Thursday, April 30, 2009

Neil Shubin: The Great Transitions in Evolution

April 2009 - UC Berkeley Graduate Council Lectures
Neil Shubin, Associate Dean of the Biological Sciences Division at the University of Chicago describes how his diverse fossil findings allow him to devise hypotheses on how anatomical transformations occurred by way of genetic and morphogenetic processes.

Darwin: The Legacy (1998)

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BBC Documentary about the historical and future influence of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection on human behaviour, society and culture. Contributors include evolutionary biologists Edward O. Wilson, Richard Dawkins and John Maynard Smith.
(via TroisVitesse)

Howard Stern: We Have a Responsibility to Make Gay Marriage Acceptable

April 29, 2009 on The Howard Stern Show

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Q&A with Christopher Hitchens

April 26, 2009 on C-SPAN
Christopher Hitchens, contributing editor to Vanity Fair and the Atlantic Monthly, discusses his current paperback, "God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything." The book was a New York Times Bestseller and a finalist for The National Book Award.
Thanks to Matt for the link

Tony Blair's Leap of Faith

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Aired February 8, 2009 on ABC TV (Australia) - Transcript
Tony Blair led British Labour to an unprecedented three election victories. But for him politics was always inextricably intertwined with his faith. Now post politics he wants to make religion as significant to the 21st century as ideology was to the 20th. For the first episode of the 2009 season of Compass, Geraldine Doogue travelled to London to interview Tony Blair about how faith has informed his politics and what he hopes his new "Faith Foundation" will achieve on the world stage.
See also: 'The Tony Blair Foundation' by Richard Dawkins

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Eugenie Scott: What Will the Creationists Do Next?

April 2009 at the University of California
Eugenie C. Scott, Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education, Inc. explores how the failure of Intelligent Design to survive a legal test of its constitutionality led it to evolve new strategies which call for teaching the "strengths and weaknesses of evolution" or the "critical analysis of evolution" which are creationism in disguise.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Andy Thomson at American Atheists 2009: Why We Believe in Gods

Andy Thomson gives his talk titled 'Why We Believe in Gods' at the American Atheist 2009 convention in Atlanta, Georgia.

Filmed and edited by Josh Timonen.
See more at

Former Christian Coalition Director Argues for Torture

April 22, 2009 on FOX News
Ralph Reed, the former director of the Christian Coalition, told Foxs Sean Hannity that he supports the torture interrogation techniques used on terrorism detainees. Were talking about 20 to 40 seconds that they were underwater, were talking about three detainees only out of the 250 most hardened, and were talking about the fact that medical personnel were on hand to make sure that there was no physical or bodily harm, said Reed.

Dan Barker vs. Dinesh D'Souza

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January 29, 2009 at the University of Minnesota
Topic: Can We Be Good Without God?
Thanks to Wilbur for the link

Saudi Cleric Teaches Children Why Muslims Should Hate Jews

January 10, 2009 on Al Jazeera TV

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Michael Shermer: Why Darwin Matters

April 2, 2009 at the University of California, San Diego
Michael Shermer, the founding publisher of Skeptic Magazine, argues Why Darwin Matters: Evolution, Intelligent Design and the Battle for Science and Religion in this talk presented by the Division of Biological Sciences and the Helen Edison Lecture Series at the University of California, San Diego.

CBS News Gives Air Time to a "Real-Life Ghost Whisperer"

April 23, 2009 on CBS News
Julie Chen spoke with Author Concetta Bertoldi about her ability to communicate with the dead. She helped four viewers communicate with their lost loved ones.
UPDATE: The Amazing James Randi posted a comment:
Gee, I wish I could speak with those people for whom Concetta did her readings! Our Foundation offers a one-million-dollar prize for anyone who can do what she appears to have done. Any chance...?

AP: Woman Sees Jesus in Her Cheese Toast

April 23, 2009
A woman in Inman, South Carolina says she just wanted a piece of cheese toast but, she received an image of Jesus in her latenight snack.

