Welcome to The Atheist Experience, and the 66th Carnival of the Godless. We are proud to be hosting this installment, which I confess I wish had an extra digit in its issue number.
If you’ve never read our blog before, or seen the Atheist Experience TV show, or listened to the Non-Prophets podcast, or read the Iron Chariots wiki, I think your visit here will add quite a lot to your online atheism activities. I hope that you will excuse the liberal dose of self-pimpage, but below is a quick “best-of” compendium of AE blog entries from the last few months, which I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading and will perhaps persuade you to bookmark us. As one person of discriminating taste to another, I’m sure you will!
- First, you can read all my coverage of this year’s The Amaz!ng Meeting 5, hosted by the James Randi Educational Foundation in Las Vegas back in January, by clicking here.
- You can also watch several video files of Atheist Experience TV episodes by choosing this tag.
- Pat Robertson predicted the US would fall victim to a nuclear — or is that “nucular”? — terrorist strike this year, and I had, shall we say, a little fun with it. Previously appeared in COTG #57.
- TV show host Matt Dillahunty has a word or two in response to the hysterical overreaction by some Christian groups upon the discovery of — gasp! — an actual real-live atheist holding public office! Clearly the fall of the republic is at hand, and the barbarians are at the gates!
- Stephen Rogers crucifies the Crucifixion.
- In our most linked-to and highly-trafficked post (over 1000 hits from Pharyngula alone), we present a series of YouTube clips revealing Kent Hovind’s phone calls from jail. They display the infamous YEC’s delusions and disconnection from reality to a truly sad degree. A number of comments have also been left by Hovind defenders, some earnest, some sad, most just as deluded as Hovind’s own ravings. As PZ Myers described them, these tapes are a real window into fundamentalist creationist pathology.
- Stephen again, presenting an example of what he calls “half-hearted evangelism.”
- I walk all over a popular Christian retort, that there are no such things as atheists, or that atheism presupposes theism, here. Ray Comfort likes to use this one a lot. It’s as dumb as most of what usually comes out of his mouth.
- Don Baker examines The “Thou Shalt Not Judge” Mind Game.
- And last but not least, me again, refuting the “appeal to free will” rebuttal to the Problem of Evil.
Now onto this edition’s submissions. Thanks to all the fine godless bloggers who’ve participated. And yes, I actually read all of these before adding them to the list below, because, hey, blog carnivals are all about reading great stuff! Please note these are in no particular order. Just peruse at will. There’s a load of stuff here to choose from, and it’s full of awesome!
- In this hilarious post, “The Continuing Saga of the Bible Faith Handkerchief,” Akusai takes you on a guided tour of a preposterous, money-grubbing Christian pamphlet called “The Seed Principle,” which is so laughably egregious it could only be viewed positively by someone who aggressively refuses to think in any way, shape or form. Posted at Action Skeptics. Akusai was one of the readers here who participated in the now-legendary comment threads in which we had to deal with a fundamentalist troll suffering from some pretty profound personality disorders. His whole blog is really good, particularly this post about his efforts to hold off a planned visit to his hometown by crazed hatemonger Fred Phelps.
- Mike Haubrich asks: “Atheists: Persecuted or Merely Annoyed?“, posted at Tangled Up in Blue.
- Stephen Littau discusses “The Mysterious Ica Stones“, another fraud championed by some YEC’s to bolster their anti-evolution claims. Posted at Fearless Philosophy For Free Minds.
- In rebuttal to religionists who claim only their fantasies can lend a person a sense of wonder and awe about life, the universe, and everything, Greta Christina presents “Dancing Molecules: An Atheist Moment of Transcendence” posted at Greta Christina’s Blog. Greta finds much that is awe-inspiring in the fact “that out of atoms and molecules, here we were managing to create the experience of joy.”
- John mocks the dogmatic predispositions of Christian apologist Alvin Plantinga in “Plantinga and the Xtians” posted at hell’s handmaiden, and wonders how foolish actual scientists would be if they adopted Plantinga’s methods of arguing.
- Michael DePaula offers three articles posted at MichaelDePaula.com.
- “Letter to a certain christian radio talk show host” reprints, as the title indicates, part of an e-mail exchange with syndicated Christian radio host Todd Friel.
- “The little radio station that couldn’t, then could” discusses the efforts of another tiny Christian radio station to get off the ground.
- And finally, Michael gives us his own personal testimonial in “Why I am an atheist.”
- adam H from Athens, GA, wishes the self-imposed barriers we use to divide each other could just go away in “…and that’s how we’d live without a curse” posted at …And That’s How You Live With A Curse.
- vjack asks, “What Have I Learned About Evangelical Christians?” and tells us, over at Atheist Revolutio
- Shalini, about whom Dembski sycophant DaveScot once made a nasty racist wisecrack over at The Sandwalk, presents “The Rapture and the usual Biblical plethora of contradictions” over at Scientia Natura: Evolution and Rationality.
