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History book that spooked the south.
Two weeks before Christmas 1829, 60 copies of a book slipped off a ship at the port of Savannah and found their way to a local black preacher. Seeing what was inside, he turned them over to the police at once. They seized every copy. The author, it turned out, was a free and educated black man named David Walker, a Boston activist and used-clothing dealer. As its title suggested, the book was an “Appeal” to “The Colored Citizens of the World, but in Particular and Very Expressly to ...
zblaze Feb 17, 2018 Feb 17, 2018 11
What Kids Are Really Learning About Slavery - The Atlantic
The group also reviewed 10 commonly used U.S.-history textbooks, and examined 15 sets of state standards to assess what students know, what educators teach, what publishers include, and what standards require vis-à-vis slavery. Among 12th-graders, only 8 percent could identify slavery as the cause of the Civil War. Fewer than one-third (32 percent) correctly named the 13th Amendment as the formal end of U.S. slavery, with a slightly higher share (35 percent) choosing the Emancipation ...
zblaze Feb 22, 2018 Feb 22, 2018 1111
Millions of Americans as destitute as the world’s poorest? Don’t believe it. - Vox
It is true that America has serious problems of poverty and inequality. These inequities have resulted in quite shocking outcomes for America’s poorest. For example, 34 percent of households surveyed in Lowndes County, Alabama, recently tested positive for hookworm. Hookworm transmission occurs by way of feces and is easy to avoid if one has modern sanitation, but in the same county, 42 percent of the sampled households were exposed to raw sewage within their home. This is a national disgrace,...
zblaze Feb 22, 2018 Feb 22, 2018 44
Religion Harms Society | Michael Nugent | Oxford Union - YouTube
zblaze Feb 16, 2018 Feb 16, 2018 22
Worse than the Wolf - YouTube
DarkMatter2525
zblaze Mar 11, 2018 Mar 11, 2018 11
Who could have seen it coming?
What a buffoon our POTUS is!
zblaze Feb 15, 2018 Feb 15, 2018 22
We’ve trashed the oceans; now we are turning space into a junkyard for billionaires | Kevin McKenna | Opinion | The Guardian
If we’re discussing space, then we ought to be discussing the impact of all these rockets on our potential neighbors in the galaxy. I’ve always found it curious that despite spending even more billions over decades trying to locate other forms of intelligent life we’ve had nary a cheep back; not even a single intergalactic WhatsApp message. So either our neighbors are a rude shower or they simply don’t exist. But what if there’s another, more sinister explanation: that they do exist ...
zblaze Feb 16, 2018 Feb 16, 2018 44
Primitive fish's sea-floor shuffle illuminates the origins of walking
“This study is the first deep foray into the origins of limb-control circuits,” says neuroscientist Joseph Fetcho of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. There are some fish species that are more closely related to mammals that can walk on the sea floor3. But it’s “really cool” that skates, which are relatively primitive, are able to move their limbs in the same way as people do, Fetcho says. “We’re not as special as we think we are.”
zblaze Feb 15, 2018 Feb 15, 2018 11
Where Do You Go When You Die? The Increasing Signs That Human Consciousness Remains After Death
“I don’t mean that people have their eyes open or that their brain’s working after they die," Parnia said. "That petrifies people. I’m saying we have a consciousness that makes up who we are—our selves, thoughts, feelings, emotions—and that entity, it seems, does not become annihilated just because we've crossed the threshold of death; it appears to keep functioning and not dissipate. How long it lingers, we can’t say.”
zblaze Mar 1, 2018 Mar 1, 2018 1818
Rainforest collapse in prehistoric times changed the course of evolution
While the fossil record of the Carboniferous and early Permian Periods is strongly biased, new statistical methods that address these biases have allowed us to examine the true impact of the rainforest collapse on early tetrapods. We now know that the event was crucial in paving the way for amniotes, the group that ultimately gave rise to the dinosaurs and eventually modern reptiles, mammals and birds, to become the dominant group of land vertebrates.
zblaze Feb 14, 2018 Feb 14, 2018 11
These 6 easy steps can debunk any climate science denier
"Often, refuting denialist arguments focuses on scientific information – showing that temperatures are in fact rising, or that there is indeed a scientific consensus that human activity is responsible," says study co-author Peter Ellerton from the University of Queensland Critical Thinking Project. "We complement this approach by helping find the flaws in misinforming arguments and explain how the reasons they offer don't support their conclusions." The team put the steps through their ...
zblaze Feb 14, 2018 Feb 14, 2018 55
Religious bullies are on a roll. It’s time we all stood up to them - National Secular Society
Right across the world, principles of secularism are under threat like never before. The UK is not immune. We all have a duty to defend freedom and fairness from the religious fanatics that know nothing of compromise and tolerance. Too often, those brave enough to put their head above the parapet are left isolated and exposed. Abandoned by those unprepared to stand up to oppression when it masquerades as religion. This has to change. It isn't about "leading a state offensive on religious ...
zblaze Feb 16, 2018 Feb 16, 2018 66
Kevin Swanson Blames Larry Nassar Sexual Assault Scandal On The Fact That Gymnastics 'Involves A Fair Amount Of Immodesty' | Right Wing Watch
On his radio program today, extremist anti-LGBTQ pastor Kevin Swanson attributed USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse of more than 150 women and girls he treated, in part, to the fact that gymnastics encourages “a fair amount of immodesty.” Citing a variety of supposed dangers, such as the use of open showers, Swanson warned Christian parents against allowing their children to participate in sports because “sports tend to focus on the body.” “There is an ...
