Richard Dawkins English ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and author Richard Dawkins FRS FRSL (born Clinton Richard Dawkins; 26 March 1941) is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and author. He is an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford, and was the University of Oxford's Professor for Public Understanding of Science from 1995 until 2008. Dawkins first came to prominence with his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, which popularised the gene-centred view of evolution and introduced the term meme. Dawkins is known as an outspoken atheist. Dawkins has been awarded academic and writing awards, and he makes television, radio, and Internet appearances, predominantly discussing his books, atheism, and his ideas and opinions as a public intellectual. Background Early life Education Teaching In 2011, Dawkins joined the professoriate of the New College of the Humanities, a private university in London established by A. Work Evolutionary biology Fathering the meme
Sam Harris (author) American philosopher, neuroscientist, author, and podcaster Samuel Benjamin Harris (born April 9, 1967) is an American author, philosopher, neuroscientist, and podcast host. His work touches on a wide range of topics, including rationality, religion, ethics, free will, neuroscience, meditation, psychedelics, philosophy of mind, politics, terrorism, and artificial intelligence. Harris has debated with many prominent figures on the topics of God or religion, including William Lane Craig, Jordan Peterson, Rick Warren, Andrew Sullivan, Reza Aslan, David Wolpe, Deepak Chopra, and Jean Houston. Early life and education He received a Ph.D. degree in cognitive neuroscience in 2009 from the University of California, Los Angeles, using functional magnetic resonance imaging to conduct research into the neural basis of belief, disbelief, and uncertainty. His thesis was titled The Moral Landscape: How Science Could Determine Human Values. Career Writing Views
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Novel by Mark Twain A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is an 1889 novel by American humorist and writer Mark Twain. The book was originally titled A Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Some early editions are titled A Yankee at the Court of King Arthur. Twain wrote the book as a burlesque of Romantic notions of chivalry after being inspired by a dream in which he was a knight himself, severely inconvenienced by the weight and cumbersome nature of his armor. It is a satire of feudalism and monarchy that also celebrates homespun ingenuity and democratic values while questioning the ideals of capitalism and outcomes of the Industrial Revolution. Plot The novel is a comedy set in 6th-century England and its medieval culture through Hank Morgan's view; he is a 19th-century resident of Hartford, Connecticut, who, after a blow to the head, awakens to find himself inexplicably transported back in time to early medieval England where he meets King Arthur himself. "'Bridgeport?'
Sam Harris (author) Samuel B. "Sam" Harris (born April 9, 1967) is an American author, philosopher, and neuroscientist. He is the co-founder and CEO of Project Reason. He is the author of The End of Faith, which was published in 2004 and appeared on The New York Times Best Seller list for 33 weeks. The book also won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction in 2005. In 2006, Harris published the book Letter to a Christian Nation as a response to criticism of The End of Faith. Harris grew up in a secular home in Los Angeles, and is the son of the TV producer Susan Harris, and actor Berkeley Harris. In 2009, Harris earned a Ph.D. degree in cognitive neuroscience at the University of California, Los Angeles, using functional magnetic resonance imaging to conduct research into the neural basis of belief, disbelief, and uncertainty. He also rejects the claim that the Bible was inspired by an omniscient god. Harris says the idea of free will is incoherent.
Daniel Dennett Daniel Clement Dennett III (born March 28, 1942) is an American philosopher, writer, and cognitive scientist whose research centers on the philosophy of mind, philosophy of science and philosophy of biology, particularly as those fields relate to evolutionary biology and cognitive science. Early life and education Dennett was born on March 28, 1942 in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Ruth Marjorie (née Leck) and Daniel Clement Dennett, Jr. Dennett spent part of his childhood in Lebanon, where, during World War II, his father was a covert counter-intelligence agent with the Office of Strategic Services posing as a cultural attaché to the American Embassy in Beirut. When he was five, his mother took him back to Massachusetts after his father died in an unexplained plane crash. Dennett says that he was first introduced to the notion of philosophy while attending summer camp at age 11, when a camp counselor said to him, "You know what you are, Daniel? First ...
