All entries by this author

Are Sacred Texts Sacred? *

Sep 23rd, 2007 | Filed by

‘In many respects, the Bible was the world’s first Wikipedia article.’… Read the rest

Jesus Must Remain Sacrosanct *

Sep 23rd, 2007 | Filed by

Jesus-irony is ‘like walking by a funeral and shouting obscenities at a family.’… Read the rest

Secularism not Allowed in UK Schools *

Sep 23rd, 2007 | Filed by

Daily ‘act of worship of a broadly Christian nature’ must remain mandatory in all state schools.… Read the rest

Most people are almost blind

Sep 23rd, 2007 10:17 am | By

I’ve just read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. I know, I know, you all read it two years ago, where have I been – well I meant to read it but didn’t get to it, but I spotted it at the library the other day and grabbed it.

Absolutely extraordinary novel. Shockingly readable, for one thing, in the way thrillers are supposed to be but mostly (for me) aren’t, and also fascinating in multiple ways.

Consider item (or entry or chapter) 181 for instance. It starts ‘I see everything’ then goes on to enumerate the detail with which Christopher does indeed see and notice, if not everything, at least a great deal more than non-autistic … Read the rest

You can do both

Sep 22nd, 2007 5:41 pm | By

Peter Tatchell asks some pointed questions.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has executed three more Arab political prisoners…There have been no protests from Britain, the EU or the UN. The UN’s silence comes on top of the truly appalling vote by UN Human Rights Council to abandon its monitoring of human rights abuses in Iran…While condemning Israel for abusing the Palestinian people, Arab states are silent about the abuse of fellow Arabs by the Iranian regime. The anti-imperialist left is also mute. Why the double standards? Palestinian Arabs get the support of progressives and radicals everywhere; Iranian Arabs get no support at all. They swing from nooses in public squares like cattle hanging in an abattoir. Does anyone care?

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Libel Laws Silence Bloggers *

Sep 22nd, 2007 | Filed by

A worrying precedent.… Read the rest

Ian Hacking on ID as Degenerate Science *

Sep 22nd, 2007 | Filed by

Degenerate programs paint themselves into smaller and smaller corners, skirting problems they’d prefer not to face. … Read the rest

Jesus and Mo Interpret a Goddy Revelation *

Sep 22nd, 2007 | Filed by

Put a grand on red, and see what happens.… Read the rest

Ben Goldacre on a Fishy Reckoning *

Sep 22nd, 2007 | Filed by

Nonsense research undermines the credibility of trial research in general.… Read the rest

Bad Media Coverage Carries a Cost *

Sep 22nd, 2007 | Filed by

The media commentariat has not earned privileged early access to scientific knowledge and information. … Read the rest

Women and Islam *

Sep 22nd, 2007 | Filed by

Houzan Mahmoud of the Organization for Women’s Freedom in Iraq. … Read the rest

Ferzanna Riley on Growing up Terrorized *

Sep 21st, 2007 | Filed by

For 14 weeks we were held against our will and threatened with murder and gang rape unless we agreed to marriage.… Read the rest

Life Sentence for Surjit Athwal Murder *

Sep 21st, 2007 | Filed by

‘The pair of you decided that the so-called honour of your family members was worth more than the life of this young woman.’… Read the rest

Keep Virgin Births and Gold Plates out of Politics *

Sep 21st, 2007 | Filed by

Christianity believes in resurrection yet it taunts Mormons about adding gold plates into the mix. … Read the rest

New Humanist Offers a Poll *

Sep 21st, 2007 | Filed by

Are Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens a good thing for humanism?… Read the rest

Peter Tatchell on Indifference to Human Rights *

Sep 21st, 2007 | Filed by

Palestinian Arabs get the support of progressives; Iranian Arabs swing from nooses in public squares.… Read the rest

Mary Midgley Still Misunderstanding Dawkins *

Sep 21st, 2007 | Filed by

One crude mistake after another.… Read the rest

There is no Atheist Pope *

Sep 21st, 2007 | Filed by

‘New Atheism’ isn’t all that new, either.… Read the rest

Why should the criticism of religion provoke such an outcry?

Sep 20th, 2007 1:27 pm | By

As we saw, Matthew Nisbet cites Paul Kurtz as someone whose lead he is following when he says things like ‘Messages must be positive and respect diversity…[M]any scientists not only fail to think strategically about how to communicate on evolution, but belittle and insult others’ religious beliefs.’ A helpful commenter on his Kurtz post pointed out a recent editorial by Kurtz in Free Inquiry – from the February/March 2007 issue, it was.

The fact that books by Dawkins and Harris have made it to The New York Times best-seller list has apparently sent chills down the spines of many commentators; not only conservative religionists but also some otherwise liberal secularists are worried about this unexpected development. We note that the

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Mo Says the Cartoon is Nothing Like Him *

Sep 20th, 2007 | Filed by

If people are going to commit blasphemy by portraying him, they should at least do a decent job of it.… Read the rest