Monday, January 25, 2010

Indiana Governor's Atheism Comments

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels did an interview back in December on faith. Here's one little gem from the interview:

"And atheism leads to brutality. All the horrific crimes of the last century were committed by atheists -Stalin and Hitler and Mao and so forth- because it flows very naturally from an idea that there is no judgment and there is nothing other than the brief time we spend on this Earth."

Head over to The Legal Satyricon to read the interview and his take on it.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Great New Website

So I stumbled across this great website yesterday. It's called Opposing Views and it's a debate site. The first debate I came across was "Does Intelligent Design Have Merit?". On one side you have Michael Behe, The Discovery Institute, and The Action Institute against Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, National Center for Science Education and Americans United. There are a large number of subjects being discussed by experts from many different entities.

AAI 2009 Videos

Videos of the lectures from the 2009 Atheist Alliance International conference have been posted here on youtube. It was a great conference. Some of the speakers there were Richard Dawkins, Eugenie Scott, Daniel Dennett, PZ Myers and Mr. Deity and cast. Go check out the videos, these were some great lectures.

Helping Haiti

Here's a link to secular aid organizations that are working in Haiti.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Creation: The True Story of Charles Darwin

Creation: The True Story of Charles Darwin is a British film about Darwin's life. Instead of the focus being on his work it looks more at him as a person and the death of his daughter. One problem is that the film was unable to find an American distributor. Whether or not that means it won't play at all or only in some theaters, I don't know. I've been unable to find out if it'll play in Spokane. Here's the full story at the British Telegraph.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Montana Physician-Assisted Suicide

Read this over at the Voices for Reason blog. This is the official blog of the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights.

Montana has joined the short list of states that permit physician-assisted suicide . . . sort of.

It started with a court case brought by Robert Baxter when he was terminally ill with lymphocytic leukemia. His symptoms included infections, chronic fatigue, anemia, night sweats, nausea, massively swollen glands, digestive problems and generalized pain.

Check the rest out here.

Ireland's Blasphemy Law

Herb Silverman, president of the Secular Coalition for America, wrote a piece on the new Irish law for Newsweek.

Q: Atheists are[sic] others are protesting a new law in Ireland, under which a person can be found guilty of blasphemy if "he or she publishes or utters matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion." The penalty is a fine of up to about $35,000. Should Ireland or any nation have a law against blasphemy?

Read the rest here.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Faith and Freedom Network

The Faith and Freedom Network is a Washington State foundation and PAC. I won't go into great deal, but I'm not a fan. Lots of religion and to say they're not fans of homosexuals is an understatement. Gary Randall, who runs this organization has a blog on their site.

The post I'm interested in is the one he has about Amanda Simpson, the transgender lady (was born a man) who Obama appointed to be the senior technical assistant to the US Bureau of Industry and Security.

Here's some of what Gary has to say read the rest on his site:

"President Obama, in his ongoing attempt to make the far left happy----especially the gays, has appointed Amanda Simpson to the Bureau of Industry and Security as Senior Technical Advisor.
It appears our president has now established yet another quota---this time based on gender confusion."

There is a glaring omission from Gary's post, he says absolutely NOTHING about whether or not she is qualified. That seems fairly important, as a matter of fact, more important than her having had a sex change.

My understanding is that she will be somewhat involved with making sure weapons technology doesn't go overseas and she seems qualified. She spent 20 years as a test pilot and worked for Raytheon Missile Systems for 30 years, advancing to deputy director of the advanced programs organization.

People seem to be getting a bit worked up over this. I understand that changing one's gender might make you uncomfortable, but as long as they are qualified I think we can all chill out a little.

Richard Dawkins Interview

I am a huge fan of Dawkins, and I just watched this interview he did with Riz Khan from Al Jazeera English over on his site and thought I'd repost it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Dan Carlin

I've talked about him once, but wanted to let everyone know that his most recent Common Sense show is a clip show. So if you haven't listened to him yet this is a great show to whet your appetite on. Here.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Yorker Article

Found this interesting article in the New Yorker:

In the summer of 2008, the journal Nature published a short, illuminating essay that tracked the global migration of scientific research over the centuries, as empires rose and fell. The center of world science, for instance, was in France in 1740, before it moved to Germany, then Britain, and, later, America, carrying with it, in each case, a major dimension of global leadership. The authors—J. Rogers Hollingsworth, Karl H. Müller and Ellen Jane Hollingsworth—have concluded that another scientific superpower is unlikely to emerge with the same dominance as its predecessors. They have also discovered that great shifts in global scientific leadership follow a clear pattern: “Each former scientific power, especially during the initial stages of decline, had the illusion that its system was performing better than it was, overestimating its strength and underestimating innovation elsewhere. The elite could not imagine that the centre would shift.”

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Adam Savage on Failures

Not local, nothing to do with Atheism, but thought it was an interesting video. Also a good time to promote Fora (though can't imagine that anyone hasn't heard of it).