Archive for News

What the Higgs boson shows about rationality

Jul 04, 2012 1 Comment by

A new particle has been discovered, almost certainly the Higgs boson first predicted 48 years ago. If so, then at last the final prediction of the Standard Model has been confirmed. To be sure, there are many questions still to answer, such as how real physics deviates from the Standard Model at very high energies, [...]

Articles, Biology, Neurology, and Medicine, Logic, Mathematics, News, Philosophy, Physics and Cosmology, Religions and other Belief Systems, Sciences, World Read more

Consider Easter

Apr 08, 2012 1 Comment by

Critics of Christianity are often well-aware some of its festivals are stolen. The most famous example is that the Northern Hemisphere’s celebrations of the December Solstice, in which days finally get longer again, began as an agricultural festival. The Ancient Egyptians, recognizing the role of the Sun in this occasion, quickly co-opted it for their [...]

Articles, Catholicism, Christianity, Humanities, Humour, News, Religions and other Belief Systems, Sciences, Statements and Analysis, World Read more

Monopoly on Marriage

Apr 03, 2012 Comments Off by

Sometimes people wonder why atheists, homosexual or not, take an interest in the equal marriage debate. The response is simple: the opposition to equal marriage frequently originates from religious beliefs. The argument which presently seems to dominate the debate is over who has the right to define marriage. This word ‘define’ is not one we [...]

Anglicanism, Articles, Campaigns and Activism, Catholicism, Christianity, Politics, Statements and Analysis, UK Read more

Science Is Not The New Religion

Dec 19, 2011 Comments Off by

There have been two significant potential discoveries in the world of physics in recent months. Firstly that neutrinos, a type of subatomic particle, seem to have been observed travelling faster than the speed of light, the universal speed limit. And secondly that the Higg’s Boson, another subatomic particle, which is responsible for the mass property [...]

Articles, News, Philosophy, Physics and Cosmology, Sciences, Statements and Analysis, Technology, Computing, and Engineering, UK, World Read more

RIP Christopher Hitchens

Dec 16, 2011 Comments Off

People are sometimes asked where they were when a tragic event happened or when they first heard of it. The answers are often pretty unimpressive (e.g. I learned of the 9/11 attacks when I met someone off a bus coming home from school). In my opinion, the best way to learn of them is in [...]

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On miracles: how religious people don’t understand their own concept

Nov 22, 2011 Comments Off

In September 2011 neutrinos were apparently spotted exceeding the speed of light. This week we received confirmation a second experiment had apparently spotted the same thing. We’re far from having enough evidence to confidently say whether or not neutrinos really have broken the light speed limit, though physicists highly doubt they have because so much [...]

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Religion and morality, and why we need to seriously rethink it

Nov 06, 2011 Comments Off

For centuries British monarchs have been required to be Church of England members and have been barred from marrying Catholics and, in particular, those married to Catholics have been barred from the throne. Needless to say, this was unethical. Recently a Commonwealth Summit in Perth led to the repeal of this rule, as well as [...]

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Tunisia update

Nov 06, 2011 Comments Off

In a previous post, “A bad omen”, I critiqued the theological start the “liberated” Libya is getting and noted we’d no way of telling what consequences the Tunisian elections shortly thereafter would have. We now know that outcome. While an Islamist party secured over 40% of votes (whether their government will be a coalition as [...]

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“Spiritual health” (whatever that is)

Nov 03, 2011 Comments Off

Archbishop Sentamu has suggested in the House of Lords the NHS cater to “spiritual health”. This concept does not originate with Sentamu, and has been brought up in American and British medical and military contexts frequently in recent years. While one would hope the NHS would limit its treatments and list of properties considered unhealthy [...]

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Two new series of posts, on religions’ faults and student atheist et al societies

Oct 30, 2011 Comments Off

I hereby announce two new series of posts I will be making in the near future. In one, “Faiths in the Firing Squad”, I will go through the world’s extant religions in descending order by size, explaining succinctly (but hopefully without unduly simplifying the issues) why there is more to be critically said about those [...]

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Labelling children

Oct 30, 2011 Comments Off

Richard Dawkins has brought our attention in recent years to how wrong it is to automatically label young children with the religion of their parents. “That is/you are an X” are the two formulations this error takes. The problem is, just as there’s only so young one can be if one can form one’s own [...]

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A bad omen

Oct 30, 2011 Comments Off

As I said in a previous post, I’ve been writing while in Spain. Our room had one English channel, BBC News. I turned it on at 5 PM BST on Monday and saw three main stories: the announcement of the liberation of Libya, a Turkish earthquake and Tunisian elections. Libya and Tunisia are both examples [...]

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By their fruits you shall know them

Oct 30, 2011 Comments Off

This is my first article here written while on a holiday in Spain (where limited internet access forced me to take a break from publishing). When in a foreign country I try to know something about its culture, e.g. the role of religion therein. A recent news story quantified the number of Spanish newborns the [...]

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Malaysian Woman Denied Permission To Leave Islam

Jul 19, 2011 Comments Off

Malaysia’s civil court has denied a woman permission to leave Islam. Kamariah Ali says she should not be tried under Islamic law because she is no longer a Muslim and asked the civil courts to declare her freedom to worship, as guaranteed by the constitution. But judges ruled that only Malaysia’s Islamic courts could decide [...]

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New Film To Show Atheists In A More Positive Light

Jul 10, 2011 Comments Off

Director Matthew Chapman says that he hopes his new film, “The Ledge”, staring Liv Tyler and Terrence Howard, will portray atheists in a positive light and encourage audiences to think more freely on the topics of atheism and agnosticism. “There are a lot of us; we are thinking people; we care about many of the [...]

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World Atheist Convention 2011

Jun 01, 2011 Comments Off

Over the coming weekend, Atheist Ireland will host the 17th World Atheist Convention in Dublin. The convention boasts some high profile speakers, including the world’s most prominent atheist Professor Richard Dawkins. They will be speaking on a range of topics including “Communicating Atheism”, “Religion: accommodate or confront?” and “Building Secular Coalitions”. Also on the agenda is [...]

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“Atheist Delusions” by David Bentley Hart wins the Michael Ramsey Prize

May 28, 2011 Comments Off

David Bentley Hart, author of the book Atheist Delusions received the Michael Ramsey prize for theological writing at the Telegraph Hay Festival on Friday. The Michael Ramsey prize was inaugurated in 2003 by the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams to encourage theological writing, with the winning author receiving £10,000. The book dismisses atheism as merely being fashionable. [...]

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World Still Fine!

May 25, 2011 Comments Off

Well it looks like there was no rapture, not that we’re really surprised.

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New Spacecraft Design For Deep Space Exploration

May 25, 2011 Comments Off NASA has confirmed that the vehicle it will use to send astronauts to places like asteroids will be based on its Orion capsule concept.

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