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Amicus Brief to the U.S. Supreme Court Against Religious Discrimination

Edward Tabash and Center for Inquiry attorney Nicholas J. Little just filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, scheduled for oral argument relatively soon, to curb the power of religious organizations to discriminate against their employees. Tabash and Little argue that religious institutions should not be able to bypass complying with otherwise universally applicable employment discrimination laws when hiring or firing employees who are not clergy or whose jobs do not involve proselytizing the faith.

The Great Mars Hill Resurrection Debate

In these slides for his opening statement in his debate with Michael Licona on July 1, 2012 at Antioch Temecula Church in Temecula, California, Robert Greg Cavin presents one of the strongest cases against the resurrection of Jesus ever presented, decisively refuting arguments for the Resurrection by prominent Christian apologists Timothy McGrew, Lydia McGrew, Richard Swinburne, William Lane Craig, Stephen T. Davis, Gary Habermas, Michael Licona, Norman Geisler, Josh McDowell, and Lee Strobel. Cavin makes three main contentions: (1) the prior probability of a supernatural resurrection of Jesus by God is so astronomically low that it has virtually no plausibility; (2) theorizing such a resurrection to explain the empty tomb and postmortem appearances of Jesus is ad hoc and devoid of nearly any explanatory power and scope; and (3) a far superior alternative theory can account for the empty tomb and postmortem appearances. In defending these three contentions, Cavin refutes sixteen myths perpetuated by Christians apologists about critics' objections to the Resurrection.

Learning about Electric Dipoles from a Kitchen Microwave Oven

Our common experience shows that the temperature of a material increases when it absorbs electromagnetic radiation. The passive solar heating of water and brewing of tea in a glass jar by sunlight are just two illustrations of this process. Is the food in a microwave oven heated by the same process? The answer is yes, to the extent that the food is heated by the absorption of electromagnetic radiation of microwave frequencies. At the same time we know that cold water kept in a thermally insulated opaque flask will not warm up by keeping it in the sun but will readily heat up in a microwave oven. So the exact mechanism of absorption of sunlight and microwaves by materials must be somewhat different. The present experiment is designed to demonstrate the fundamental aspects of microwave heating and in turn, to elucidate the dipolar dielectric loss phenomenon at the molecular level The emphasis is on the basic physics and the use of common inexpensive instrumentation and materials, rather than the accuracy of results. The students are also exposed to some of the issues dealing with the microwave processing of materials. Due to the familiarity with the experiment there is greater excitement for learning and, the students appear to remember the underlying principles more than from sophisticated experiments.

Intelligent Design: The New Stealth Creationism (PDF)

Intelligent Design is the name used by the latest attempt to incorporate teleological explanations as part of science. The claim is made that scientific data cannot be understood naturally but require the additional element of purpose, divine or otherwise. In the minds of at least some of its proponents, the evidence in support of their position has become so strong that they propose, in the name of fairness, that it should become part of science texts and be taught in the science curriculum. However, as I will show, intelligent design arguments are little more than new variations on the ancient argument from design. While the proponents of Intelligent Design are generally not biblical literalists or Young Earth Creationists and accept most of what modern physics and cosmology sat about the cosmos, they still insist that that cosmos had to be the result of some outside agent––based on scientific arguments. The intelligent design movement is a kind of stealth creationism, creationism by another name.