February 2007


Peter Popoff is back.

It appears that religious and paranormal scam artists, even after being completely exposed as being frauds, can still succeed because there is never a shortage of credophiles in this world.

I did have the YouTube video of Inside Edition’s Peter Popoff story posted here, but YouTube removed it. However, you can still download it in MP4 format here.

AU’s Barry Lynn in Florida in February:

Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State will speak in the Tampa Bay area on his newly published book, Piety and Politics: The Right-Wing Assault on Religious Freedom. At 7:30 pm, Tuesday, February 20, he will speak in Clearwater at the UU church, 2470 Nursery Road. The following evening, February 21, at 7 pm. He will be speaking in Sarasota at Sinai Temple, located on S. Lockwood Ridge Road. All meetings are open to the public at no charge.

Map to the Sinai Temple

A recent CNN Paula Zahn Now panel discussion on the subject of discrimination against atheists featured NO atheists and included some incredibly hateful and ignorant statements made by the panel members.

A few quotes from panel members:

“What does an atheist believe? Nothing.”
“I think they need to shut up”
“The real discrimination is atheists against Americans who are religious”
“We have strong Christians and… atheists are not strong.”
Banner behind panel: “Why do atheists inspire such hatred?”

Transcript:
http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0701/31/pzn.01.html

Part 1: Segment

Part 2: Panel

Send a note expressing your displeasure to CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/feedback/forms/form5.html?11

UPDATE: Richard Dawkins will be the guest with Paula Zahn on Thursday, February 8th 2007 at 8pm EST on CNN. UPDATE #2: It looks like because certain programs deem it necessary to dedicate a full show to Anna Nicole Smith’s death, the Dawkins appearance has been postponed until Monday, February 12th. (Which happens to be Darwin Day.)

Why do placebos work? Should doctors knowingly prescribe placebos?

LINKS:
Big Questions Wiki

The Sarasota Humanists hold their monthly meeting this Monday, Feb. 5th, 7 to 8:45pm, at Twin Lakes Park, I75 and Clark. They are delighted to host Dick Lobo, CEO of WEDU-TV, who will speak on the media. Everyone is Welcome.

Keep reading for more info about Dick Lobo. What a career! Directions to Twin Lakes Park are at the end.
Read the rest of this entry »

Funny clip from Family Guy

Sam Harris, who recently attended the Beyond Belief conference, describes some of the arguments heard at the conference in defense of religious faith or against activist atheism. Sam also offers a challenge for readers to write responses to these arguments, with the best reponses receiving signed copies of Sam’s books and a cash prize of $100.

From Free Inquiry Magazine article:

While I heard many silly retorts to atheism at this conference, here is a list of those most in need of deflation by freethinkers:

1. Even though I’m an atheist, my friends are atheists, and we all get along fine without pretending to know that one of our books was written by the Creator of the universe, other people really do need religion. It is, therefore, wrong to criticize their faith.
2. People are not really motivated by religion. Religion is used as a rationale for other aims—political, economic, and social. Consequently, the specific content of religious doctrines is beside the point.
3. It is useless to argue against the veracity of religious doctrines, be¬cause religious people are not actually making claims about reality. Their claims are metaphorical or otherwise without real content. Hence, there is no conflict between religion and science.
4. Religion will always be with us. The idea that we might rid ourselves of it to any significant degree is quixotic, bordering on delusional. Dawkins and other strident opponents of religious faith are just wasting their time.

I invite readers of FREE INQUIRY to provide short answers to any or all of these fantasies. The winning responses will be published in a future issue of the magazine. Winners in each category will be sent signed copies of both of my books and a cash prize of $100. Each response must be two hundred words or less (longer responses will be disqualified). Correspondence should be sent to: Free Inquiry Contest, P.O. Box 664, Am¬herst, NY 14226-0664.

Sam Harris is the author of The New York Times bestsellers, The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation.

Truthdig: Bad News from Global Warming Experts