zblaze Feb 12, 2018 Feb 12, 2018 00
Man Who Lied About Christopher Hitchens Resigns Over Inappropriate Relationships – Friendly Atheist
Since then, he’s only gotten worse, writing that atheism “unquestionably exacerbates the evil in our nature.” He pushed ideas like these in his job at the director of the Fixed Point Foundation, a religious group that organizes debates between atheists and Christians. You know what those groups preach: Christianity makes you good, atheism makes you evil, and we should rejoice in the (false) narrative of a famous atheist who (allegedly) reconsidered God’s existence while on his ...
zblaze Feb 13, 2018 Feb 13, 2018 11
Rules Are for Schmucks: The Latest Christian Salvos: William Lane Craig - TheHumanist.com
Craig goes on from his false initial premise to argue that since humanity (but for God) is ultimately doomed, godless people cannot possibly be happy. Even a life of helping others is pointless, since all those others we’re helping are just as doomed. If we’re “consistent,” and acknowledge our pointless fate, we cannot possibly be happy. He cites a number of nineteenth and twentieth century non-believing philosophers, most prominently Friedrich Nietzsche, to “prove” that a ...
zblaze Mar 1, 2018 Mar 1, 2018 1111
The Comics Section: Objectification, Tardy Pizza, and Showing Your Work - TheHumanist.com
LOL
zblaze Feb 11, 2018 Feb 11, 2018 44
Pursuing Truth with Anjan Chakravartty - TheHumanist.com
Chakravartty: This is new terrain, not only for the university but also for the country. I think that everyone who has been involved in the process is very curious to see where it will lead, and I’m certainly among them! The thing I’m most unsure about is what response we will get, in a society that is so polarized in so many ways, but I’m hopeful that everyone, whatever their personal view of the Chair for the Study of Atheism, Humanism, and Secular Ethics, will join me in thinking that ...
zblaze Feb 11, 2018 Feb 11, 2018 11
States Push to Reinstate Net Neutrality Laws - TheHumanist.com
As Mark Dunbar addresses in his article, “A Tighter Net: FCC Hands Strings to Internet Service Providers,” net neutrality is essential to protect organizing groups like the American Humanist Association and other advocacy organizations. The telecommunications industry wants to become the renter class of the digital age. It also wants the power to censor speech it doesn’t like and promote speech it does. First ISPs will censor terrorists and criminals. Then ...
zblaze Feb 11, 2018 Feb 11, 2018 00
Medical Aid-In-Dying Must Continue and Reform - TheHumanist.com
The American Humanist Association was proud to work on this bill and fight for its passage, not just because we support individual autonomy and the right to have a medical aid-in-dying procedure, but because this law can stand as a template for how such legislation should look. By requiring the patient to receive the consent of so many doctors, and by ensuring the patient’s mental acuity and ability to self-administer the medicine, concerns (like Lane’s) over patients being forced into the ...
zblaze Feb 12, 2018 Feb 12, 2018 44
Alabama Loopholes Marriage Equality - TheHumanist.com
Representative Merika Coleman (D-Pleasant Grove) said the bill is “unnecessary and very confusing to some Alabamians” and is concerned that it may create complications when individuals apply for spousal benefits, such as military benefits that have historically required a copy of a marriage license. “So why is the legislature taking up this bill, because there are some county officials that don’t want to adhere to federal law and give marriage licenses to same sex couples? If you don’t...
zblaze Feb 11, 2018 Feb 11, 2018 00
The Atheist State of the Union 2018 - YouTube
This video is really important you guys.
zblaze Feb 11, 2018 Feb 11, 2018 22
Photos of the Week: Super Blue Blood Moon, Starry Night, Stratofortress - The Atlantic
Enjoy
zblaze Feb 10, 2018 Feb 10, 2018 11
One Small Step for Satanists, One Giant Leap for Abortion Rights? - TheHumanist.com
The decision comes in the midst of a legal battle between the Massachusetts-based Satanic Temple and the State of Missouri over state abortion laws that require those seeking an abortion to receive an ultrasound, read a booklet that states, “The life of each human being begins at conception. Abortion will terminate the life of a separate, unique, living human being,” and wait seventy-two hours. The Satanic Temple is taking a unique approach to the lawsuit, arguing that the law prohibits ...
zblaze Feb 10, 2018 Feb 10, 2018 55
The National Rubber Stamp for Theocracy Breakfast - TheHumanist.com
Trump’s interpretation of religious faith has a definite Christian focus. “As the Bible tells us, for we are God’s handiwork, created in Jesus Christ, to do good works.” Trump did not address specific cases of Christians facing penalties for refusing to support civil laws granting equal rights for all people. However, he clearly spoke a religious language that will be interpreted by the religious right as an intention to continue his quest to protect their “right” to impose their ...
zblaze Feb 10, 2018 Feb 10, 2018 00
Did water-based life originate without water?