Miss California on Sean Hannity: Proud to Stand Up for Her Faith and Be 'Biblically Correct'

April 22, 2008 on FOX News
And hopefuly the last post about this topic for now

Bill O'Reilly vs. Wayne Besen on Miss California and Gay Marriage

April 22, 2009 on FOX News

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

Miss California Under Fire for Comments About Gay Mariage

April 20, 2009 on MSNBC

Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle: Religion

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Aired April 20, 2009 on BBC 2
Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle marks the return to television, after a decade's absence, of one of Britain's most highly regarded stand-up comedians.

Stewart explores the difficulties of making jokes about religion, and how it turns out that most jokes about religion aren't actually about religion at all.
(via TroisVitesse)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Dr Ben Goldacre on Bad Science Reporting By Mainstream News Media

April 15, 2009 on Newswipe
BBC4 Medical doctor and Guardian Bad Science columnist Ben Goldacre's opinion on how tabloid arses and well-meaning journalists alike can spread dangerous misinformation by selective reporting and ignorance of how evidence-based medicine works - sometimes with serious consequences for public health.
See Also:
(via TroisVitesse)

Richard Dakwins at American Atheists 2009

April 11, 2009
Richard Dawkins at the American Atheists 2009 conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The talk is divided into four sections: 1. The Tony Blair Faith Foundation / 2. Mining the Eddington Concession / 3. God as Science Ficton / 4. Q&A on dealing with Creationists

Wife Asks Dr. Phil About "Angry Atheist" Husband

(via Unreasonable Faith)

New Anti-Gay-Marriage Ad: Dare to Stand

by Illinois Family Institute:
The "Day of Silence", sponsored by the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN) will take place Friday, April 17th in schools across the nation. Participating teachers and students are told to remain silent during class time to protest discrimination and bullying felt by students who believe they are gay and/or transgender.

It is our firm opinion that these claims of discrimination, intolerance and bullying (aimed at people of faith who believe God's Word that homosexuality is sin) are diverting attention away from GLSEN's main purpose which has been and continues to be the normalization of homosexuality among impressionable youth.

This 6 minute video, made by a Bible believing church here in Illinois, exposes how our children are being indoctrinated, held captive and forced to accept an unproven and dangerous ideology while Biblical Truth is undermined.
(via Pharyngula)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

What Would Jesus NOT Do?

by NonStampCollector

Why Christians Fight To Stay Alive

by Edward Current
From New York Times:
Terminally ill cancer patients who drew comfort from religion were far more likely to seek aggressive, life-prolonging care in the week before they died than were less religious patients and far more likely to want doctors to do everything possible to keep them alive, a study has found.

The patients who were devout were three times as likely as less religious ones to be put on a mechanical ventilator to maintain breathing during the last week of life, and they were less likely to do any advance care planning, like signing a do-not-resuscitate order, preparing a living will or creating a health care proxy, the analysis found.
Read more

Friday, April 17, 2009

William Lobdell: Losing Religion

Filmed March 25, 2009 - Hosted by Kepler's
William Lobdell's journey of faith -- and doubt -- may be the most compelling spiritual memoir of our time. Lobdell became a born-again Christian in his late 20s when personal problems drove him to his knees in prayer.

As a newly minted evangelical, Lobdell -- a veteran journalist -- noticed that religion wasn't covered well in the mainstream media, and he prayed for the Lord to put him on the religion beat at a major newspaper. In 1998, his prayers were answered when the Los Angeles Times asked him to write about faith.

Yet what happened over the next eight years was a roller-coaster of inspiration, confusion, doubt, and soul-searching as his reporting and experiences slowly chipped away at his faith. He explored every doubt, every question -- until, finally, his faith collapsed.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Coconut Head Smashing Festival

From Thaindian News:
In a unique ritual, a priest broke coconuts over the devotees” heads during a temple festival in a village in Dharmapuri District of Tamil Nadu, as part of their abeyance to the deity.

The ritual, which is unique to the festival of Veerapathiran Samy temple, is an annual ritual in which hundreds of devotees participated on Wednesday at Parvathanullur village

By breaking the coconuts over their heads, the devotees pay gratitude to the deity for fulfilling their wishes.