- steppen wolf has some ideas on how atheists can disabuse people of their prejudices against us in his “framing atheism challenge – part 1“, posted at the skeptical alchemist.
- The Atheist Jew has some witty things to say about a woman who didn’t like something she read on a coffee cup in “Starbucks, Believers Don’t Like It When You Provoke Thought” posted at THE ATHEIST JEW. However, of equal interest is a pompous and completely off-topic screed in the comments by some believer named Raymond, who hasn’t, so far, had the stones to stick around and respond to other commenters’ rebuttals of his tautological nonsense.
- For those of you in the mood for some Biblical exegesis, Avery Archer has a very good piece: “The Philosopher vs. the Biblical Fundamentalist” posted at The Space of Reasons. Got some good discussion happening in his comments thread, too.
- dikkii investigates “The meaning of life” (not that again!) over at Dikkii’s Diatribe.
- alun presents Religious Virulence posted at Clioaudio, saying, “One feature of the religion as virus idea is that, if its vertically transmitted, it would be expected to evolve to become more benign. Recent research suggests that viral fitness is not related to virulence.”
- Toby Selwyn brings us Book Review: The Dawkins Delusion, by Alister McGrath posted at A Load of Bright, saying, “This is my review of Alister McGrath’s book The Dawkins Delusion, which was a response to The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. I show how McGrath fails to achieve his declared goal of refuting Dawkins’ arguments.”
- Prup (aka Jim Benton) offers a compelling series of posts from over at Debunking Christianity. In a personal email to me, Jim says, “…it’s an honor for a 60-yr old autodidact to have been invited to join the crew there. I just wanted to say that these are the opening of what will be a five-part series on ethics. (Part I and Part II A are up and being submitted, but I hope to have Part II B up before next Sunday, so if you mention it as well — assuming you choose to include them at all — I’d appreciate it.) And if you mention that almost any post on DC is worth noting, and especially the comments sections, which have become serious dialogues, not just collections of one-paragraph comments, I’d also appreciate that. I don’t know if John [Loftus] is submitting his pieces on slavery, but they deserve honorable mention.” So, dig in!
- Aaron Powell informs us of “What Atheism Offers: Justifying a Life’s Purpose” over at Symbolic Order.
- Mark A. Rayner warns us to look out for the “Forty-seven signs of the Apocalypse (#42)” posted at the skwib.
- Does the world need a Christian version of Linux? Someone seems to think so, and No More Mr. Nice Guy! lives up to his name by snarking all over it in “The Official Linux of Jesus“!
- MartinC gleefully offers “…a quick piece I wrote to tease the IDiots,” in “Is Intelligent Design Anti-Christian?“, which you can read at Sneer Review. I imagine it would indeed make Casey Luskin sneer!
- Here’s another local boy I’m happy to promote! Austin Atheist cautions believers — particularly those dazzling clods Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort — “How Not To Persuade An Atheist #1: Bypassing the Intellect,” posted at ΛUSTIN ΛTHEIST ΛNØNYMØUS. He tells us, “This is the first of a series of post I hope will continue well into the future. I may have one or two more by the time the next COTG rolls around. So, I might submit more than one. I’ll leave it to you to post them all or only the first. See you there!” This is a very funny and entertaining post!
- Dale Smith critiques the poor attempts by New Age huckster Deepak Chopra to refute Richard Dawkins in a very good post, “Chopra v. Dawkins,” over at faith in honest doubt.
- In a very fine piece, Jeff Hebert tries to help religious parents overcome the anxiety they might feel when a non-believing child “comes out,” and helps to dispel stereotypes about atheism. Go read “So Your Child Told You He or She Is An Atheist — Now What?” over at A Nerd’s Country Journal.
- Also in the parenting vein, David Johnson warns theists to “Keep Your God Away From My Child!” at The Jesus Myth. I think he means it.
- Richard discusses “The Problem of Unfreedom” at Philosophy, et cetera. As he describes it, it’s “a new twist on the old ‘Problem of Evil’ argument against God’s existence: Argues that cognitive deficiencies impede our free will in a way that’s inconsistent with the existence of a perfect being.” While I think Richard’s critique of free will is imperfect, it provides a good springboard for discussion, and there are some worthwhile replies in his comments thread.
- An Anonymous Coward (not a re
ligious troll, as a matter of fact) discusses the similarities between belief in angels and space aliens in “Basis For Belief, Part Five: Angels and Aliens” over at Confessions of an Anonymous Coward.
- CapeTownDissentator is, like all sensible people, bemused and embarrassed that after 150 years, Americans still question a scientific principle as fundamental as biological evolution, and that we can get three presidential wannabees admitting outright to not believing in it on television, in “No More Monkey Business” posted at The Dissentators.
And that’s a wrap for this edition! Submit your blog article to the next edition of Carnival of the Godless, which will be hosted on May 27 by Letters from a Broad, using the carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found at the blog carnival index page. Thanks again to all the participants this time, and we’ll see you readers back here again very soon.