Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Richard Dawkins Interviews Craig Venter (Uncut)

Richard Dawkins interviews Craig Venter for "The Genius of Charles Darwin", the Channel 4 UK TV program which won British Broadcasting Awards' "Best Documentary Series" of 2008. Craig Venter founded The Institute for Genomic Research and has been credited with being instrumental in mapping the human genome. His team published the first complete genome of an individual human - Venter's own DNA sequence.
From RichardDawkins.net

PZ Myers vs. Dennis Alexander on UK Christian Radio Show 'Unbelievable?'

From Premier Christian Radio Unbelievable? with Justin Bradely:
Atheist Biologist PZ Myers is an outspoken critic of Christianity. He believes that faith in God and science are contradictory. He debates theistic evolutionist Denis Alexander, Director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion. Is science is at odds with Christianity as PZ claims? They touch on Fine Tuning, Rationality, and whether God is an inference to the best explanation.
(via Pharyngula)

Family Guy: Dinner with Jesus

Penn & Teller: Proof There Is No God

Monday, June 29, 2009

Atheist Donor Gets Bronze on Olbermann's "Worst Person" Segment

June 29, 2009 on MSNBC (First 30 seconds)

President Obama Reaffirms Support to Repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

June 29, 2009 on CNN
See also: Arabic Translator Dan Choi to Face Trial Tuesday for Being Gay

Richard Dawkins Interviewed on ABC TV Compass

Richard Dawkins is interviewed by Dina Volcaric for Australian ABC TV Compass.
From RichardDawkins.net

Fault Lines: Religion in the military

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Aired June 25, 2009 on Al-Jazeera English
The United States is a deeply religious country, over 90% believe in god and 80% believe in miracles. For the US military, dealing with its own religious identity has become an internal battle. Growing evidence points towards a rising influence of evangelical Christianity, and with two wars still raging in Muslim countries with significant religious overtones, there could be serious consequences for the US mission. Pentagon officials say incidents are isolated, aberrations occur, but others closely tied to the military and its religious leadership say a transformation is taking place with dire costs. On this weeks episode of Fault Lines, we look at the battle over the religious soul of the US military.

Also, we sit down with Brent Scowcroft, the National Security Advisor under Presidents Ford and George H.W. Bush. He gives Fault Lines a fresh take on the issue of religion in the military and how it is impacting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
(via RichardDawkins.net)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Betty Bowers at the 2009 Atheist Film Festival

June 28, 2009
With great kindness and even greater disgust, America's Best Christian appears at the 2009 Atheist Film Festival (via satellite to avoid mingling with the unsaved) to accept her award for "Most Humorous YouTube Video." The award winning video "Betty Bowers Explains Traditional Marriage to Everyone Else" can be seen here.

EA's Fake Dante's Inferno Protest Spurs Real Christian Backlash

From 1UP:
Be careful what you wish for. At E3 last week, reports began circulating that a group of Christians were outside the convention center protesting against EA's Dante's Inferno. Days later, new reports circulated that the protesters weren't protesters at all -- it was actually a staged publicity stunt by EA themselves. But the rancor that's now appearing across Christian websites? Oh, that's very much real.

As GamePolitics reports (via GameSpot), some Christians are not at all pleased with how they were portrayed in EA's staged protest, where the fake protesters held signs reading "Hell is not a game," "My high score is in Heaven," and "Trade in your PlayStation for a PrayStation." As Margaret Cabaniss of InsideCatholic wrote, "It's been clear for a while now that the entertainment industry views Christians on the whole as priggish, thin-skinned fun-killers... Has anybody at EA actually read the Inferno?"
Read more

Israel: Rise of the Right

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Aired June 28, 2009 on Al-Jazeera English
Ilan Mizrahi is an Israeli photojournalist who has spent 16 years photographing and filming right wing Israeli settlers in the West Bank city of Hebron. His film, Israel: Rise of the Right, looks at the followers of Rabbi Meir Kahane, an American-born rabbi and politician who proposed the mass expulsion of Arabs from Israel before he was assassinated in 1990.

Pat Condell: Ban the burka

Links from Pat:

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Gates Buys Feynman's "Messenger" Lectures to Become Freely Available for Public

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From Symmetry Magazine:
Bill Gates recently bought the rights to a series of lectures by legendary Caltech physicist Richard Feynman. The former Microsoft head’s purchase shows that the cultural and scientific legacy of Feynman remains strong even 21 years after his death.

The lectures, given in 1964 as part of Cornell University’s Messenger Lecture Series, were filmed by the BBC, who had retained the rights since. Gates purchased the lectures for an undisclosed amount.