“The people of around seven-eight villages got together to celebrate this Veerapathiran Samy temple festival. Hundreds of the devotees come here and break coconuts on their heads for offering prayers to the deity. Devotees taking part in this ritual should maintain some devotional discipline then only the coconut will break, otherwise, they might suffer injuries,” said Muniyappan, the temple priest.
(via Cynical-C Blog)

Hardball: Joe Solmonese vs. Pat Buchanan on Gay Marriage

April 16, 2009 on MSNBC

Bart Ehrman on The Colbert Report

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Bart Ehrman
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorNASA Name Contest

April 9, 2009 on Comedy Central
Viewers outside the U.S. can use Hotspot Shield
Canadians can watch it here

Atheist Bus Campaign Launches in Indiana
(via Friendly Atheist)

Damn Atheists!

by Atheist Cartoons

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pope's Former Employer: Catholicism Heading Back to Middle Ages

April 15, 2009 on Euro News

A small town in southern Germany was the scene of a meeting of minds between two members of the Catholic church in the 1960s. Theologian Hans Küng invited his colleague Josef Ratzinger to Tübingen to teach at the university’s Catholic faculty.

Shocked by the student revolt of 1968 Ratzinger became increasingly conservative.
He also became Pope Benedict XVI 4 decades later.

His boss at the time, Hans Küng, went on to be described as the “super-star of European theology” becoming an arch-critic of church hierarchy, calling for an end to celibacy, and the acceptance of contraception.

Küng and Ratzinger both took part in the second Vatican council, the biggest shake-up of the Catholic church of the 20th century, marking an overture to the modern world, and dialogue with other religions and convictions. But what does Küng think of the controversy stirred up recently by his former employee?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Answers in Genesis Ad

Daily Dish:
You figure it out (from the people who brought you the Creation Museum)
(via Friendly Atheist)

BBC: The Darwin Debate

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BBC Learning circa 1998
Melvyn Bragg and a panel of international experts debate what Darwin’s theory of evolution tells us about ourselves and human society. Filmed at the Linnean Society - the world’s oldest biological society - in Piccadilly, London.

Steven Pinker, professor of psychology at MIT Meredith Small, Cornell professor of anthropology
Steve Jones, biologist and a professor of genetics and head of the biology department at University College London
Sir Jonathan Miller, theatre and opera director, neurologist, author, television presenter, humorist and sculptor
(via TroisVitesse)

New York Governor to Introduce Gay Marriage Bill

April 14, 2009

CBS News: The Psychics Of Wall Street

April 14, 2009
With many Americans seeking to know their financial future as a result of the currently unpredictable state of the economy, Anthony Mason reports that business is booming for fortune tellers.

CNN: Has Christianity Lost The Culture War?

April 13, 2009 with Tony Perkins and Rev. Mel White

Monday, April 13, 2009

Joss Whedon on Humanism

April 10, 2009
Joss Whedon — Creator of the shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse — receives the Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism at Harvard University's Memorial Church.
(via Friendly Atheist)

Saudi Judge Refuses to Annul Marriage Between 8-Year-Old Girl and 47-Year-Old Man

April 13, 2009 on CNN:
A Saudi judge has refused for a second time to annul a marriage between an 8-year-old girl and a 47-year-old man, a relative of the girl told CNN.

The most recent ruling, in which the judge upheld his original verdict, was handed down Saturday in the Saudi city of Onaiza, where late last year the same judge rejected a petition from the girl's mother, who was seeking a divorce for her daughter.

The relative said the judge, Sheikh Habib Al-Habib, "stuck by his earlier verdict and insisted that the girl could petition the court for a divorce once she reached puberty." The family member, who requested anonymity, added that the mother will continue to pursue a divorce for her daughter. Read more

Former Area 51 Scientists Explain UFO Sightings

April 13, 2009 on Fox News
From Raw Story:
Former employees of the mysterious and infamous Area 51 are now breaking their decades-long silence and coming forward to talk about their work at the ultra-secret military facility.

For decades there have been reports of UFO sightings near Area 51 but the CIA only recently declassified a program that may explain some of those sightings.

Thornton Barnes, a former Area 51 project specialist, told Fox's Bill Hemmer that a secret plane, code-named OXCART, was almost certainly mistaken for a UFO. At the time the OXCART was first brought online, Barnes says no one else in the world had any aero-technology like it.