As the researchers explain, radiation is particularly unique as an energy source for the origins of life compared to redox chemistry or simple heating. As Adam said, this is because radiation "drives an expansive network of reactions, not just an array of products for an array of inputs." Of course, the researchers have only showed what could have happened, and not what did happen. In the future, they plan to continue studying all of the possible scenarios for the origins of life and examine ...
zblaze Feb 9, 2018 Feb 9, 2018 11
In California, Coffee Causes Cancer and Lawyers Collect the Fee | American Council on Science and Health
If you've been to California, you've almost certainly seen the Proposition 65 warning. The signs ominously warn, "This area contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm," and they can be found just about everywhere, including airports and Disneyland. According to Bloomberg, "the Council for Education and Research on Toxics needed only to allege that coffee contains trace amounts of one of almost 1,000 Proposition 65 chemicals...
zblaze Feb 9, 2018 Feb 9, 2018 22
Meteorites' mechanical energy might have created building blocks of life | Research | Chemistry World
‘There have been many studies that have shown meteorites as shuttles for material that ends up on Earth,’ Hernández says. ‘But we were interested if the mechanical energy of those landings could have activated certain chemical systems.’ The team simulated this by milling an aldehyde and an amine with potassium cyanoferrate and silicon dioxide. An hour and a half later, the reagents had converted into ?-aminonitriles, precursors to amino acids.
zblaze Feb 9, 2018 Feb 9, 2018 11
The Four Scientific Meanings Of 'Nothing'
So who's right? They all are, in their own way. The key isn't to argue or fight over what "nothing" truly is, but to accept and understand these definitions as people use them. It's paramount to not confuse one meaning for another, or to get into a squabble over why it's wrong to use a word in a particular manner. Instead, when someone — particularly a scientist — says the word "nothing," try and understand which meaning they're using, and what the phenomenon is that they're trying to ...
zblaze Feb 19, 2018 Feb 19, 2018 55
116 - AI: Racing Toward the Brink
Artificial intelligence In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Eliezer Yudkowsky about the nature of intelligence, different types of AI, the “alignment problem,” IS vs OUGHT, the possibility that future AI might deceive us, the AI arms race, conscious AI, coordination problems, and other topics.
zblaze Feb 10, 2018 Feb 10, 2018 22
The Trump Administration's War on Science Agencies Threatens the Nation's Health and Safety - Scientific American
Talented, highly trained scientists early in their careers are turning away from the idea of joining federal laboratories or divisions. Many of these younger scientists tell us they just assume there are no opportunities with federal agencies, historically one of the major employers of scientists in many fields. Or that they worry about working in the current political climate. Our agencies need that new talent to draw on in years to come to protect our nation's public health, safety and ...
zblaze Feb 8, 2018 Feb 8, 2018 11
Kathleen Hartnett White, Trump’s Environment Pick: Fossil Fuels Ended Slavery, CO2 Is Good for You
We’re all used to the “fox guarding the henhouse” phenomenon in this administration: a longtime opponent of public schools heading the Education Department, a man who made his name suing the Environmental Protection Agency now heading it, and on down the line. So it’s not surprising that White has spent her career taking money from ExxonMobil and the Koch network and spouting nonsense about how fossil fuels ended slavery, emit “plant nutrients,” and, of course, do not contribute to ...
zblaze Feb 8, 2018 Feb 8, 2018 00
PH Mythology: Separating pHacts from pHiction
The Acid/Alkaline: Theory of Disease This theory claims that too much acidity in the body causes disease, and that eating alkaline foods and drinking alkaline water will improve health. People are encouraged to test the pH of their urine to monitor their acid/alkaline balance. On Quackwatch, Dr. Gabe Mirkin explained that the acid/alkaline theory of disease is nonsense because dietary modification cannot change the acidity of any part of the body except the urine. He says, “If you hear ...
zblaze Feb 8, 2018 Feb 8, 2018 88
Why is the Bible so poorly written?
Why does the Bible so fail to meet this mark? One obvious answer, of course, is that neither the Bible nor any derivative work like the Quran or Book of Mormon was actually dictated by the Christian god or other celestial messengers. We humans may yearn for advice that is “god-breathed,” but in reality, our sacred texts were written by fallible human beings, who try as they might, fell short of perfection in the ways we all do. But why is the Bible so badly written? Falling short of ...
zblaze June 10, 2018 Jun 10, 2018 3333
Michele Bachmann Wants a Sign from God Before Running for Senate; God Says “NO” – Friendly Atheist
That billboard is courtesy of TheGoodLordAbove, a.k.a. “God” on Facebook, who has millions of followers. They raised just over $7,000 just over a week ago and got the sign up fairly quickly. It will be up for the next month. (God told me last night that the leftover cash would help pay for taxes associated with the fundraiser.) Will Bachmann listen to that billboard? Probably not. Is it any less credible than the voices in her head? Nope.
zblaze Feb 7, 2018 Feb 7, 2018 11
FFRF corrects Eric Trump’s mistaken beliefs - Freedom From Religion Foundation
When my father mentioned "In God We Trust," the guiding principle of this country — no one stood. ... I think it's sad. There are things as Americans we should be united on and if we can't be united on God ... Trump didn't complete this thought, which is perhaps just as well. Americans are not now, nor have we even been, "united on God." Religion is divisive. It may unite believers of the same stripe, but it deliberately excludes all others — and often calls for worse. An early Wisconsin...
zblaze Feb 7, 2018 Feb 7, 2018 00
Reason-and-religion atheism agnosticism nonreligious church-state
Before the Church began to claim its doctrines were fully based on reason it had long demonized evidence-based investigation of existence. The switch came soon after ancient Greek skeptical philosophy disturbingly re-emerged in the West around the 15th century after a millennia of dormancy following the collapse of the Roman Empire. As far back as the 5th century, Catholicism pioneer St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD) had damned reason as “the disease of curiosity … which drives us to ...
zblaze Feb 8, 2018 Feb 8, 2018 55
Catholic churches burn in Chile as Pope Francis attempts damage control over sex abuse scandals | South China Morning Post
The Argentine pope is nearly a native son, having studied in Chile during his Jesuit novitiate and he knows the country well, but Chileans give him the lowest approval rating among the 18 Latin American nations in the survey. “People are leaving the church because they don’t find a protective space there,” said Juan Carlos Claret, spokesman for a group of church members in Osorno that has opposed Barros’ appointment as bishop. “The pastors are eating the flock.”
