Up@dawn 2.0

Monday, January 26, 2015

Has astrobiology made the case for God?

No, says Lawrence Krauss.
...as Carl Sagan often repeated, extraordinary events require extraordinary evidence. Surely the God hypothesis—that some invisible intelligence that must be eternal (i.e. not designed) and not subject to the laws of nature created and designed the entire universe for the benefit of one particular species on one particular planet at one particular time—is extraordinary in the extreme... 
The New Yorker 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Better news

A group of atheists in Rochester, N.Y., has bad news for the Good News Club, a Christian after-school club for children.
The group, consisting of atheists, humanists and skeptics, announced its own after-school program: a Young Skeptics club featuring science, logic and learning activities.
Young Skeptics is being sponsored by a volunteer-led group calling itself “The Better News Club.” Its members come from the Atheist Community of Rochester — the same group that offered the first atheist invocation before a town meeting in Greece, N.Y., after the Supreme Court ruled in May that public meetings could begin with sectarian prayers.
Both clubs are based at Fairbanks Road Elementary School in Churchville, N.Y.
The Better News Club and Young Skeptics operate under the assumption that “it’s more important to teach children how to make belief decisions for themselves, rather than accept claims presented to them without thinking critically about those claims,” according to its mission statement...

Rushdie on "Charlie Hebdo"

Religion, a mediaeval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry becomes a real threat to our freedoms. This religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam and we see the tragic consequences in Paris today. I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity. ‘Respect for religion’ has become a code phrase meaning ‘fear of religion.’ Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disrespect. Salman Rushdie