Thomas Paine's "Rights of Man": A Biography Thomas Paine's "Rights of Man": A Biography is Christopher Hitchens's contribution to the Books That Changed the World series. Hitchens, a great admirer of Thomas Paine, covers the history of Paine's 1791 book, The Rights of Man, and analyzes its significance. Reception References Freedom From Religion Foundation Ayaan Hirsi Ali Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Dutch: [ɑˈjaːn ˈɦirsi ˈaːli] ( When she was eight, Hirsi Ali's family left Somalia for Saudi Arabia, then Ethiopia, and eventually settled in Kenya. She sought and obtained political asylum in the Netherlands in 1992, under circumstances that later became the centre of a political controversy. Life and work Youth Hirsi Ali's father had studied abroad and was opposed to female genital mutilation, but while he was imprisoned, Hirsi Ali's grandmother had the traditional procedure performed on five-year-old Hirsi Ali. They settled in Nairobi, where Hirsi Ali attended the English-language Muslim Girls' Secondary School. She sympathised with the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, and wore a hijab together with her school uniform, which was unusual at the time but gradually became more common. Early life in the Netherlands Hirsi Ali arrived in the Netherlands in 1992. Once in the Netherlands she requested political asylum, and obtained a residence permit.
Mark Twain American author and humorist Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. He was lauded as the "greatest humorist this country has produced", and William Faulkner called him "the father of American literature". His novels include The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), the latter often called "The Great American Novel". Twain was raised in Hannibal, Missouri, which later provided the setting for Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Twain earned a great deal of money from his writings and lectures, but he invested in ventures that lost most of it—such as the Paige Compositor, a mechanical typesetter that failed because of its complexity and imprecision. Biography Early life Pilot was the grandest position of all. As Twain describes it, the pilot's prestige exceeded that of the captain. Travels Writing Views
TrustingDoubt God's Emotions: Why the Biblical God is So Very Human Play 9 Part Series: What are emotions? Christian Belief Through the Lens of Cognitive Science What is the mental machinery that lets us form beliefs? The more we learn bout the hardware and operating systeams of the human brain--the more we understand about human information processing--the more we glean bits of insight into the religious mind:• How does the structure of human information processing pre-dispose us to religious thinking?
Taslima Nasrin Taslima Nasrin (Bengali: তসলিমা নাসরিন; also Taslima Nasreen, born 25 August 1962) is a Bengali author and former physician who has lived in exile since 1994. From a literary profile as a poet in the late 1980s, she rose to global fame by the end of the 20th century owing to her essays and novels with feminist views and criticism of Islam in particular and of religion in general. Since leaving Bangladesh in 1994 on account of threat calls, she has lived in many countries; as of June 2011 she lives in New Delhi. She works to build support for secular humanism, freedom of thought, equality for women, and human rights by publishing, lecturing, and campaigning. Personal life Nasrin was born to Rajab Ali and Edul Ara in the town of Mymensingh in 1962. Nasrin has been married three times: first to Bengali poet Rudra Mohammad Shahidullah, then to Bangladeshi journalist Nayeemul Islam Khan and finally to editor Minar Mahmood. Early career in her early 30s
On the Origin of Species A work of scientific literature by Charles Darwin which is considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology Various evolutionary ideas had already been proposed to explain new findings in biology. There was growing support for such ideas among dissident anatomists and the general public, but during the first half of the 19th century the English scientific establishment was closely tied to the Church of England, while science was part of natural theology. Ideas about the transmutation of species were controversial as they conflicted with the beliefs that species were unchanging parts of a designed hierarchy and that humans were unique, unrelated to other animals. The political and theological implications were intensely debated, but transmutation was not accepted by the scientific mainstream. Summary of Darwin's theory Darwin pictured shortly before publication Background Developments before Darwin's theory Inception of Darwin's theory Further development