zblaze Feb 21, 2018 Feb 21, 2018 44
Pope Francis accuses Chilean church sexual abuse victims of slander | World news | The Guardian
Francis said that until he sees proof that Bishop Juan Barros was complicit in covering up the sex crimes of the Rev Fernando Karadima, such accusations against Barros are “all calumny”. The pope’s remarks drew shock from Chileans and immediate rebuke from victims and their advocates. They noted the accusers were deemed credible enough by the Vatican that it sentenced Karadima to a lifetime of “penance and prayer” for his crimes in 2011. A Chilean judge also found the victims to ...
zblaze Feb 11, 2018 Feb 11, 2018 33
Evangelical abused by Larry Nassar says 'the church is one of the worst places to go for help'
Denhollander, who considers herself to be a conservative evangelical Christian, says that evangelical churches have been failing in their duties to stand up for victims of abuse. “Church is one of the least safe places to acknowledge abuse because the way it is counseled is, more often than not, damaging to the victim,” she says. “There is an abhorrent lack of knowledge for the damage and devastation that sexual assault brings. It is with deep regret that I say the church is one of the...
zblaze Feb 9, 2018 Feb 9, 2018 55
Creationist Ken Ham Freaks Out After Being Called Out For Child Abuse
(The real intellectual child abuse is when atheists like Stone, Nye & Krauss attempt to brainwash children in their religion of atheism & its consequences of a worldview based on moral relativism–no wonder so many turn to drugs, sex, violence, suicide) Ham’s angry rants are filled with the typical conservative Christian bigotry and propaganda one might expect. Ham is simply railing against atheists and anybody else challenging his deeply flawed and misguided understanding of the world....
zblaze Apr 19, 2018 Apr 19, 2018 1111
Science Education: Teaching Children Creationism Is Child Abuse
The fact is, for many, once biblical creationism is rejected, Christianity unravels: there is no Adam and Eve, no original sin, and no need for redemption through the blood of Christ. In addition, once one biblical account of supernatural absurdity is rejected, all other biblical accounts of supernatural absurdities become suspect, including the absurdity that is God. Indeed, implicit in evolution is a powerful argument for atheism. And this drives some Christians to ridiculous positions, ...
zblaze Feb 28, 2018 Feb 28, 2018 1010
The Weekly: Francesca Stavrakopoulou - YouTube
zblaze Feb 5, 2018 Feb 5, 2018 00
Religious extremists 'trying to pervert education' - BBC News
"Ofsted inspectors are increasingly brought into contact with those who want to actively pervert the purpose of education. "Under the pretext of religious belief, they use education institutions, legal and illegal, to narrow young people's horizons, to isolate and segregate, and in the worst cases to indoctrinate impressionable minds with extremist ideology. "Freedom of belief in the private sphere is paramount, but in our schools it is our responsibility to tackle those who actively ...
zblaze Feb 9, 2018 Feb 9, 2018 44
How Should Atheism Be Taught? - The Atlantic
According to the agreement between the University of Miami and Appignani, atheism is defined for the purposes of this gift as “a philosophical approach that emphasizes the methods and techniques of science, logic, and reason, and rejects all appeals to supernatural entities in dealing with questions of science, knowledge, ethics, politics, and social policy.” The definition continues: “Atheism includes a range of theories and theoretical approaches that reject explanations in terms of God ...
zblaze Apr 4, 2018 Apr 4, 2018 1414
The Comics Section: Twitter Archives & Donald J. Nixon - TheHumanist.com
zblaze Feb 5, 2018 Feb 5, 2018 11
Denmark Doctors Declare Circumcision Of Healthy Boys 'Ethically Unacceptable' | HuffPost
Doctors and medical organizations in Denmark, the other Nordic countries and, with one notable exception, elsewhere in the Western world agree that circumcision of healthy boys is ethically problematic. It is considered an operation seriously and patently at odds with the Hippocratic oath (”first do no harm”) and one that is in conflict with a variety of international conventions, most notably the U.N. Declaration of the Rights of the Child.
zblaze Feb 10, 2018 Feb 10, 2018 2020
On Theocrats' Peculiar Definition of the "Sanctity of Life" - TheHumanist.com
Perkins and his colleagues’ concern for human life is fixated on the point before it is birthed into the world; after that, one can only conclude from his views on other policy matters that we are on our own. These leaders don’t have a monopoly on morality and Americans who don’t share their fundamentalist religious beliefs shouldn’t cede it to them—to do so is to cede the political battlefield. We have the right to enjoy our sexuality and to decide if and when we will embrace ...
zblaze Feb 4, 2018 Feb 4, 2018 00
Zoos & Aquariums: Getting in Touch with Nature through Others' Captivity - TheHumanist.com
We perceive zoos as providing us with a way to escape urban life and to “get back to nature” but they are wholly unnatural institutions. Ultimately, the very nature of zoos and aquariums contradicts their message. How can we ever truly appreciate, respect, and learn about other animals when we take away their autonomy and see them as objects to be collected for our entertainment and viewing purposes? It is a shame that our desire to connect with other animals does not allow us to ...
zblaze Nov 22, 2018 Nov 22, 2018 55
The “Spoken Word” of God Doesn’t Belong in a Courtroom - TheHumanist.com
Sanja Zgonjanin highlights that sectarian practices and expressions are accepted and even sanctioned by courts citing context or tradition. These practices include opening the Supreme Court session with “God save the United States and this honorable Court,” opening a legislative session with a prayer, recognizing the nation in the Pledge of Allegiance as “one Nation under God,” and not only printing “In God We Trust” on our money but posting the motto in court rooms, congressional ...