But what would the former Microsoft head want with the copyright to lectures by the revered physicist? In a recent interview with the CERN Bulletin, Gates said that his only plan is to make the footage freely available to the public.

Add to that Gates’ reverence for Feynman, and it makes sense. The lectures are only the latest addition to Gates’ personal collection of Feynman-related material, which includes original manuscripts of some of Feynman’s best known work. Read more
*Updated with playlist

Was The Earth Designed For Life?

by Edward Current:
An unbiased look at whether Earth's favorable conditions for life prove that a loving God planned it that way all along. (Hint: There's no other explanation.)

Jackson's First Record Producer: I Would've Made Sure He Returned to Jesus

June 26, 2009 on AP

Friday, June 26, 2009

Satellite Interview with Richard Dawkins - Royal Society of New Zealand

Richard Dawkins is interviewed via satellite and announces the Royal Society of New Zealand's Science Book Prize.
From RichardDawkins.net

Regina Spektor: Laughing With

From Regina Spektor's new album - Far

Female Genital Mutilation is Not a Question of Culture

June 26, 2009 on Russia Today
The UN considers female circumcision torture. Human rights activists worldwide see it as a major womens rights violation and a broader debate is needed, says Thomas Von Der Osten-Sacken from human rights

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Savage In His Own Words

by Media Matters
UPDATE: Original CNN Interview here

CNN Interviews 'Gay Exorcism' Church Pastor

June 25, 2009
CNN Interviews Pastor Patricia McKinney Of Connecticut's Manifested Glory Ministries Church That Performs "Gay Exorcisms"

Connecticut Church Posts Gay Exorcism Video on YouTube

Link to the exsorcism video
June 24, 2009 on CBS News:
(AP) The video shows the 16-year-old boy lying on the floor, his body convulsing, as elders of a small Connecticut church cast a "homosexual demon" from his body.

"Rip it from his throat!" a woman yells. "Come on, you homosexual demon! You homosexual spirit, we call you out right now! Loose your grip, Lucifer!"

The 20-minute video posted on YouTube by Manifested Glory Ministries is being called abuse by gay and youth advocates, who are demanding an investigation. But a church official this week denied that the teenager was injured or that the church is prejudiced.

"We believe a man should be with a woman and a woman should be with a man," the Rev. Patricia McKinney told The Associated Press. "We have nothing against homosexuals. I just don't agree with their lifestyle." Read more
(via Cynical-C Blog)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mr. Deity and the Book, Part Deux

Season 3, Episode 2

RDF TV: The Baloney Detection Kit

With a sea of information coming at us from all directions, how do we sift out the misinformation and bogus claims, and get to the truth? Michael Shermer of Skeptic Magazine lays out a "Baloney Detection Kit," ten questions we should ask when encountering a claim.

If you enjoy the video, and would like to help us make more videos like this, please consider donating $1 (or any other amount you'd like) to The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.
Donate here

Charlie Rose: A Conversation About Personalized Medicine

June 19, 2009 with Steven Pinker, Anne Wojcicki, George Church and Linda Avey
(via RichardDawkins.net)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Scientific Proof of the Bible #2: Biogenesis

by theTRUTHgroup
See also: Scientific Proof of the Bible #1

Scientology: The Truth Rundown

June 20, 2009
Scientology leader David Miscavige is the focus of this special report from the St. Petersburg Times. Former executives of the Church of Scientology, including two of the former top lieutenants to Miscavige, have come forward to describe a culture of intimidation and violence under David Miscavige. These former Scientology leaders served for years with Miscavige.
See also: A special report on the Church of Scientology

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Christopher Hitchens on the Iranian Elections

June 18, 2009 on CNBC's The Kudlow Report

PBS: Abortion Providers Under Siege - The New Face of Domestic Terrorism?

June 12, 2009 on PBS
The murder of Dr. George Tiller has reignited the abortion debate, and raised the question: should violence against medical doctors who perform abortions be viewed and prosecuted as domestic terrorism? This week NOW Senior Correspondent Maria Hinojosa sits down with two of the remaining handful of doctors who publicly acknowledge performing late abortions, including Leroy Carhart, a fellow doctor in Tiller's Wichita, Kansas clinic.

Carhart discusses his vow to carry on Tiller's mission and what it's like for him and his family to live as "targets". The show also investigates claims that law enforcement dropped the ball when it came to stopping Tiller's alleged murderer, Scott Roeder.

Hinojosa travels to Colorado as well to talk with Dr. Warren Hern, another late abortion provider who says he's been living "under siege" for decades. Dr. Hern works behind four layers of bulletproof windows and is now under round-the-clock federal protection.

