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Rbutr finds contrary opinions for stories you’re reading

Tracie Powell - Poynter - 20 July 2012 Comments

Need to find a quick rebuttal to a news report or opinion piece you read online? There’s now an app for that. Introducing Rbutr.com , a new digital platform that uses crowdsourcing to provide...

TAGGED: DEBATE POINTS, EDUCATION, GENERAL INTEREST

Atheists rally for persecuted unbeliever in Indonesia

Kimberly Winston - Religion News Service - 20 July 2012 Comments

Sign the petition at whitehouse.gov The atheist community has embraced the cause of an Indonesian man, Alexander Aan, who was beaten and jailed after denying God’s existence on Facebook and...

TAGGED: ACTIVISM, RELIGION

Blogging the Human Genome

Sam Kean - Slate - 19 July 2012 Comments

Junk DNA —or, as scientists call it nowadays, noncoding DNA—remains a mystery: No one knows how much of it is essential for life. As one scientist mused , “Is the genome a trash novel, from which...

TAGGED: GENETICS

Religious Belief: A Mind Virus That Preys on Fear

Al Stefanelli - - - 19 July 2012 Comments

“The meme for blind faith secures its own perpetuation by the simple unconscious expedient of discouraging rational Inquiry” - Richard Dawkins Memetics is an outgrowth of evolutionary psychology...

TAGGED: RELIGION, RICHARD DAWKINS

Ending the Wedge

Adam Rutherford - New Humanist - 19 July 2012 Comments

There is a profoundly important point that is struggling to emerge from all the righteous indignation over creationism. When the news broke that three UK free schools with elements of creationist...

TAGGED: CREATIONISM, EDUCATION

Jihadists’ Fierce Justice Drives Thousands to Flee Mali

Adam Nossiter - The New York Times - 19 July 2012 Comments

Thanks to Derek Morr for the link Rana Wallet Chekna is among the tens of thousands of Malians who have trickled across the border to a camp in Mauritania. The vast desert expanse of...

TAGGED: ISLAM

Portland Humanist Film Festival

- - Portland Humanist Film Fest - 19 July 2012 Comments

Join us for the third annual Portland Humanist Film Festival, which will present feature, documentary, narrative and animated films that give expression to the humanist approach to life, based on...

TAGGED: ANNOUNCEMENTS

Why Some Physicists Bet Against the Higgs Boson

Robert Wright - The Atlantic - 18 July 2012 Comments

After Stephen Hawking conceded that he'd lost his bet about the Higgs boson, I wondered why he had been on the wrong side of the bet. Why had he doubted the existence of a particle widely assumed...

TAGGED: LAWRENCE M. KRAUSS, PHYSICS

Do Atheists Have Deathbed Conversions?

Tom Jacobs - Pacific Standard - 18 July 2012 Comments

Thanks to Dan Lewandowski for the link (mangojuicy /Shutterstock) Are there atheists in foxholes? That timeless question (the literal answer to which is yes) is a shorthand way of asking...

TAGGED: ATHEISM, BEHAVIOR

SNAREs at the Synapse

Megan Scudellari - TheScientist - 18 July 2012 Comments

Using tiny lipid discs, scientists resolve contradictory evidence about how many proteins are required for neurotransmitter release. EDITOR’S CHOICE IN NEUROSCIENCE There is very little about...

TAGGED: BIOLOGY

A Bone Here, a Bead There: On the Trail of Human Origins

John Noble Wilford - New York Times - 18 July 2012 Comments

Thanks to Quine for the link Who are we, and where did we come from? Scientists studying the origin of modern humans, Homo sapiens, keep reaching deeper in time to answer those questions...

TAGGED: BEHAVIOR, INTERVIEWS, PALEONTOLOGY

Free School due to open in September 2012 will ‘teach creation as a scientific theory’

- - British Humanist Association - 17 July 2012 Comments

TAKE ACTION! Write  to your MP  and  to Michael Gove  to oppose the plans, and encourage your friends, family and colleagues to do likewise. A Free School due to open in...

TAGGED: CREATIONISM, EDUCATION

What’s the problem with unguided evolution?

Jerry Coyne - Why Evolution Is True - 17 July 2012 Comments

Not to beat a dead horse (I think it’s still alive), but I vehemently oppose those evolutionists and accommodationists who won’t affirm that evolution is unguided and purposeless (in the sense of...

TAGGED: EVOLUTION

Helping victims of a College Education

Gerard Murphy - Catholic monthly newspaper - 17 July 2012 Comments

ONE tragic side effect of modern education is that it leaves many young people more obtuse than they were when they first entered college or university. They end up with their B.A.s, Ph.D.s or...

TAGGED: EDUCATION, VATICAN/ROMAN CATHOLICISM

German Homeopathy Companies Pay Journalist who Smears UK Academic

Andy Lewis - The Quackometer - 17 July 2012 Comments

Professor Edzard Ernst attacked by paid writers. A consortium of pharmaceutical companies in Germany have been paying a journalist €43,000 to run a set of web sites that denigrates an academic...

TAGGED: DISHONESTY, PSEUDOSCIENCE

UPdate - listen to the interview - Richard is on BBC Radio World Service this evening 16th July, around 21.20 British Summer Time (= 20.20 GMT)

- - RichardDawkins.net - 16 July 2012 Comments

Update Listen to the interview Richard is on BBC Radio World Service this evening 16th July, around 21.20 British Summer Time (= 20.20 GMT). Interviewed by James Menendez about the fish genus...

TAGGED: ANNOUNCEMENTS, INTERVIEWS, RICHARD DAWKINS

Sri Lankans name new type of fish after Richard Dawkins

- - The Telegraph - 16 July 2012 Comments

A Dawkinsia singhala named after the evolutionary biologist and renowned atheist Richard Dawkins Photo: AFP/Getty Images Lead researcher Rohan Pethiyagoda said the new genus, named Dawkinsia,...

TAGGED: BIOLOGY, RICHARD DAWKINS

Free access to British scientific research within two years

Ian Sample - The Guardian - 16 July 2012 Comments

Professor Dame Janet Finch's recommendations on open access publishing prompted the government's decision. The government is to unveil controversial plans to make publicly funded scientific ...

TAGGED: SCIENCE

Meme theory: Do we come up with ideas or do they, in fact, control us?

Jonnie Hughes - The Independent - 14 July 2012 Comments

Mankind's greatest inventions are all the result of individual flashes of inspiration – or are they? Jonnie Hughes argues that, instead, ideas are subject to evolutionary principles, and we humans...

TAGGED: BEHAVIOR, EVOLUTION

For Unendowed Fish, A Fake Dinner Leads to Sex

Katherine Harmon - Scientific American - 14 July 2012 Comments

The promise of a nice dinner might not always win over a woman, but for some male fish, a tasty-looking lure seems to get the girl pretty reliably. The trick is to make sure the offering...

TAGGED: BEHAVIOR, BIOLOGY