zblaze Feb 4, 2018 Feb 4, 2018 00
Don’t Celebrate Black History Month without Creating Paths toward Free Black Futures - TheHumanist.com
The Black struggle for justice was not solved with the end of chattel slavery, with the passage of civil rights legislation, or by the presidency of Barack Obama. Blackness is still pathologized and the Black experience remains harrowing in more ways than language can describe. Black communities are ravaged by racism dispensed through redlining, educational apartheid, gentrification, healthcare discrimination, mass incarceration, the “war on drugs,” restricted access to the mainstream ...
zblaze Feb 4, 2018 Feb 4, 2018 11
Photos of the Week: Aerobatic Performers, Snow Monsters, a Murmuration - The Atlantic
Wish I could take photos like these.
zblaze Feb 3, 2018 Feb 3, 2018 00
Science in flux: is a revolution brewing in evolutionary theory? | Aeon Essays
If evolution is not to be explained solely in terms of changes in gene frequencies; if previously rejected mechanisms such as the inheritance of acquired characteristics turn out to be important after all; and if organisms are acknowledged to bias evolution through development, learning and other forms of plasticity – does all this mean a radically different and profoundly richer account of evolution is emerging? No one knows: but from the perspective of our adapting dog-walker, evolution is ...
zblaze Feb 4, 2018 Feb 4, 2018 44
False Hopes and Invisible Enemies - Quillette
Those of us who suspect biology plays a role in explaining some group differences do not deny the existence of bias, which is especially powerful in traditional societies that lack norms of toleration and laws that protect minorities. But we are skeptical that racism or sexism or other pernicious forms of bias can explain all of the gaps that we see. More importantly, our hypothesis is falsifiable. One way to falsify it would be to find that genes which influence physical and mental traits – ...
zblaze Feb 3, 2018 Feb 3, 2018 00
Gorgeous Images of the Planet Jupiter - The Atlantic
Hope you enjoy these.
zblaze Feb 3, 2018 Feb 3, 2018 88
Forget Mars’s deserts, let’s look for life in Europa’s ocean | Aeon Essays
Later, when measuring Europa’s magnetic field, the spacecraft found global signs of an electrically conductive layer beneath the surface, precisely where a tidally heated reservoir of salty, highly conductive seawater would be. If Europa is alive, if some biology dwells within those dark waters, the implications would be even more staggering than finding life on Mars. Our gaze would turn to Jupiter’s Ganymede next, and to Callisto, along with Saturn’s Titan and Enceladus, and perhaps ...
zblaze Feb 2, 2018 Feb 2, 2018 22
“Life, uh, finds a way”—Applying lessons from evolution to go to Mars | Ars Technica
“Biomimicry rests upon the idea that evolution has been working in a massively parallel fashion for millions and millions of years to ruthlessly achieve effectiveness—not necessarily perfection!” he says. “It frequently does so in bizarre and unusual ways that you would never think of just approaching it from a strict engineering standpoint. Sometimes the limitations animals have can lead them to new and strange innovations that actually make them even better.”
zblaze Feb 2, 2018 Feb 2, 2018 22
Why Free Speech Matters - Quillette
Trump’s anti-media rhetoric is sometimes difficult to distinguish from the rants that former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez specialized in. Trump’s censorious tendencies have led some to see German Chancellor Angela Merkel as the real “leader of the free world”. But Germany is no safe haven for free speech. Merkel’s government has adopted a draconian and arbitrary law against “illegal content” on social media which has seen both political speech and satire removed by Twitter. So ...
zblaze Feb 2, 2018 Feb 2, 2018 00
Why do religious believers hate reality so much? - YouTube
AronRa Published on Jan 18, 2018 Recorded in the Keynes Library of Cambridge University on Jan 10th 2018. If you like what I do, please consider becoming a patron.
zblaze Feb 1, 2018 Feb 1, 2018 00
Murky world of 'science' journals a new frontier for climate deniers | Graham Readfearn | Environment | The Guardian
But this murky world has a predator of its own – climate science deniers looking to take advantage of the questionable quality controls in return for getting their work published in what the publishers claim are “peer-reviewed journals” but that, in reality, are not. One climate science denier has targeted at least six journals for his research claiming that sea levels around Fiji and other Pacific islands are not rising. The author of the research, Dr Nils-Axel Mörner, has ...
zblaze Jan 31, 2018 Jan 31, 2018 22
The Former Naturopath Who Became a Whistleblower on the Industry - Motherboard
After Hermes started to question one of the herbal drugs being given to patients, she did some research, and started to discover that the world of naturopathy was not what she hoped it would be. In the span of a few days, Hermes found evidence that naturopathy was rife with problems, and practitioners who would knowingly give patients unapproved drugs, suggest expensive treatments for all kinds of ailments, and put profits over patients. “It was world-crushing,” Hermes said. “I came to ...
zblaze Jan 31, 2018 Jan 31, 2018 22
Sam Harris - Morality and the Christian God - YouTube
zblaze Jan 31, 2018 Jan 31, 2018 00
Britons View Atheists As More Moral Than Believers, Religion More Harmful Than Good
“Religious institutions themselves have lost their legitimacy in the eyes of many Americans due to sexual and financial scandals, or political overreaching ‘by the so-called Christian right.’” Linda Woodhead, professor of the sociology of religion at Lancaster University, told The Huffington Post UK she found the results of the poll “striking,” “This confirms something I’ve found in my own surveys and which leads me to conclude that religion has become a ‘toxic ...