NOW goes into the eye of the abortion rights storm to see how Tiller's killing and its ramifications are impacting doctors, free speech, and a civilized society.

Note: The term "rightwing", as used to define a specific type of extremism, comes from the April 7, 2009 Department of Homeland Security report (pdf) entitled "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment."

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Al Jazeera: Disputed Election Divides Iranian Clergy

June 20, 2009 on Al-Jazeera English
As the post-election protests rage in Tehran, the Iranian capital, another power struggle is under way in the revered city of Qom.

It is the home of Iran's most powerful clerics who have the power to remove Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme leader, who has backed re-elected President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

But as Al Jazeera's Nicole Johnston reports, some ayatollahs say the election was a sham and sympathise with the opposition.
See also: Iranian Protests Turn Violent & Deadly [CNN Video Jun 20]

Rethinking Autism: No Link

From Rethinking Autism:
All too often in the world of autism, celebrity and sex appeal are used to promote pseudo-science that exploits autistic people, their family members and the public. We decided to put those very same factors to work in service of the truth. Read more

Friday, June 19, 2009

Voodoo Mom Sets Girl Ablaze in Ritual

June 19, 2009 on AP
A New York City woman has been accused of burning her 6-year-old daughter during a voodoo ritual and then ignoring her cries for help and sending her to bed.

Robert Full: Learning from the gecko's tail

Biologist Robert Full studies the amazing gecko, with its supersticky feet and tenacious climbing skill. But high-speed footage reveals that the gecko's tail harbors perhaps the most surprising talents of all.
(via RichardDawkins.net)

Christopher Hitchens and Hugh Hewitt Discuss Iran Demonstrations

June 17, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Richard Dawkins Reads Charles Simonyi's Manifesto and Introduction to 'Unweaving the Rainbow'

This was the introduction to Richard Dawkins' 2008 Simonyi lecture at Oxford. This is part of what Charles Simonyi wrote in 1995, outlining the chair for 'Public Understanding of Science.'
Richard Dawkins: Introduction to Unweaving The Rainbow

Richard Dawkins reads the opening lines to his book 'Unweaving the Rainbow' at the conclusion of the Charles Simonyi lecture 2008.
From RichardDawkins.net

Maker Faire: Electricity Theater with Omega Recoil

May 30, 2009 at San Mateo County Event Center, CA
In the late 1800s, Nikola Tesla began experimenting with transmitting power wirelessly via the earth's crust and the ionosphere. He invented what we now know as the Tesla Coil; this device was capable of generating extremely high voltages, and was the precursor to radio transmission. What was Tesla doing? How was he doing it? Does wireless power work? The Omega Recoil team have been re-creating some of Tesla's wireless power experiments, with interesting results.

Following on President Obama's call to "begin again the work of remaking America," Maker Faire 2009 was organized around the theme of Re-Make America. Held in the San Francisco Bay Area, Maker Faire celebrates what President Obama called "the risk takers, the doers, and the makers of things."

Debate: Michael Shermer vs. Dinesh D'Souza

Michael Shermer and Dinesh D'Souza go toe-to-toe on some of the greatest issues related to science and religion: is there evidence for God's existence, what is the proper relationship between science and religion, and has religion been a force for good or evil in the world?
(via MichaelShermer.com)

Richard Dawkins: The Purpose of Purpose

During Richard Dawkins' American tour in March 2009, he gave a talk titled "The Purpose of Purpose". I travelled with Richard to these cities and filmed the talks, which I've edited together here. The content of the talk remains intact, while the editing moves between the different locations and Richard's Keynote presentation.
From RichardDawkins.net

Pat Robertson: Nations That Embrace Homosexuality End Up in the Garbage Heap of History

June 17, 2009 on CBN

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ex-Moonie Diane Benscoter: How Cults Think

Filmes Feb 2009; Posted Jun 2009 on TED
Diane Benscoter talks about how she joined the Moonies -- and stayed for five long years. She shares an insider's perspective on cults and extremist movements, and proposes a new way to think about today's most troubling conflicts.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Liberal Saudi Writer Defends Secularism and Gets Abused by Callers

March 29, 2009 on LBC TV (Lebanon)

Richard Dawkins Interviews Peter Singer (Uncut)

Richard Dawkins interviews Peter Singer for "The Genius of Charles Darwin", the Channel 4 UK TV program which won British Broadcasting Awards' "Best Documentary Series" of 2008. Buy the full 3-DVD set of uncut interviews, over 18 hours, in the RichardDawkins.net store

Saturday, June 13, 2009

BBC/Open University Annual Lecture 2009: Dawkins on Darwin (with Q&A)

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Professor Richard Dawkins delivered this year's Open University lecture at the Natural History Museum on Tuesday 17th March 2009. Dawkins presented to an invited audience and investigated if Darwin was the most revolutionary scientist ever, and examined the evolutionary theories of his contemporaries.