The A-12 OXCART flew 2,850 missions out of Area 51. The plane could fly at three times the speed of sound at an altitude of 90,000 feet. Read more

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Woman at Poject 9/12 Tea Party: Burn Those Evil Science Books!

Woman: [Shouts] “Burn the books!” [applause]

Man: “I don’t think you were serious about that, were you?”

Woman: “I am too.”

Man: “Burn all the books?!”

Woman: “The ones in college, those, those brainwashing books.”

Man: “[laughs] Brainwashing books?”

Woman: “Yes.”

Man: “Which ones are those?”

Woman: “Like, the evolution crap, and, yeah…”
(via Friendly Atheist)

Christopher Hitchens vs. Thom Hartmann

April 9, 2009

Christopher Hitchens vs. Paul Edwards

Play all videos (4)
April 7, 2009
Thanks to Spritzbube for the link

Philoctetes Center: Evolution of God(s)

March 7, 2009 by Philoctetes Center
Roundtable discussion with Jennifer Hecht, Elaine Pagels, Beate Pongratz-Leisten, Tyler Volk, and Robert Wright.
(via Doctor E)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

James Randi Speaks: Barbara Didnt See It

Evolution Shmevolution!

by Edward Current

LDS Church Faces Ponzi Scheme

April 9, 2009 on CBC News
A former bishop from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Church has been accused of operating a Ponzi scheme, according to federal officials.

Hardball: Buchanan vs O'Donnell on Obama Being Welcomed at Notre Dame

April 9, 2008 on MSNBC
Pat Buchanan and Lawrence O'Donnell get into it on Hardball over President Obama being welcomed at Notre Dame.

The End of Christian America? Christopher Hitchens vs. Ken Blackwell on Hardball

April 8, 2009 on MSNBC

Hardball: Joe Solmonese vs. Maggie Gallagher on Gay Marriage

April 8, 2009 on MSNBC

Obama Admin. Set to Repeal Doctors 'Conscience Rule'

April 8, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Vermont Legislature Legalizes Gay Marriage

April 7, 2009 on CNN
Burlington Free Press:
MONTPELIER — Vermont has become the fourth state to legalize gay marriage — and the first to do so with a legislature’s vote.

The Legislature voted Tuesday to override Gov. Jim Douglas’ veto of a bill allowing gays and lesbians to marry. The vote was 23-5 to override in the state Senate and 100-49 to override in the House. Under Vermont law, two-thirds of each chamber had to vote for override.

The vote came nine years after Vermont adopted its first-in-the-nation civil unions law.

It’s now the fourth state to permit same-sex marriage. Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa are the others. Their approval of gay marriage came from the courts. Read more
(via Cynical-C Blog)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Obama to Turkey: America Is Not a Christian, Jewish or Muslim Nation

April 6, 2009 on CNN with James Carville and Frank Donatelli
From Raw Story:
President Obama told reporters in Turkey that America is not defined by any one religion. "I've said before that one of the great strengths of the United States is, although as I mentioned we have a very large Christian population, we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values," said the president.

David Attenborough: Evolution From Sea to Land

Man Beats 3-Year-Old Son to Get Rid of Demons

April 6, 2009 on CBS News
A Houston man who allegedly thought demons had invaded his home was jailed Monday, charged with critically injuring his 3-year-old son.
UPDATE From Houston Believe:
A southwest Harris County man who is accused of beating his 3-year old son said the child had been invaded by demons after he ate meat, a prosecutor said today.

Jacky Tran, 35, is charged with injury to child with serious bodily injury, a first-degree felony. He is being held in the county jail on $100,000 bail. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison.

During a court hearing Monday morning before state District Judge Debbie Mantooth Stricklin, prosecutors said that Tran, a vegetarian, thought some meat his son ate caused demons to enter the boy.

"The defendant said eating meat will cause demons in the child,"
Read more

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Christian Book Expo 2009 with Christopher Hitchens

March 21, 2009
Does the God of Christianity Exist, and What Difference Does it Make?

The New Atheists usually make two charges against Christianity: (1) that it is untrue and (2) that it is harmful. A panel of Christian apologetics experts responds to an atheist critic with evidence from Scripture, science, and history about why the faith is both reasonable and good for the world. Moderated by Christianity Today's Stan Guthrie, panelists will include Lee Strobel, William Lane Craig, James Denison.