zblaze Feb 13, 2018 Feb 13, 2018 1414
Are religious people really less smart, on average, than atheists? – Research Digest
Daws and Hampshire concluded: “These findings provide evidence in support of the hypothesis that the religiosity effect relates to conflict as opposed to reasoning ability or intelligence more generally.” If, as this work suggests, religious belief predisposes people to rely more heavily on intuition in decision-making – and the stronger their belief, the more pronounced the impact – how much of a difference does this make to actual achievement in the...
zblaze Feb 18, 2018 Feb 18, 2018 1010
The 'Underground Railroad' To Save Atheists - The Atlantic
After one student was murdered, officials began to investigate the dead guy to see if he had written anything worth killing him over.” When faced with these threats, many people are understandably reluctant to admit their religious doubts even to their closest confidants, making it difficult to gauge how widespread atheism actually is around the world. But there are signs that the numbers of atheists are sizable. A 2012 Win/Gallup International Poll, for instance, found that 19 percent of ...
zblaze Feb 2, 2018 Feb 2, 2018 11
The unveiling of Christian nationalism – Religion News Service
To the white evangelical base back home in the heartland, the pastor in Maryland and the Coptic pope in Egypt were out of line. How dare they question the integrity of God’s servant and the vice president of the United States? But to most churches in the world — and to a great many Christians here in the United States — Pence’s week unveils the hypocrisy of a movement that has promoted white identity politics in the name of God. This is not new. Since plantation owners paid preachers ...
zblaze Jan 30, 2018 Jan 30, 2018 00
Jerusalem expert slams Pence for treating his city like an 'end-of-days Biblical theme park'
Daniel Seidemann, an Israeli attorney who founded the Jerusalem-based NGO Terrestrial Jerusalem, is slamming Vice President Mike Pence for treating his city like an “end-of-days Biblical theme park.” Writing on Twitter, Seidemann points out that Pence did not visit with any members of Jerusalem’s Christian community during his trip to the Middle East this week — and it’s primarily because those leaders are Palestinians. This is especially ironic, Seidemann writes, because Pence is ...
zblaze Jan 30, 2018 Jan 30, 2018 55
115 - Sam Harris, Lawrence Krauss, and Matt Dillahunty (1) A Live Recording from New York City Center in NYC
Audio only. I hope you enjoy.
zblaze Jan 30, 2018 Jan 30, 2018 00
Roy Moore goes back to supporters asking for money to battle sexual abuse accuser in court | WHNT.com
Roy Moore previously had a legal defense fund while refusing to move a monument of the Ten Commandments from the Alabama Judicial Building in Montgomery, despite a court order demanding he do so. That legal defense fund was later converted to the Foundation for Moral Law, which provided him more than a million dollars in compensation while the foundation employed multiple members of his family, including his wife as director. LMAAO
zblaze Jan 29, 2018 Jan 29, 2018 00
FACT CHECK: Does a New Law Allow Atheist Doctors to Refuse Care to Religious Patients?
A satirical article on the web site The Science Post caused confusion in early 2018 by claiming that a new law allowed atheist health care providers to refuse to treat religious patients: A new law in Mississippi has made it legal for doctors and nurses to refuse care to certain patients on religious grounds. The law allows medical staff to refuse treatment to members of the LGBQT community on the grounds that it violates their religious beliefs. It would serve to reason this would...
zblaze Jan 30, 2018 Jan 30, 2018 1919
Trump's HHS Rule Allows Religious Doctors to Refuse Care - The Atlantic
There isn’t a good count of either how many doctors harbor religious objections they’re not able to act on, or of how many patients get denied services by religiously objecting doctors. The most typical way medicine and religion tend to collide, these experts say, was for the sixth of all U.S. patients who are treated by Catholic health systems. Some of these hospitals don’t provide certain types of contraception, abortion, or assisted suicide. But those are hospitals, not the individual ...
zblaze Jan 29, 2018 Jan 29, 2018 00
Atheism Doubles Among Generation Z
So what has led to this precipitous falling off? Barna asked non-Christians of all ages about their biggest barriers to faith. Gen Z nonbelievers have much in common with their older counterparts in this regard, but a few differences stand out. Teens, along with young adults, are more likely than older Americans to say the problem of evil and suffering is a deal breaker for them. It appears that today’s youth, like so many throughout history, struggle to find a compelling argument for the ...
zblaze Jan 29, 2018 Jan 29, 2018 11
What Education Professionals Can Learn from Finland - TheHumanist.com
Teachers are also perceived differently in Finland, having the respect and status of doctors and lawyers. They are trusted to know what they’re doing and receive much autonomy in the way they teach their classes. This is not the case when it comes to teachers in the United States. Teachers are rushed from task to task and have little control over what and how they teach. It doesn’t help either that in addition to being underappreciated, US teachers are underpaid for the vital work they do....
zblaze Jan 30, 2018 Jan 30, 2018 11
Germany Navigates Uncharted Legal Waters of Gender and Parenthood - TheHumanist.com
While it’s a victory to transition to one’s innately-determined gender and to be legally recognized as such, it’s becoming more and more evident that gender identity and expression is fluid, and a non-gendered title should reflect that under law. Germany’s ruling in favor of a third gender gives hope to an estimated 100,000 trans people living in the country—those who conceive children but who aren’t legally recognized by their preferred title, those who want to adopt children but ...
