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Einstein writes of 'childish superstition' | Science Einstein writes of 'childish superstition' | Science "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." So said Albert Einstein, and his famous aphorism has been the source of endless debate between believers and non-believers wanting to claim the greatest scientist of the 20th century as their own. A little known letter written by him, however, may help to settle the argument - or at least provoke further controversy about his views. Due to be auctioned this week in London after being in a private collection for more than 50 years, the document leaves no doubt that the theoretical physicist was no supporter of religious beliefs, which he regarded as "childish superstitions". Einstein penned the letter on January 3 1954 to the philosopher Eric Gutkind who had sent him a copy of his book Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt. The letter went on public sale a year later and has remained in private hands ever since.
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A printing press is something specific: a mechanical device that combines a typesetting process with a printing process. The typesetting involves metal movable type, while the printing involves a screw press. Now, as to the origins of the typesetting and the printing processes involved. The Chinese invented clay movable type, but the assumption that Gutenberg was aware of this method is unsubstantiated. Moreover, pointing to the rise in the Chinese Porcelain trade during the 14th and 15th centuries does not support the assumption. In addition, the assumption ignores parallel developments in typesetting and the typographic principle that were taking place in Europe at the same time as the invention of clay movable type in China. Printed books existed nearly 600 years before Gutenberg's Bible Printed books existed nearly 600 years before Gutenberg's Bible
hristopher Hitchens is, of all the atheists I admire, the one I admire the most. I want him to live forever. But as that is impossible–for any of us–it’s his voice I will miss the most. He is a journalist, a polemicist, a bad boy. The Big Idea: « The New Oxonian The Big Idea: « The New Oxonian
"Little Keith" called him a suffering auto-contrarian and likened him to Houdini; Graydon Carter said he was a "bit of a scallywag" but an editor's dream; and the doctor who treated him for the cancer of the oesophagus that killed him said he was a "pioneer at the frontier". Unsurprisingly, though, it was Christopher Hitchens who had the funniest and the most apposite words with which to describe himself at his own memorial in New York on Friday. He was, he said of himself in posthumous film clips and readings, a "radical freelance scribbler" who had devoted his life to curiosity, irony, debunking, disputation, drinking, love and hate (though of all those things, it was hate that got him out of bed in the morning). Christopher Hitchens' wit and warmth remembered as New York pays tribute | Books Christopher Hitchens' wit and warmth remembered as New York pays tribute | Books
For many, faith in God rises with age For many, faith in God rises with age U. CHICAGO (US) — Belief in God increases with age, even in countries that are largely atheist, according to new research. International surveys about the depth of people’s belief in God show vast differences among nations, ranging from 94 percent of people in the Philippines who say they always believed in God, to only 13 percent of people in the former East Germany. Yet the surveys found one constant—belief in God is higher among the elderly, regardless of where they live. A new report on the international surveys, “Belief About God Across Time and Countries,” was issued by the General Social Survey of the social science research organization NORC at the University of Chicago.
Over the past three years, I have been reporting a lot about the 7 Mountains dominionist movement and decided it was time to actually attend a conference instead of watching sermon after sermon on YouTube. So for the Passover weekend, a friend of mine and I spent three days at a Christian dominionist conference in Sedona, Arizona, a New Age "mecca," if you will. By Christian dominionism, I am referring to the "Seven Mountains mandate" whereby a sect of evangelical Christians believe that they must "occupy" and "dominate" seven spheres of culture — education; religion; family; business; government; arts and entertainment; and media in order to create a Christian kingdom for Jesus Christ to rule. One of the most popular seven mountains teachers is Lance Wallnau, and I heard him there. I have to admit, I was impressed with Wallnau's speaking talents and ability to enthuse a crowd. The Lions of Judah – a glance at a Christian dominionist conference The Lions of Judah – a glance at a Christian dominionist conference
What the “nones” believe
How to respond to requests to debate creationists : Pharyngula
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See the website, Friggatriskaidekaphobia.com: The Freethought Society’s (FS) next Anti-Superstition Bash will be held on Friday, May 13, 2011 from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM in the beautiful Corinthian Yacht Club. The Club is located at 300 West 2nd Street, Essington, PA 19029. Margaret Downey Margaret Downey
Steven Pinker
JREF JREF Some people see human tragedies as a time for empathy, sympathy, or charity. Then there are those who see it as an opportunity. It didn’t take long after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing on March 8, 2014, for Uri Geller to take to the airwaves and claim that he was asked to help in the search for the plane. There should be nothing surprising about this. The most dangerous place on planet earth might be trying to stand between Uri Geller and a TV camera. What is perhaps surprising is how many people believe his claim.
Shermer
God Discussion
A bright is a person who has a naturalistic worldview A bright's worldview is free of supernatural and mystical elements The ethics and actions of a bright are based on a naturalistic worldview Think about your own worldview to decide if it is free of supernatural or mystical deities, forces, and entities. If you decide that you fit the description above, then you are, by definition, a bright! On this website, you can simply say so and, by doing so, join with other brights from all over the world in an extraordinary effort to change the thinking of society—the Brights movement. Click banner for statement of goals The Brights The Brights
Harris (Photo via Shutterstock) Last Christmas, my friends Mark and Jessica spent the morning opening presents with their daughter, Rachel, who had just turned four. After a few hours of excitement, feelings of holiday lethargy and boredom descended on the family—until Mark suddenly had a brilliant idea for how they could have a lot more fun. Jessica was reading on the couch while Rachel played with her new dolls on the living room carpet. “Rachel,” Mark said, “I need to tell you something very important… You can’t keep any of these toys.
Hitchens
Dawkins From performing blockbuster shows on the Vegas Strip to the adventures of fatherhood, from an ongoing dialogue with proselytizers of the Christian Right to the joys of sex while scuba diving, Penn Jillette’s self-created Decalogue invites his reader on a journey of discovery that is equal parts wise and wisecracking. God, No! is a roller coaster of exploration as Penn shows that doubt, skepticism, and wonder—all signs of...
Atheist Nexus