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May 31, 2001

Deleted Atheist Nation (Off Site) from Magazines
This Israel-based online journal regularly causes web browsers to crash, and is rarely accessible. We will no longer link to it until these problems are resolved.
Deleted Freethought Forum (Off Site) from Magazines
This online journal is no longer at the last known address and an online search failed to locate it.

May 30, 2001

Added "He Commends Me - He Commends Me Not" by Tim Simmons to the Feature section of the Kiosk.
As a rebuttal to Glen Miller's apologetic piece that appears on the Christian Thinktank website, Tim Simmons delves deeply into the biblical story of Jehu and the killings at Jezreel to show that indeed there is a contradiction to be found between 2nd Kings 10:30 and Hoseah 1:4. A fascinating read.
Added "Narlikar's 'Creation' of the Big Bang Universe Was a Mere Origination" (1993) [ 30K ] by Adolf Grünbaum
In Grünbaum (1989, 374, 390), I objected to Narlikar's (1977, 136-137) designation "event of 'creation'" for a supposed first cosmic instant t = 0, which he imports into the big bang cosmology of the general theory of relativity (GTR). Narlikar (1992, 361-362) does reject a theological construal of the creation." But, endeavoring to justify his secular creationism, he now points out that, in the GTR, the usual derivation of matter-energy conservation from Hilbert's stationary action principle cannot be extended to include the putative first instant t = 0. Narlikar reasons that this "breakdown" in the derivation of energy conservation at t = 0 qualifies the putative initial event as the "creation event." I argue that this inference is multiply fallacious.

May 29, 2001

Added a link to "Early Christian Writings" [ Index ] (Off Site) by Peter Kirby
Kirby's page of scholarship on Christian origins.

May 28, 2001

Added "Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas by William Edelen to the Agora section of the Kiosk.
The conversation that day with Douglas covered almost the entire range of thought about horses ... trees ... grass .... mountains ....
law ... philosophy .... religion ....Learned  Hand...Brandeis....Holmes...bourbon...scotch... marriage...divorce...his father (a Presbyterian
minister who died very young).....his living in a tent while graduating with honors at Whitman college....his passion for animals and
the land....conservation....
Added "I Was an Atheist in a Foxhole" by Philip K. Paulson  to the Feature section of the Kiosk.
In celebration of Veteran's Day, the Secular Web is featuring a piece written in 1989 and first appearing in The Humanist magazine.
Philip Paulson dispels the old saying that there are no atheists in foxholes by recounting his experiences in the military.
Added "The Wailing Pool" by David M. Payne to the Agora section of the Kiosk.
David Payne takes us to the Middle East for a weekend of mystery, intrigue and sinkholes and Uzis - with the Clash's "Rock the Casaba"
playing in the background. With a pulpish flavor a la Jim Thompson we learn a great deal about the origin and evolution of humankind.
Updated the Events Section.
The Humanist Association of Central Connecticut will hold their monthly dinner on 30 May at the MisFitz Inn in Southbury, Connecticut.
Click here for more information.
The Massachusetts Chapter of The New England Skeptical Society will hold their monthly Dinner meeting on 6 June at the Hong Kong Café
in Boston, Massachusetts.  Click here for more information.

Students for Freethought at the Ohio State University will hold a Social on 2 June somewhere in Columbus, Ohio. Click here
for more information.

May 27, 2001

Updated the Events Section.
The Secular Humanists of the South Carolina Midlands will hold their monthly meeting on 17 June  in Columbia, South Carolina.
Click here for more information.

The Upstate South Carolina Secular Humanists will hold their monthly meeting on 24  June in Greenville, South Carolina.
Click here for more information.

The Humanist Society of Gainesville will hold their monthly meeting on 11 June at the Downtown Campus of Sante Fe Community
College in Gainesville, Florida.  Click here for more information.

The Atlanta Freethought Society will hold their monthly meeting on 10 June in Roswell, Georgia. Click here for more information.

May 26, 2001

Added "Faith Healing: Child Abuse, Torture and Homicide" by David Kostinchuk to the Opinions section of the Kiosk.
The author explores an important issue that continues to be a topic of hot debate. How much power should religion have over the life and death
of a child and where must we draw the line?
Added "History's Troubling Silence About Jesus" by Lee Salisbury to the Feature section of the Kiosk.
Exploring the popular writing and thinkers from the start of the common era, the author discovers that there is little mention of Jesus, the Christ
and the Savior.    Considering the miracles of Jesus, His resurrection and the profound impact this all is said to have made upon the land and its
people, Salisbury is astounded by the silence of history - unless, of course, the stories are false.
Updated the Events Section.
Join the Denver chapter of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) on June 2nd and 3rd, as they man a booth at the Denver People's
Fair at the Downtown Civic Center, Denver, Colorado. Click here for more information.

Attend Vail Valley Institute's Tenth Annual Seminar,  Topic: "Church and State: How High Should the Wall Be?" on 21 - 24 June in Vail,
Colorado. Click here for more information.

The Mountain Region Atheists of Tennessee will hold a meeting on 9 June from 1:30 - 5:30 P.M. in Johnson City, Tennessee. Dr. Niall Shanks,
Professor of Philosophy at East Tennessee State University on "The Argument From Design; Natural History of a Fallacy." Click here for more information.