Dawkins suggests that there are four "bridges to evolutionary understanding" and illustrates this with four claimants to the evolution of natural selection: Edward Blyth, Patrick Matthew, Alfred Wallace and Charles Darwin. The fifth bridge of evolutionary understanding is identified as modern genetics which he terms digital Darwinism.
(via RichardDawkins.net)

Christopher Hitchens at the Royal Ontario Museum

For three evenings of discussion and debate, noted authors and thinkers analyze the Ten Commandments and share their ideas for a moral code for our own time. Listen to the opening lecture with Christopher Hitchens, author of the New York Times bestselling book God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.
(via RichardDawkins.net)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mr. Deity and the Virgin (Season 3, Episode 1)

A new season of Mr. Deity

Richard Dawkins Interviews Steven Pinker (Uncut)

Richard Dawkins interviews Steven Pinker for "The Genius of Charles Darwin", the Channel 4 UK TV program which won British Broadcasting Awards' "Best Documentary Series" of 2008. Buy the full 3-DVD set of uncut interviews, over 18 hours, in the RichardDawkins.net store

Church Wedding in Karak, Jordan

Jordanians show American Christians how it's done.
(Thanks to Munir for the file!)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Evolutionary Perspectives

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Douglas Adams moderates a discussion between Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Steven Pinker and Jared Diamond. The discussion focuses on attempts to apply darwinian principles and explanations to areas other than biology, such as cosmology, language and psychology, as well as pointing out areas that are less likely to have darwinian explanations. Towards the end, the discussion turns to issues of religion and the psychology of belief and imagination.
(via RichardDawkins.net)
*New tag: Jared Diamond (3 posts)

Galileo's Battle for the Heavens

Part 1 - Part 2
In this two-hour special, NOVA celebrates the story of the father of modern science and his struggle to get Church authorities to accept the truth of his astonishing discoveries. The program is based on Dava Sobel's bestselling book, Galileo's Daughter, which reveals a new side to the famously stubborn scientist—that his closest confidante was his illegitimate daughter, Sister Maria Celeste, a cloistered nun.

The actor Simon Callow plays Galileo in dramatic reenactments of key moments from his life: his pioneering telescopic observations of the Moon and planets, his revolutionary experiments with falling objects, and his fateful trial before the Inquisition for heresy.

Olbermann: Why Not Waterboard Scott Roeder?

June 8, 2009

Monday, June 8, 2009

Gallup Poll: 69% Of Americans Approve Of Gays In Military

June 8, 2009 on MSNBC's Hardball

David Attenborough's Life Stories: Sloths

Download MP3
June 5 2009 on BBC Radio
Sloths: "What would you like to be?" David Attenborough is often asked. "A Sloth" he replies. In this the first of a series of personal stories about the natural world, David Attenborough muses about the natural history of the sloth - perhaps the most lethargic beast in the animal world.
(via RichardDawkins.net)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Doctors Eager to Try 'Mystical Mumbo Jumbo'

June 7, 2009
Alternative remedies gain acceptance despite lack of evidence

BALTIMORE - At one of the nation's top trauma hospitals, a nurse circles a patient's bed, humming and waving her arms as if shooing evil spirits. Another woman rubs a quartz bowl with a wand, making tunes that mix with the beeping monitors and hissing respirator keeping the man alive.

They are doing Reiki therapy, which claims to heal through invisible energy fields. The anesthesia chief, Dr. Richard Dutton, calls it "mystical mumbo jumbo." Still, he's a fan.

"It's self-hypnosis" that can help patients relax, he said. "If you tell yourself you have less pain, you actually do have less pain." Read more

Kentucky Pastor Welcomes Gun Owners to Church

June 6, 2009 on FOX News

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Sapolsky on Religion

June 5, 2009 at Stanford University
Boing Boing:
Stanford's Robert Sapolsky, one of the most interesting anthropologists I've heard lecture, gives us 90 minutes on the evolutionary basis for literal religious belief, "metamagical thinking," schizotypal personality and so on, explaining how evolutionarily, the mild schizophrenic expression we called "schizotypal personality" have enjoyed increased reproductive opportunities.
(via RichardDawkins.net)

Discovery News: Apes Giggle Like Humans

June 4, 2009

Friday, June 5, 2009

Annual Darwin Day Lecture 2009

February 12, 2009 by the British Humanist Association
Professor Sir David King asks "Can British science rise to the challenges of the 21st century" for the annual BHA Darwin Day Lecture. Introduced and chaired by Professor Richard Dawkins.
(via RichardDawkins.net)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Onion: Congressman Warns of Loophole Allowing Gays to Marry

Rep. Iscoe warns gays will give penises to lesbians who will give them vaginas so that homosexuals can marry and continue their attack on the American family.