zblaze Jan 28, 2018 Jan 28, 2018 66
Immigration Battles & a Gutsy Bar - TheHumanist.com
Still, based on conflicting testimony from the invitees to the January 11th White House immigration meeting, controversy ensued over what offending word President Trump allegedly said. Some said it was sthole, some said it was sthouse, and others claimed with a straight face that they heard neither word. Aside from the apparent need for hearing aids to be distributed at White House meetings, there also appears to be a lack of awareness that it’s the first syllable in the president’s ...
zblaze Jan 28, 2018 Jan 28, 2018 11
The Comics Section: Pretending to Know The Answers - TheHumanist.com
zblaze Jan 27, 2018 Jan 27, 2018 00
CPC Designations Omit Bangladesh, Egypt, and Russia, Are Weak on Pakistan - TheHumanist.com
Pakistan is also let off the hook in the latest report, as it has yet again escaped the CPC designation, despite sentencing those “guilty” of blasphemy to death and restricting religious freedom in general. But at least Pakistan is still mentioned in the report, unlike Egypt and Russia, two countries that are deserving of some sort of governmental criticism for their repressive religious policies. Egypt is currently seeking to ban atheism, a move that should surprise no one considering ...
zblaze Jan 27, 2018 Jan 27, 2018 00
Rules Are for Schmucks: Fearing Paula White - TheHumanist.com
First, they were treated to a harangue about the concept of “first fruits,” which she says means they must fork over their first earnings of 2018—perhaps as much as a month’s wages—to God, via her. This is in addition to all the tithing, which the Bible couldn’t be more clear about. “All ‘firsts’ belong to God,” White told her flock. “When you honor this principle it provides the foundation and structure for God’s blessings and promises in your life; it unlocks deep ...
zblaze Jan 27, 2018 Jan 27, 2018 00
Trump’s HHS Wants to Protect Health Care Workers Who Discriminate - TheHumanist.com
“The federal government has hounded religious hospitals…forcing them to provide services that violate their consciences,” Hargan said. “Medical students, too, have learned to do procedures that violate their consciences.” The move is yet another example of the Trump administration’s willingness to turn the concept of religious liberty into religious discrimination. The potential is ripe for abuse of this new office by evangelicals and fundamentalists who want to impose their ...
zblaze Jan 27, 2018 Jan 27, 2018 00
Photos of the Week: Transport Mishaps, Epiphany Blessings, Bull Taming - The Atlantic
Hope you enjoy?
zblaze Jan 26, 2018 Jan 26, 2018 00
'Trump Was Merely Sharing The Gospel With That Porn Star,' Explains Jim Bakker
BLUE EYE, MO—Squashing accusations that President Trump had a sexual encounter with porn star “Stormy Daniels” while he was married to Melania, televangelist Jim Bakker explained to his audience Friday that he had confirmed that Trump was merely scheduling private time with the woman in a hotel suite in order to share with her the good news of Jesus Christ, as he had become acquainted with her and was very concerned that she was not a Christian. “It is preposterous to assert that a ...
zblaze Feb 12, 2018 Feb 12, 2018 22
Why 1 Second Is 1 Second
To pin down a truly timeless measure of a second, scientists in the 1950s devised a better clock, one based not on astronomical processes but on the movement of fundamental bits of matter — atoms — whose subtle vibrations are, for all intents and purposes, locked in for eternity. Today, one second is defined as “9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyper-fine levels of the ground state of the cesium 133 atom”.
zblaze Jan 27, 2018 Jan 27, 2018 66
Swedish death cleaning: how to declutter your home and life
In our already busy lives, does tending to our online existence give us one more thing to do? Perhaps so. But it’s about taking responsibility for our own stuff. If we don’t make the decisions about what to keep or discard – whether actual or online – then ultimately others will need to. And if we don’t leave clear directions about where to find our digital content, it makes things tougher for everyone. As Magnusson writes, death cleaning is “a permanent form of organization that ...
zblaze Jan 26, 2018 Jan 26, 2018 44
For some people dying alone is not such a bad thing – here's why
Cultural representations of dying suggest that being alone while dying is a dreadful thing. This view is supported by healthcare policy and the practices of health professionals, such as nurses. But we all know people who prefer to be left alone when they are ill. Is it so surprising then that some might wish to be alone when they are dying? It is time we began to talk about this and to accept that we want different things in our dying as we do in our living. Openness created through ...
zblaze Jan 25, 2018 Jan 25, 2018 55
How Peaceful Religion Kills | Religion as a Placebo - YouTube
zblaze Jan 25, 2018 Jan 25, 2018 00
Why Don't You Want to Believe in God? | Paul - Knoxville, TN | Atheist Experience 22.02 - YouTube
I've had a crush on Tracie for about 4 years now, and feel that Matt is one of the best debaters around. I won't post anymore of these, there are literally hundreds of them, but just wanted to put this out to this critically thinking community to make sure you guys know about it.
zblaze Jan 24, 2018 Jan 24, 2018 00
Nautilus | Science Connected
Kubrick could just as well have substituted the bone with a stone, and in doing so may well have been more accurate in his portrayal of seminal tool adoption. While stones and bones survive in the archaeological record of early prehistory, it’s hard to know, unless there are obvious diagnostic signs of wear or modification, if a bone has been used for adapted purposes. Wooden sticks present an even more challenging situation by virtue of the fact that, unless suspended in the extreme ...
zblaze Jan 25, 2018 Jan 25, 2018 22
The virtual afterlife will transform humanity | Aeon Essays
What starts out as an artificial way to preserve minds after death gradually takes on an emphasis of its own. Real life, our life, shrinks in importance until it becomes a kind of larval phase. Whatever quirky experiences you might have had during your biological existence, they would be valuable only if they can be added to the longer-lived and much more sophisticated machine. I am not talking about utopia. To me, this prospect is three parts intriguing and seven parts horrifying. I am ...
