AlterNet: Neil deGrasse Tyson Hit by Creationist Backlash for Explaining Universe Is Billions of Years Old

In the wake of the success of the “Cosmos” television series, which picked up four Emmy Awards earlier this week, Neil deGrasse Tyson discussed politics, religion and science in a recent interview with AlterNet.

When I asked if the success of “Cosmos” had surprised him, Tyson said he had not anticipated the kind of coverage the show would get by entertainment sites and blogs. Because of the show’s major network backing and primetime slot, he said, it was covered like any other television show. He said this forced many entertainment writers to write about all sorts of science topics not often covered in these publications, exposing the show to a new and possibly unintended audience.

Tyson was not as shocked by the backlash the show garnered from certain religious and political groups, mainly creationists who took issue with Tyson’s insistence on discussing evolution, the Big Bang theory and the history of scientific discovery. Their criticism of the show did not bother Tyson at all. “You have to ask yourself, what are the numbers behind the people making these claims? Someone like Ken Ham [owner of the Creation Museum] has beliefs that are even crazy to many Christians.”

via Neil deGrasse Tyson Hit by Creationist Backlash for Explaining Universe Is Billions of Years Old | Alternet.

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Blog: The dishonesty continues from Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis

As discussed in a previous post, Ken Ham has denied that the Ark Encounter is hiring any employees, yet lists a job on the Answers in Genesis (AiG) website for an Ark Encounter Position.

via The dishonesty continues from Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis.

Blog: Atheists talk about depression and Robin Williams, while some get it all wrong

I am not one to get wrapped up in celebrity deaths, mostly because I find people mourning someone they never knew to be really weird, but sometimes you find a celebrity that seems to have touched so many and their death brings a lot of sadness to the world.

Robin Williams is one of those people. His acting, his charity work, and his public life (that he let people see) was simply fantastic, a talented comedian and dramatic actor, an avid cyclist and a passionate philanthropist, I think many childhoods were touched by his life.

Now there are a few ways to remember someone like Williams, as shows in here by Richard Dawkins in a heartwarming piece in TIME Magazine by remembering a chance encounter with the star that will remain with him forever.

via Atheists talk about depression and Robin Williams, while some get it all wrong.

Blog: Ken Ham took his dishonest rhetoric to the radio and I called in

So earlier today I caught wind that Ken Ham would be appearing on a radio program called CrossTalk to discuss the “attacks” on this new project The Ark Encounter.

Now Ham and myself have had some good back and forth already, see here and here for some history, but this is the first time I was able to speak to him “in person”.

I was dumped onto the air a bit at random so I scrambled to get my thoughts together and asked Ham to defend some of the comments he has made, like telling everyone that the theme park would not be receiving any money from the state for it’s development but then saying the state would pay the park a “fee” for the tourism they bring in.

via Ken Ham took his dishonest rhetoric to the radio and I called in.

Blog: The dishonesty continues as Ken Ham responds, but only to cry persecution

Ken Ham keeps insisting that I am anti-Christian because I don’t believe in his ludicrous myth that a genocidal flood killed everyone on the planet except Noah’s select few and a handful of animals.Sorry Ken, but even my Christian parents told me that was a fairy tale when I was growing up. But of course, you will pull a no-true-Scotsman fallacy and claim they cannot be Christian if they deny your interpretation scripture, but I digress.

via The dishonesty continues as Ken Ham responds, but only to cry persecution.

AlterNet: Major Scientific Journal Argues Humans Are Wired to Believe in God: Believers Rejoice, Atheists Rebut | Alternet

It’s a frequent Christian apologist argument that atheists do not really exist and that everyone believes in god regardless of what they say. But scientists rarely try to make this claim. Yet a new essay published in the journal  Nature implies such a thing, yet the findings seem to be missing many core elements and make more assumptions than any actual peer-reviewed scientific paper could ever get away with.

The essay centers on a philosophical argument and not much empirical science; it says that just about everyone seems to have some sort of internal monologue or “imaginary friends” they talk to solve problems.

via Major Scientific Journal Argues Humans Are Wired to Believe in God: Believers Rejoice, Atheists Rebut | Alternet.

Blog: A response to Ken Ham’s erroneous accusations

In a recent series of tweets, I called out Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter for the proposed $18 million in tax incentives the project applied for in an effort to help fund breaking ground on the long delayed project.

The Ark Encounter is an amusement styled park owned by Answers in Genesis, the same organization who runs The Creation Museum, and the park is based around the biblical myth of Noah’s Flood.

Ham plans to recreate the ark for tourists to walk through and learn how a 600-year old man built a giant boat that housed all the animal species in the world while God killed everyone else in a massive genocidal flood.

via A response to Ken Ham’s erroneous accusations.

Blog: Has Richard Dawkins become a liability to the atheist community?

In a recent piece by Kimberly Winston of the Religion News Service, Winston asked if Dawkins is an asset or liability to the atheist community.

“Regretfully, I think Richard Dawkins has become a liability,” atheist activist and author Greta Christina said in an email to Winston.

The article by Winston was fueled mostly by the reaction to a recent tweet by Dawkins on the subject of rape:

via Has Richard Dawkins become a liability to the atheist community?.

AlterNet: Why Do Religious Groups Get Your Tax Money to Preach and Discriminate? | Alternet

It’s not new for federal and state governments to issue tax breaks and incentives to religious organizations. In fact, George W. Bush and his famous “faith based initiatives” program gave certain religious organizations tax breaks if they performed non-religious duties, followed employment laws, and offered a service not based on a recipient’s religious beliefs.So, if your religious organization feeds the homeless, does not proselytize to those receiving its services and does not discriminate against employees who do not share the same religious beliefs as the organization, the government may give it a tax incentive for its services.

via Why Do Religious Groups Get Your Tax Money to Preach and Discriminate? | Alternet.