background preloader


Facebook Twitter

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. 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. 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. 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). 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.

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.


Margaret Downey. Steven Pinker. 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. 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.