Jindal-Endorsed Creationist Loses Battle for Louisiana Senate Seat

Baton Rouge lawyer Dan Claitor beat businessman and fellow Republican Lee Domingue — the candidate with Gov. Bobby Jindal’s backing — to win the state Senate District 16 seat in Saturday’s special election.

Claitor garnered 11,713 or 66 percent of the vote to Domingue’s 6,114 or 34 percent, based on complete but unofficial election returns.

Domingue far out-raised and outspent Claitor in the election to fill a vacancy created when Republican Bill Cassidy was elected to the U.S. Congress.

Claitor won 91 of the district’s 103 precincts most of them by wide margins.
Read more
(via LGF)

Louis CK on Gay Marriage

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Afghani Teenage Girl Flogged In Public

Warning: Disturbing video
April 2, 2009 - The Guardian:
A video showing a teenage girl being flogged by Taliban fighters has emerged from the Swat Valley in Pakistan, offering a shocking glimpse of militant brutality in the once-peaceful district, and a sign of Taliban influence spreading deeper into the country.

"Please stop it," she begs, alternately whimpering or screaming in pain with each blow to the backside. "Either kill me or stop it now."


The woman in the video, named as Chaand and believed to be aged 17, was punished in Matta, a district further up the Swat Valley.

Minallah and other sources said the girl was punished on suspicion of having had an illicit relationship with a married man. She did not receive a trial. "The whole case is based on the suspicions of one neighbour," said Minallah.

The woman's brother is among the men pinning her down, she added. "It's symbolic that he does it with his own hands. It gives him honour in local society, that he has done it for the sake of religion."
Read more

Friday, April 3, 2009

Gay Marriage Legalized in Iowa

April 3, 2009 on AP

BBC: Did Darwin Kill God?

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Aired March 31, 2009 on BBC2
There are some who believe that Darwin's theory of evolution has weakened religion, fuelled in part by Richard Dawkins' publishing phenomenon The God Delusion. Conor Cunningham argues that nothing could be further from the truth.

Cunningham is a firm believer in the theory of evolution, but he is also a Christian. He believes that the clash between Darwin and God has been hijacked by extremists - fundamentalist believers who reject evolution on one side, and fundamentalist atheists on the other. Cunningham attempts to overturn what he believes are widely held but mistaken assumptions in the debate between religion and evolution.

He travels to the Middle East where he shows that from the very outset, Christianity warned against literal readings of the biblical story of creation. In Britain, he reveals that, at the time, Darwin's theory of evolution was welcomed by the Anglican and Catholic Churches. Instead, he argues that the conflict between Darwin and God was manufactured by American creationists in the 20th century for reasons that had very little to do with science and religion and a great deal to do with politics and morality.

Finally, he comes face to face with some of the most eminent evolutionary biologists, geneticists and philosophers of our time to examine whether the very latest advances in evolutionary theory do in fact kill God.
Also available on BBC iPlayer (UK Only)

James Randi on the Youtube Suspension - UPDATED

Youtube reinstated James Randi's Channel
(via comments at Skepchick)
See also: James Randi Speaks Series
Updated with new video

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Songs of praise (with subtitles)

See also: Funky songs of praise with subtitles

by Adam Buxton
*Note: This is a repost

Afghanistan To "Legalize Rape" In Marriage & Limit Women's Rights

April 1, 2009 on CNN
The Independent:
Afghanistan's President, Hamid Karzai, has signed a law which "legalises" rape, women's groups and the United Nations warn. Critics claim the president helped rush the bill through parliament in a bid to appease Islamic fundamentalists ahead of elections in August.

In a massive blow for women's rights, the new Shia Family Law negates the need for sexual consent between married couples, tacitly approves child marriage and restricts a woman's right to leave the home, according to UN papers seen by The Independent.

"It is one of the worst bills passed by the parliament this century," fumed Shinkai Karokhail, a woman MP who campaigned against the legislation. "It is totally against women's rights. This law makes women more vulnerable." Read more
See also: Australian Cleric: Men Can Force Wives to Have Sex


by QualiaSoup