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Browse the Bible, Qur’an or Book of Mormon for scriptural criticism, insights and careful annotation.

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Second pop at universe’s secrets for LHC

Robin McKie
October 31, 2009

Print: The Guardian

More than £30m-worth of damage was done to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the most advanced particle accelerator ever built, a few days after its ceremonial opening. It has taken Myers – and hundreds of other Cern scientists – more than a year to pinpoint the guilty piece of cable and repair the wreckage. “It was a very small piece, but it did immense damage,” he said. It remains to be seen whether Myers can fix Cern’s tattered technological reputation in the process – when his team restart their great machine in a few weeks.

Read the full article.

Bible Is “A Catalogue of Cruelties,” Says Saramago

October 31, 2009

Print: Inter Press Service

After a nearly two-decade truce, Portuguese Nobel literature laureate José Saramago has returned to the charge against the Catholic Church. This time his target is the Bible itself, which he describes as “a manual of bad morals,” and a “catalogue of cruelties and of the worst of human nature.”

(12) comments | Read the full article.

The Future of Abstinence

Sarah Kliff
October 29, 2009

Print: Newsweek

For as long as anyone can remember, McLennan County has been abstinence country. Nestled in the heart of Bible-Belt Texas, it’s the kind of place where the local newspaper prints “In God We Trust” on the front page of every edition. So when the McLennan County Collaborative Abstinence Program (MCCAP) came to her a little more than a decade ago, offering an abstinence-only sex education program, she says, “It was the answer to our prayers. It was exactly the way we wanted to go.” All that may change with a recent federal funding cut for abstinence only programs.

(4) comments | Read the full article.

America comes out in opposition to defamation of religion move

Nation Secular Society
October 29, 2009

Print: Nation Secular Society

Christian groups around the world have joined human rights and civil liberties organisations in opposing the reintroduction of a motion at the United Nations Human Rights Council that would outlaw “defamation of religious” – in effect an international blasphemy law.

(7) comments | Read the full article.

Creationism in science classes? Brits give it the green light

National Secular Society
October 29, 2009

Print: National Secular Society

According to a Mori poll commissioned by the British Council, more than half the population believes it’s OK for children to be told about creationism and Intelligent Design in school science lessons along with evolution. The poll shows 54 per cent of Britons would not object to biology teachers discussing ‘alternative perspectives’ on the origin of life alongside explanations of evolution.

Read the full article.

Is Scientology a Cult? Is Paul Haggis the Next Martin Luther?

David Gibson
October 28, 2009

Print: Politics Daily

In this opinion piece, David Gibson (who lists himself as Catholic) considers the nature of Scientology and its cult-like characteristics.

(5) comments | Read the full article.

Can We Talk About Religion, Please?

October 27, 2009

Print: New York Times

Randy Cohen discusses whether it’s ok to criticize the Vatican’s attempts to poach Anglicans who disagree with the Church of England’s acceptance of gay and women priests.  “If a secular institution, Wal-Mart or Microsoft, for example, made a similar offer — Tired of leadership positions being open to women and gay employees? Join us! — it would be slammed for appealing to bigotry.”

(8) comments | Read the full article.

Faith No More: What I’ve learned from debating religious people around the world

By Christopher Hitchens
October 27, 2009

Print: Slate

Christopher Hitchens reflects on his experience debating religious people of different persuasions.

(5) comments | Read the full article.

Scientologists Convicted of Fraud in France

By Dorothee Moisan
October 27, 2009

Print: Agence France-Presse

French judges fined the Church of Scientology almost a million dollars on Tuesday for defrauding vulnerable followers but stopped short of banning the group from operating in France.

(1) comments | Read the full article.

African view: Catholic mission

Farai Sevenzo
October 27, 2009

Print: BBC

Zimbabwean filmmaker and journalist Farai Sevenzo wonders what lies behind the Catholic Church’s latest pronouncements on Africa.

Read the full article.

Polygamist sect abuse trials set to begin

October 26, 2009

Print: AP

Raymond Jessop, 38, is set to stand trial Monday, 18 months after agents raided the group’s remote ranch and carted off more than 400 children in the largest child custody case in American history.

(4) comments | Read the full article.

Teach both evolution and creationism say 54% of Britons

Jessica Shepherd
October 25, 2009

Print: The Guardian, UK

British Council poll finds UK adults overtake Americans in wanting science teaching in schools to include intelligent design

(18) comments | Read the full article.

Islam’s Darwin problem—In the Muslim world, creationism is on the rise

Drake Bennett
October 25, 2009

Print: Boston Globe

There is a creationist movement whose influence is growing, and which is fueling challenges to science in countries where Christianity has little sway: Islamic creationism. Campaigners in countries like Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, and Indonesia have fought the teaching of evolution in schools there, sometimes with great success.

(1) comments | Read the full article.

Will South Korea become Christian?

Christopher Landau
October 25, 2009

Print: BBC News

The BBC’s Christopher Landau looks at the reasons behind the rapid expansion of Christianity in South Korea - a predominantly Buddhist country.

(1) comments | Read the full article.

Birth Control Bill Has Enemies in Philippines

October 25, 2009

Print: The New York Times

Gina Judilla already had three children the first time she tried to terminate a pregnancy.  “I jumped down the stairs, hoping that would cause a miscarriage,” she said. The fetus survived and is now an 8-year-old boy.

(7) comments | Read the full article.

Darwin teaching ‘divides opinion’

October 25, 2009

Print: BBC News

More than half of adults in a survey of 10 countries thought school science lessons should teach evolutionary theories alongside creationism. Among those who knew of Darwinism, on average 53% felt other possible perspectives should also be taught.

(7) comments | Read the full article.

Saudi female journalist gets 60 lashes for TV show

AP, Published: 17:15 October 24, 2009
October 24, 2009

Print: Gulf News

A Saudi lawyer says a female journalist has been sentenced to 60 lashes for her involvement in a TV show in which a Saudi man publicly talked about sex.

(3) comments | Read the full article.

Letters: Scientists Respond to Our Review of Richard Dawkins’s “Greatest Show on Earth”

By Elsa Dixler
October 24, 2009

Print: New York Times

The New York Times posts some letters-to-the-editors which defend Richard Dawkins’s “Greatest Show on Earth” from a critical review by Nicholas Wade.

(6) comments | Read the full article.

2012: the myth, the movie, the hoax

by Douglas Mesner
October 23, 2009


Perhaps it is the perverse appeal of mass destruction and the idea of a return to “simpler”, depopulated, tribal living that compels the recurring popularity of End of The World theories.

2012 is the latest apocalypse du jour, rooted in the fact that the old Mayan calendar ends somewhere in December of that year.  But, according to some, not even the Maya believed the world would actually end at that time.  The Telegraph consulted Guillermo Bernal, “an archaeologist at Mexico’s National Autonomous University” who notes that Mayan inscriptions refer to dates well beyond 2012 “including one that roughly translates into the year 4772.”

(3) comments | Read the full article.

Master of the universe

Aida Edemariam
October 23, 2009

Print: The Guardian

Michael Green is the new Lucasian chair of mathematics at Cambridge – following in the footsteps of Newton and Hawking. So does the pioneer of string theory think he holds the answers to life’s mysteries?

Read the full article.

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