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Jul 30

Atheist group opposes motion to dismiss free speech lawsuitScranton Times-TribuneCounty of Lackawanna Transit System officials gave conflicting reasons why they rejected an ad from an atheist group, raising the specter that their actions were a cover-up for discriminatory practices, an attorney for the group says in court papers.and more

Jul 30

Federal Judge SMITES DOWN Atheist Group's Ten Commandments Monument LawsuitDaily CallerA federal judge has ruled that a Ten Commandments monument can remain in front of a public school in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pa. The rulings ends — for now — a three-year-old lawsuit, filed by the Madison, Wis.-based Freedom from Religion

Jul 30

ChicagoNow (blog)Black female atheist Mandisa Thomas brings her thunder to Milwaukee on ...ChicagoNow (blog)The African American female demographic is one of the most religious in the United States. Mandisa Thomas is out to change that. It's very difficult to come out as an atheist in a predominantly religious black culture. For those with the wits to see ...

Jul 29

Dear President Pearsall:The time has come to fight back against the fundamentalists who are destroying the mind--not to mention the heart and soul--of American evangelical Christianity, including your university.You have just assumed the presidency of Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) under a dark cloud. Your predecessor, David Alexander, resigned in disgrace amidst a scandal that seems to be growing, and you unexpectedly found yourself in an office that you did not seek, confronted with problems that you did not create. The greatest of these problems was your predecessor's termination of Tom Oord, a popular professor and your school's leading scholar.In terminating Oord, Alexander caved in to pressure from Christian fundamentalists who wanted Oord's ideas--like evolution--removed from the classrooms of NNU. And this happened despite longstanding commitments to intellectual diversity and openness in colleges and universities. As you begin your presidency, you will find yourself surrounded by these same fundamentalists. Oord may leave but they will remain. And they will pressure you to remove other scholars who promote ideas they don't like. Please don't listen to them.Read more »

Jul 29

Atheism a natural and inseparable part of communismTODAYonlineAtheism has been built into communism since its inception. Indeed, Karl Marx derided religion as the “opium of the masses”. It is also a fact of history that communist regimes have often suppressed religion. In the Soviet Union, the Bolsheviks ...and more

Jul 29

World Religion NewsAtheist Richard Dawkins' #tweetfail “Islam Needs a Feminist Revolution”World Religion NewsRichard Dawkins' tweet saying a feminist revolution needs to happen in Islam did not go over well with Muslims. Richard Dawkins, noted Atheist author,must have expected widespread support when he tweeted that “Islam needs a feminist revolution”.Richard Dawkins Says Radical Islam, Not George W. Bush, Responsible for ISIS ...Christian Postall 2 news articles

Jul 29

The San Diego Union-TribuneHoly smokes! Bill Maher on politics & atheismThe San Diego Union-TribuneBill Maher may well be America's most prominent atheist. It's a position strongly amplified in the veteran comedian and TV host's 2008 film documentary “Religulous,” in which he sliced and diced the beliefs of Christians, Muslims and Buddhists with ...

Jul 29

Christian PostGeorgia School Disctrict Forced to Pay Atheist Group $22500 in Lawsuit Over ...Christian PostA public school district in Georgia will have to pay a humanist organization $22,500 through its insurance carriers after the organization sued the school system over allegations that local high school coaches led their teams in prayers and included ...Georgia School District to Pay $22K to Atheist Group Over Prayers, References ...The Christian Timesall 2 news articles

Jul 28

Baka Pygmies of Gabon Growth pattern from birth to adulthood in African pygmies of known age : Nature Communications : Nature Publishing Group How do African Pygmies make the 'Intelligent (sic) Designer' look like an incompetent amnesiac? Imagine you're a designer and you design something that's fit for purpose and does the job perfectly, why would you start again and design something else to do exactly the same job? Well, maybe if you're a chronic amnesiac and can't remember from one day to the next what you've designed, you'd maybe have an excuse, but you're hardly likely to be much of a designer and certainly not what people would regard as an intelligent one. The problem is, if you want to believe in an intelligent designer as the best explanation for just about everything you don't understand in biology, cosmology, physics, geology, etc., this is what you are required to believe constitutes intelligent design - starting afresh every time and coming up with lots of different ways to do exactly the same thing, even when starting from the same point - a bit like a designer who keeps designing wheels. As I described almost a year ago here, researchers discovered that two different groups of Pygmies have genomes that don't overlap, showing that their short stature evolved separately and independently in a case of convergent evolution. Now, another team of researchers have shown that short stature results from two entirely different growth processes. Abstract The African pygmy phenotype stems from genetic foundations and is considered to be the product of a disturbance in the growth hormone–insulin-like growth factor (GH–IGF) axis. However, when and how the pygmy phenotype is acquired during growth remains unknown. Here we describe growth patterns in Baka pygmies based on two longitudinal studies of individuals of known age, from the time of birth to the age of 25 years. Body size at birth among the Baka is within standard limits, but their growth rate slows significantly during the first two years of life. It then more or less follows the standard pattern, with a growth spurt at adolescence. Their life history variables do not allow the Baka to be distinguished from other populations. Therefore, the pygmy phenotype in the Baka is the result of a change in growth that occurs during infancy, which differentiates them from East African pygmies revealing convergent evolution.* Fernando V. Ramirez Rozzi, Yves Koudou, Alain Froment, Yves Le Bouc, Jérémie Botton. Growth pattern from birth to adulthood in African pygmies of known age. Nature Communications, 2015; 6: 7672 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8672 In this open access paper, the authors provide the following background information: African pygmies live in equatorial rain forests and grow to an average adult stature of

