the rest

German Catholic Church systematically hid abuse *

Dec 5th, 2010 | Filed by

The available records point to huge gaps in the documentation between 1945 and 2009.… Read the rest

Jesus and Mo and Joe *

Dec 5th, 2010 | Filed by

Joseph Smith gots magic powers. He says so himself.… Read the rest

Leicester: woman’s family kidnapped her *

Dec 5th, 2010 | Filed by

She was living with a man, they disapproved, so they grabbed her. She helped police convict them.… Read the rest

Blackford on Clark on Harris on free will *

Dec 5th, 2010 | Filed by

Interesting extended discussion.… Read the rest