May 25, 2001

"Behe, Biochemistry, and the Invisible Hand" (2001) (Off Site) [ 59K ] by Niall Shanks and Karl Joplin
"In this essay we take creationist biochemist Michael Behe to task for failing to make an evidentially grounded case for the supernatural intelligent
design of biochemical systems. In our earlier work on Behe we showed that there were dimensions to biochemical complexity--redundant complexity
--that he appeared to have ignored. Behe has recently replied to that work. We show here that his latest arguments contain fundamental flaws."
"Of Mousetraps and Men: Behe on Biochemistry" (2000) (Off Site) [ 40K ] by Niall Shanks and Karl Joplin

May 24, 2001

Updated "Critique of John Warwick Montgomery's Arguments for the Legal Evidence for Christianity" by Richard Packham
Added a link to a rebuttal by J.P. Holding and a reply by Packham.

May 20, 2001

Updated the Events Section.
The Campus Freethought Alliance (CFA) will hold their annual conference on 21 - 24 June at 7:30 P.M. at the Center for Inquiry-International, Amherst, New York. Click here for more information.

The Atheist Community of Austin monthly Lecture Series presents Mr. Lamar W. Hankins of the Austin Memorial and Burial Society (AMBIS) who will present a slide presentation on low cost funeral ceremonies and cremations for Atheists and non-theists, on 3 June at 11:00 A.M. in Austin, Texas. Click here for more information.

American Atheists will be hosting the 2001 Summer Solstice Brunch on 24 June at Noon at the Sphinx Restaurant in Roselle, New Jersey. Click here for more information.

The Oregon Secular Alliance's Fourth Annual Symposium, "Toward Rational Living," a forum on Rationally Improving Education will be held on 23 June in Portland, OregonClick here for more information.

Added "The Historicity of the Empty Tomb Evaluated" (2001) [ Index ] by Peter Kirby
Kirby argues against the historicity of the empty tomb.
Added No Violence ... No Dualism ... No Absolutes by William Edelen to the Agora section of the Kiosk.
When asked "what am I?" I always answer by saying I think of myself as being within the historical stream of mysticism, where there is no violence, no dualism and no absolutes.
Added Apology for Christianity by William Edelen to the Agora section of the Kiosk.
John Paul does not have enough days left in his life to say "For my part....I am sorry" to all of the millions and millions of  human beings slaughtered by the Christian all new discoveries of truth.... slaughtered by the church....or to a  legacy that has promoted sexism...racism....the desecration of  the natural environment and the intolerance of other world spiritual traditions from Buddhism to the American Indian.
Added Respecting Ignorance by William Edelen to the Agora section of the Kiosk.
The insidious and seductive cliche that seems to saturate the  wimpish mind is that you should not be critical of another  person's religious beliefs. They all deserve respect, no matter  how superstitious.....they all deserve "respect".

May 19, 2001

Added The Next (top) Ten Commandments for the New Millennium by Neal Matson to the Opinions section of the Kiosk.
Using passages from the Bible, Neal Matson shows that just about any commandment can be gleaned from the Good Book - both ideas of great worth and ideas that are outdated and no longer applicable to humankind. As with many of the ideas printed in the pages of books throughout history, humans have provided much food for thought.

May 17, 2001

Modified Test Your Scientific Literacy! by Richard Carrier
Several scientists passionately devoted to education have praised the main text of this essay, but raised important concerns and criticisms about the wording of several of the questions in Carrier's "Scientific Literacy" test and we are very receptive to revising them. In Feedback Discussion we are discussing this with an aim to further improvements. Please join us at Testing Your Scientific Literacy. Two corrections to the test have already been made.
Added Jesus Was a False Prophet by Don Morgan.

May 15, 2001

Updated the Events Section.
The Disproof Atheism Society presents "Omnipotence, Resurrection, and the Problem of Indexical Personal Identity," a talk by Johan Modée, PhD Candidate in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, Lund University, Sweden  on 22 May at 7:30 P.M. at Boston University, in Boston, Massachusetts. Click here for more information.
Added Test Your Scientific Literacy! (2001) [ 50K ] by Richard Carrier.
This essay dispels many myths about the scientific mind, detailing what scientific methods really are, and how science really gets done, based on a scientific study revealing troubling levels of scientific illiteracy among college students and high school science teachers.

May 14, 2001

Added "Lament for Douglas" by Richard Dawkins.
Richard Dawkins, after learning about the terrible news of Douglas Adams' death, writes a heart-wrenching lament to the science-fiction writer, humorist and all-together great mind who will be sadly missed by many.

Added "The Missionary's Swastika: Racism as an Evangelical Weapon" by Aravindan Neelakandan.S.

"Dividing the people on racial lines through dubious pseudo-scientific theories has always been a ploy of the Church not only in India but also in different parts of the world." Indian scholar Aravindan Neelakandan.S., studying missionary strategy and conversion tactics, explores the "theory"of Aryan race and their invasion of ancient India.

May 8, 2001

Added "A Response to Nicholas Tattersall's 'A Critique of Miracles by C. S. Lewis'" by Darek Barefoot to Nick Tattersall's author page.

Added "Doctors Pronounce Jesus Dead! by Richard Carrier.

May 7, 2001

Added "My Experiences of Evolution in School" by Brandon Seger.
"Recently, a day came that I had been eagerly waiting for all year: the first day of the evolution unit in my Biology class."
Published new article in the modern library on biblical criticism:
Tacitus' Fragment 2: The Anti-Roman Movement of the Christiani and the Nazoreans by Eric Laupot
Laupot analyzes the reference to "Christiani" in Tacitus' fragment 2, specifically as to whether it is a later Christian interpolation or an authentic extrabiblical source. Finding connections between a parody of Isaiah, the Christianoi of Acts, and certain writings of the Church Fathers, the author brings all of these elements together to conclude that fragment 2 is authentic and not the product of a later redactor.

May 5, 2001

Added "Ten Commandments Redux" by G J Gaudia.
The wonderful varieties of the Ten Commandments...



See "What's New? " for past months.