Jul 28

Patheos (blog)Boy Scouts of America Finally Ends Ban on Gay Leaders, but Atheists Are Still ...Patheos (blog)All that said, it's worth pointing out that the BSA still bans openly atheist scouts from joining the organization at any level. The Scouting Oath calls on boys “To do my duty to God and my country” while Scout Law honors “reverence.” If leaders find ...and more

Jul 28

The Smithsonian has a traveling exhibit based on the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins . It's going to be put up at libraries all across the country , so lots of people will get a look at some of the evidence for human evolution.

Jul 28

SalonFox News' Ainsley Earhardt can't even bear to hear atheist arguments anymore ...SalonOn “Outnumbered” Monday, “the ladies” were discussing Stone County, Missouri Sheriff Doug Rader and his decision to put a banner-like “In God We Trust” bumper sticker on the back of his deputies' police cruisers, but the conversation quickly became too

Jul 28

Harvard Political ReviewThe Conservative AtheistsHarvard Political ReviewComing out as an atheist in America presents difficulties regardless of one's political beliefs. According to polls by Gallup in 2012 and Pew Research Center in 2014, presidential candidates face more opposition from voters if they are atheists than if ...

Jul 28

Robert Miller wrote me saying,The Internet has more Christian apologists than a horse has hairs and many blogs by atheists or skeptics, but I have found only two blogs that focus on debunking Christianity or Christian apologetics. Yours and Cross-Examined. Do you know of any other blogs or websites that look at New Testament issues from a skeptical point of view?I'm assuming Miller is speaking of sites that focus exclusively on debunking Christian apologetics. I am happy Miller found this site, that's always good to know. However, I find his question both interesting and provocative. I ask my readers to comment on other blogs that seek to do this exact same thing. I'm sure there are others. But I'm not sure there are others more popular than the two blogs he mentioned. And between us, only one has multiple authors with advanced degrees writing for it. But, if Miller's observation is largely true, we have a serious problem. It means atheists are largely talking to themselves about atheistic concerns.Read more »

Jul 28

Christian ExaminerAtheist group cries 'foul' after BSA lifts ban on gays, but not its ownChristian Examiner(Christian Examiner) – The atheist Freedom from Religion Foundation is praising the Boy Scouts of America for their new policy allowing gay adult leaders and employees in the organization, but also rebuking it for not extending the same opportunity to

Jul 27

An Oregon prisoner who accused the U.S. Bureau of Prisons of not giving humanist inmates the same accommodations as other faiths has won recognition of his atheism and the right to organize other atheists on the inside. Jason Michael Holden, a 40-year-old prisoner at the government's medium-security lockup in Sheridan , complained in a 2014 lawsuit that the federal prison system violated his constitutional rights by refusing to let him form a humanist study group and share commonly held beliefs with other atheists.

Jul 27

OregonLive.comAtheist inmate wins right to practice his faith in Oregon federal prison (and ...OregonLive.com... at the government's medium-security lockup in Sheridan, complained in a 2014 lawsuit that the federal prison system violated his constitutional rights by refusing to let him form a humanist study group and share commonly held beliefs with other ...Humanism Will Now Be Treated as a Religion in the Federal Prison SystemPatheos (blog)all 49 news articles

Jul 27

My next book, to be published by Pitchstone Publishing in November, is provocatively titled: How to Defend the Christian Faith: Advice from an Atheist.Here are two more blurbs for it: Read more »

Jul 27

Patheos (blog)5 Things Christians Shouldn't Say to AtheistsPatheos (blog)Since I am a former atheist, I can definitely relate to atheists who get frustrated with the treatment they receive from Christians. As this portion of the population seems to grow, especially among males and young people, it will be important that ...

Jul 27

SalonTa-Nehisi Coates woke me up: Lessons on race, atheism and my white privilegeSalonIt was somewhere around the middle of the first chapter of Ta-Nehisi Coates' new book, “Between the World and Me,” where I began to realize that the quintessential atheist and humanist text of my generation, if there could be such a thing, was neither ...and more

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