How the Evangelical Church is Failing Women
Jan 26, 2016

by Kristy Love As the calendar reflects 2016, I’m vaguely aware of an anniversary. Or maybe a birth. Either way, I’m reminded my new found atheism is about a year old. Surprising, only because I never thought I’d ever claim to be an atheist. Nor would anyone who has known me for any length of …

Turkey issues new Friday prayer directive
Jan 26, 2016

by Tulay Cetingulec As Turkey grapples with terrorism and myriad social and economic problems, an unexpected controversy has moved on to the country’s crowded agenda. A Jan. 6 directive issued by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu allows public employees to take time off for Friday prayers: “In line with freedom of religious faith, guaranteed by the constitution and related laws, employees of public institutions …

‘Royal wedding’ of atheist group, Richard Dawkins Foundation launches woman to top post
Jan 26, 2016

by Kimberly Winston (RNS) It’s like a royal wedding in the small world of atheist organizations: The Center for Inquiry and the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science are merging to form the largest reason-based organization in the U.S. The new organization will retain the Center for Inquiry name, while giving a seat on …

The Man Who Studies the Spread of Ignorance
Jan 20, 2016

by Georgina Kenyon In 1979, a secret memo from the tobacco industry was revealed to the public. Called the Smoking and Health Proposal, and written a decade earlier by the Brown & Williamson tobacco company, it revealed many of the tactics employed by big tobacco to counter “anti-cigarette forces”. In one of the paper’s most …

The Man Who Studies the Spread of Ignorance
Jan 20, 2016

by Georgina Kenyon In 1979, a secret memo from the tobacco industry was revealed to the public. Called the Smoking and Health Proposal, and written a decade earlier by the Brown & Williamson tobacco company, it revealed many of the tactics employed by big tobacco to counter “anti-cigarette forces”. In one of the paper’s most …

‘Hobbit’ gets a neighbor: Stone tools hint at archaic human presence
Jan 20, 2016

Courtesy of Erick Setiabudi By Eva Botkin-Kowacki When early humans began trekking out of Africa, they spread across Eurasia on foot. As some made it down into then-peninsular Southeast Asia, they would have run into a watery boundary, called Wallace’s Line, that scientists thought essentially uncrossable by animals until around 50,000 years ago, when Homo sapiens arrived with …

Marilynne Robinson talks religion, fear and the American spirit: “The left, at a basic level, lost courage, because they don’t know how to deal with the proclaimed religiosity of the other side”
Jan 13, 2016

by Michael Schulson It makes sense that Barack Obama would describe Marilynne Robinson as one of his favorite novelists. Like a great politician, Robinson has a knack for making the small details of American life seem freighted with cosmic significance. Unlike a politician, Robinson works in a lonely profession, and in person she’s reserved—warm but …

Can humans and machines work together to tackle ‘wicked’ challenges?
Jan 13, 2016

by Lonnie Shektman Despite development of increasingly intelligent computers, scientists from Cornell University and the Human Computation Institute in Fairfax, Va., say that they wouldn’t leave the task of solving the world’s most complex problems – from environmental to economic to social – to computers alone. Instead, the researchers call for a sophisticated form of “human …

Britain’s first humanist hospital chaplain takes up her post
Jan 13, 2016

by Sally Guyoncourt The first humanist hospital chaplain in Britain will begin work today, offering emotional support to terminally ill atheist patients and their relatives. Jane Flint has been appointed the non-religious pastoral carer for Leicester’s Hospital Chaplaincy, an NHS Trust comprising Leicester General Hospital, Leicester Royal Infirmary and Glenfield Hospital. Unlike her colleagues in …

Religious Liberty and the Neolithic Mindset of Justice Scalia
Jan 13, 2016

by Ronald A. Lindsay Early humans believed in gods that could become angry and that bestowed or withheld favors based on the deference they were shown by humans. Humans needed to propitiate these gods, usually by sacrificing something valuable: depending on the culture, a prized heifer, a prisoner of war or one’s own child. One …

Prominent Scientists Urge Supreme Court: Reject Pseudoscientific Testimony for Texas Abortion Case
Jan 13, 2016

Steven Pinker, Eugenie Scott, Lawrence Krauss, Richard Dawkins, and more than 40 other eminent scientists and public intellectuals are backing the Center for Inquiry in a brief to the Supreme Court criticizing the state of Texas’s onerous restrictions on abortion providers. CFI’s brief argues that the alleged expert, scientific testimony used to justify the restrictions …

The Abortion Case That Could Overturn Roe v. Wade Has A Lot Of Opponents
Jan 13, 2016

by Alex Zielinski A looming Supreme Court case that could severely undermine the right to an abortion has attracted an unprecedented amount of opposition from across the country. A slew of organizations and individuals filed 45 legal briefs in the Supreme Court on Tuesday, each brief examining the case through a unique lens and each …