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Einstein writes of 'childish superstition' "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.

Einstein writes of 'childish superstition'

" 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. "For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. Freedom From Religion Foundation. Printed books existed nearly 600 years before Gutenberg's Bible. A printing press is something specific: a mechanical device that combines a typesetting process with a printing process.

Printed books existed nearly 600 years before Gutenberg's Bible

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. As far as I know, there is no evidence to suggest that Gutenberg was aware of Chinese movable type, and reference to the trade in Chinese dishware doesn't prove it. The Big Idea: « The New Oxonian. Hristopher Hitchens is, of all the atheists I admire, the one I admire the most.

The Big Idea: « The New Oxonian

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. But he is also a keen observer. And, though he may hide it, a well-trained philosopher. Hitch’s atheism is almost an accoutrement of his personality. That is because he is brave.

I also said that it takes a certain amount of courage to make this claim–saying I do not believe in God–not medal of honour courage, perhaps–but the simple courage that could be described as principled and honest. Eligious folk often cling to an improbability argument that permits them first to claim a “supernatural” cause of the universe and then to make many more specific claims about the nature of this cause. They point to the improbability of life, then intelligent life, or moral life, arising in an “accidental” or non-purposeful way. Why? Christopher Hitchens' wit and warmth remembered as New York pays tribute.

"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".

Christopher Hitchens' wit and warmth remembered as New York pays tribute

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). "The cause of my life," Hitchens said in one snippet included in a compilation put together by the Oscar-winning documentary maker Alex Dibney, "has been to oppose superstition.

It's a battle you can't hope to win – it's a battle that's going to go on forever. For many, faith in God rises with age. U.

For many, faith in God rises with age

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. The report is based on a comprehensive, international study of belief in God and includes information from the International Social Survey Program, a consortium of the world’s leading opinion survey organizations.

Global beliefs vary Among the findings: The constant Belief is highest among older adults. The Lions of Judah – a glance at a Christian dominionist conference. 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.

The Lions of Judah – a glance at a Christian dominionist conference

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. {video link} What the “nones” believe. How to respond to requests to debate creationists : Pharyngula. Your secular news source! Americans United. Friendly Atheist.

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Margaret Downey. Steven Pinker. JREF. Some people see human tragedies as a time for empathy, sympathy, or charity.

JREF

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. I don’t. Occam’s Razor – a useful tool in critical thinking, and one frequently helpful in dealing with the likes of Mr. Applying this to Mr. “I have been asked by a substantial figure in Malaysia who I know…” Uh… really?

Because you’re a useless self-promoting exploiter of human misery, Mr. Shermer. God Discussion. The Brights. Harris. Hitchens. Dawkins. Atheist Nexus.