zblaze Jan 28, 2018 Jan 28, 2018 66
I Used to Insist I Didn’t Get Angry. Not Anymore. - The New York Times
From the article; Confronting my own aversion to anger asked me to shift from seeing it simply as an emotion to be felt, and toward understanding it as a tool to be used: part of a well-stocked arsenal. When I walked in the Women’s March in Washington a year ago — one body among thousands — the act of marching didn’t just mean claiming the right to a voice; it meant publicly declaring my resolve to use it. I’ve come to think of anger in similar terms: not as a claiming of victimhood ...
zblaze Jan 25, 2018 Jan 25, 2018 22
Only the Truth Will Prevent Harm - Council for Secular Humanism
Muslims are reasoning (and, hence, persuadable) beings, not robots programmed to blindly follow the edicts of their faith. In fact, if all Muslims practiced their religion exactly according to scripture, then we would see much more terror in the world. Furthermore, what does the existence of ex-Muslims prove if not that walking away from the faith is possible, even in the most dire of circumstances? It would be fair to say, I think, that no other apostates face the hardships routinely visited...
zblaze Jan 23, 2018 Jan 23, 2018 22
Waking Up Podcast 114 — Politics and Sanity | Sam Harris
In this episode, Sam speaks with David Frum and Andrew Sullivan about the Trump presidency, hyper-partisanship, how democracies fail, and other topics.
zblaze Jan 23, 2018 Jan 23, 2018 00
Homeopathy for farmers … with the support of Prince Charles … foolish and immoral
Today, Oliver Kamm, a Times business columnist and leader writer, sates in THE TIMES that part of the blame for the persistence of fake medicine lies with, of all people, the heir to the throne. In a new book titled More Harm than Good?, Professor Edzard Ernst says that, as the most prominent advocate of homeopathy, the Prince of Wales is engaged in “foolish and immoral” support for unproven remedies for serious illness. You can say that again. Yes, let’s say that again: foolish and ...
zblaze Jan 22, 2018 Jan 22, 2018 99
A sickness has infected the Catholic church in Scotland | Kevin McKenna | Opinion | The Guardian
A sickness has infected the Catholic church in Scotland which has left it vulnerable to the predations of a loud and implacable anti-Christian body in government and on Holyrood’s most influential committees. Those who insist on upholding the teachings of the church are set upon and wrongly accused of sexism and homophobia. We are one nation and many cultures apparently, but not if your culture is a traditionally Christian one. The absence of strong leadership in the Scottish church and its ...
zblaze Jan 26, 2018 Jan 26, 2018 77
When Will Religious People Say “Time’s Up”? - TheHumanist.com
Allegations have also been made against men in positions of authority in the religious realm. And yet, those allegations haven’t ignited a push to take righteous action against the perpetrators or to support the accusers. Many religious people—men and women—have stood up and said “me too,” but when will religious people finally say “time’s up”?
zblaze Jan 22, 2018 Jan 22, 2018 44
Judge: God Told Me to Sway Jury to Acquit Defendant in Sex Trafficking Trial – Friendly Atheist
We already know Robison doesn’t like when people disagree with him, that he has no problem abusing his power, and that he follows a voice in his head instead of the evidence in front of him, so he has the makings of a religious fundamentalist. He also thinks he’s above the law to the point where he tried to free a now-convicted sex trafficker based on what he believes God wants. Thankfully, the jury cared more about evidence than someone’s supposed divine message. Robison is expected to...
zblaze Jan 29, 2018 Jan 29, 2018 66
The Comics Section: Icelanders, Evolution, and Devil Religions - TheHumanist.com
zblaze Jan 21, 2018 Jan 21, 2018 00
No End to Trump’s Destruction - TheHumanist.com
I’m hardly the first to say it, and I won’t be the last: Trump’s insatiable thirst for power should remind all of us of the perilous dictators of the past. His authoritative behavior, rolled out little by little, slowly chips away at our democracy and our constitutional freedoms. Reason, rationality, and facts have little place in Trump’s plan for the United States, and, though he can’t fool us all, he continues to be successful in controlling the media, controlling the Right, and has ...
zblaze Jan 21, 2018 Jan 21, 2018 00
Ahead of the Curve: Soft Power and Satellites - TheHumanist.com
The technology that first comes to mind is satellite internet. Most internet now is delivered through either a telephone or a cable TV wire, easily controlled by repressive governments. But it is also technically possible to beam internet down directly from a network of satellites in space. Big names like Elon Musk and Richard Branson are involved in doing so, and so is Mark Zuckerberg. The expense involved is great, because the internet satellites need to be in low-Earth orbit rather than ...
zblaze Jan 20, 2018 Jan 20, 2018 22
Photos of the Week: Snowy Sahara, Dancing Devils, Cryptocurrency J-Pop - The Atlantic
zblaze Jan 20, 2018 Jan 20, 2018 11
The One True Moral Compass - YouTube
Dark Matter 2525
zblaze Jan 20, 2018 Jan 20, 2018 11
'1984' Moved To Current Affairs Section
U.S.—According to a representative from the American Booksellers Association as well as a representative from publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, retail shops and online book resellers will now be asked to stock George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 exclusively in the “Current Affairs” section of their retail locations and online storefronts. The reclassification came as a wave of worldview censorship and privacy violations by large tech companies have come to light, as well as the ...
zblaze Jan 20, 2018 Jan 20, 2018 11
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