Praying Man Gets Tazed By Police And Escapes

Boing Boing:
Two police officers pin a man to the ground and try to handcuff him. The man wriggles and prays to Yahweh. Eventually, one of the officers shoots him with a Tazer, which instead of subduing the man, gives him the strength to break free and run away. The officers pursue the man half-heartedly, but quickly give up.
(via Cynical-C Blog)
(Thanks to all who sent this in!)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

HBO: Soldiers in the Army of God

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Many of the most extreme members of the anti-abortion movement reveal themselves to HBO cameras for the first time in this disturbing verite documentary. The film focuses primarily on ''soldiers'' in the Army of God, a pro-life group bonded together by the Internet, by organized rallies, and by a common belief that abortions must be stopped at all costs. In addition to intimate footage of Army members at their homes, in their cars and at gatherings, the film includes harrowing footage of high-profile crimes targeted at abortion clinics, most notably the 1993 murder of two abortion-clinic workers in Pensacola, Florida. The documentary also features an exclusive death-row interview with the man who committed these murders: Paul Hill, who has become a hero and martyr to many Army of God zealots.

How Far Can Darwin Take Us?

May 20, 2009 by the NYPL
Adam Gopnik in conversation with Steven Pinker - Full program
Adam Gopnik, author of "Angels & Ages: A Short Book About Darwin, Lincoln and Modern Life" and Steven Pinker, author of "The Blank Slate" and many other works, discuss a fundamental question: How far can Darwin take us as a guide to why we are the way we are? Both outspoken appreciators of Darwin, Adam Gopnik and Steven Pinker compare their visions—perhaps complementary, perhaps contrasting—of what Darwins legacy is on the two hundredth anniversary of his birth.
(via RichardDawkins.net)

O'Reilly Responds to Criticism Following Tiller's Murder: "No Backpedaling"

June 1, 2009 on The O'Reilly Factor
See also: Bill O'Reilly's Jihad Against Dr. George Tiller

Dick Cheney Supports Gay Marriage

June 1, 2009 on C-SPAN
Former Vice President Cheney responded to a question about the inevitability of legal same-sex marriage in the U.S., saying that he believed "freedom means freedom for all" but that decisions about marriage laws are best made at a state level.

Monday, June 1, 2009

'Operation Rescue' Founder: Tiller Reaped What He Sowed

June 1, 2009

Phone Number For Operation Rescue’s Senior Policy Advisor Found on Suspect’s Dashboard

June 1, 2009 on KMBC News
From Daily Kos:
Here’s video from the scene of Dr. George Tiller murder suspect Scott Roeder’s arrest — including the little-reported detail that Roeder had a handwritten Operation Rescue phone number on his dashboard. More

Bill O'Reilly's Jihad Against Dr. George Tiller

From Daily Kos:
Since 2005, Bill O’Reilly has waged jihad against Dr. George Tiller, dedicating 29 segments of his show to demonizing and dehumanizing Tiller, who he invariably called "Tiller the baby killer."

As you can see from these video clip samplings of O’Reilly’s holy war, you don’t have to actually pull the trigger to help sponsor terrorism
UPDATE: O'Reilly Responds to Criticism: "No Backpedaling"
(via Cynical-C Blog)

Richard Dawkins and John Lennox at the Oxford University Museum

Download MP3
Richard Dawkins writes:
This is the third of my encounters with John Lennox, all organized by the Fixed Point Foundation, which is an American Christian organization.

The first one, before a large audience in Birmingham, Alabama, had a rather odd format, which was set up in such a way that Lennox got the last word on every question. The second, in a private room in Trinity College, Oxford, was a quiet conversation with no audience. For me it was notable because Lennox belied the common claims of 'sophisticated theologians' by coming clean about his own beliefs. This sophisticated Oxford don, it turned out, believes in all the New Testament miracles including walking on water and turning water into wine. This extremely surprising revelation formed the premise of my opening remarks in our third debate, in the Oxford University Museum, on October 21st 2008. I contrasted his theistic beliefs in miracles with deistic beliefs, for which I said that a serious case could be made, although not a case that I would accept myself. Lennox did not pick up on this at the time but, astonishingly, he made it one of his central points in a speech that he made in Inverness a few days later
Read more

Young Con Anthem

by The Young Cons