The Great Ptolemaic Smackdown
is a nine-part series posted by sci-fi author and statistician Michael F. Flynn
to his blog last year, covering the historical conflict between heliocentrism and geocentrism, with a special focus on Galileo. They are based on an article (pdf)
by Flynn which originally appeared in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of Analog
. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Apr 8, 2014 -
Is your family looking for an inclusive alternative to the Boy Scouts of America? Lance Finney posts a rundown
on the Skepchick parenting blog Grounded Parents
. The list is based on research he did when working to start a group with families from the Ethical Society of St. Louis that was “fully inclusive of religious belief, ethnic background, sexual orientation, and gender.” [more inside]
posted by audi alteram partem
on Jan 10, 2014 -
"Every new member of Israel’s Knesset
gives a debut speech, and this year, with 48 rookies, the docket was full, with parliamentarians introducing their résumés, their proposed policies, and their hopes for the coming four-year term. One decided to ignore convention altogether. This member of Knesset used the allotted time to teach Talmud
. A full third of the 19th Knesset are observant Jews, but it wasn’t any of them. It was a woman named Ruth Calderon
, a Talmud scholar and the founder of two Jewish houses of study. She was elected to Knesset as No. 13 on the list of Yesh Atid, a new party headed by former journalist Yair Lapid that swept the recent elections
, earning 19 seats on a promise to bring about a more equal Israel..." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Aug 26, 2013 -
Through a Glass, Darkly
How the Christian right is reimagining U.S. history--from Harpers. ...producing a flood of educational texts with which to wash away the stains of secular history. ...
posted by amberglow
on Jan 12, 2007 -
"Killing the Buddha
is about finding a way to be religious when we're all so self-conscious and self-absorbed. Knowing more than ever about ourselves and the way the world works, we gain nothing through nostalgia for a time when belief was simple, and even less from insisting that now is such a time. Killing the Buddha
will ask, How can we be religious without leaving part of ourselves at the church or temple door? How can we love God when we know it doesn't matter if we do? Call it God for the godless. Call it the search for a God we can believe in: A God that will not be an embarrassment in twelve-thousand years. A God we can talk about without qualifications." I particularly enjoyed The Temptation of Belief
, by a Buddhist exploring evangelical Christianity, and My Holy Ghost People
, by an unbelieving daughter in a praying-in-tongues family.
posted by heatherann
on Apr 24, 2006 -
Little-Known U.S. Document Signed by President Adams Proclaims America's Government Is Secular
Some people today assert that the United States government came from Christian foundations. They argue that our political system represents a Christian ideal form of government and that Jefferson, Madison, et al, had simply expressed Christian values while framing the Constitution. If this proved true, then we should have a wealth of evidence to support it, yet just the opposite proves the case.
Although, indeed, many of America's colonial statesmen practiced Christianity, our most influential Founding Fathers broke away from traditional religious thinking. The ideas of the Great Enlightenment that began in Europe had begun to sever the chains of monarchical theocracy. These heretical European ideas spread throughout early America. Instead of relying on faith, people began to use reason and science as their guide. The humanistic philosophical writers of the Enlightenment, such as Locke, Rousseau, and Voltaire, had greatly influenced our Founding Fathers and Isaac Newton's mechanical and mathematical foundations served as a grounding post for their scientific reasoning.
posted by Postroad
on Jan 27, 2005 -
, extremist population
? How is this going to play out? Where is America headed? Europe, France in particular, may face secular challenges because of imigration and subculture integration, but what's the excuse on the other side of the Atlantic? Is the US prepared to challenge the Middle East and Africa for the coveted Most Fundamentalist Population
posted by ewkpates
on Jun 15, 2004 -
The Iranian Secular Opposition Movement.
I came upon this via another item
I found on Plastic.com. (Where, BTW, one of the more cogent comments in the related thread was by one MayorBob) So, I'm wondering where does this lead to? The first line of that wretched 60s hit Eve Of Destruction
does come to mind... Has anyone else heard anything about this?
posted by y2karl
on Oct 25, 2001 -
From the essay by Ziauddin Sardar:
Scroll 2/3 of the way down--it's from I.S.I.S. The Institute For Islamic Secularization
A Call for Caution and Prudence
* We need free inquiry of the religious premises of the growing conflagration.
* We need rational debate of the questionable premises of a "holy war" or jihad.
* We need a rational debate of the biblical call for retribution.
* We call upon the United States not to act unilaterally and to petition the United Nations to establish a peace-keeping force.
* All terrorists when apprehended should be brought to the World Court at the Hague and put on trial.
* The basic constitutional civil liberties of America should not be abrogated.
--Perhaps we're all best off with the godless making the rules?
posted by y2karl
on Sep 30, 2001 -