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December 23, 2005
We--but especially Board Member and Technical Advisor, Adam Butler--have been very busy since the end of November with a server migration for the main site, www.infidels.org, to a new host provider and a more robust server. Things should soon be back to normal, including regular updates to the News Wire.
Berlinerblau suggests that atheists and agnostics must take stock of that which they so adamantly oppose. Defiantly maintaining a shallow understanding of religion, he argues, is not a politically prudent strategy in this day and age. But this book is no less critical of many believers, who--Berlinerblau contends--need to emancipate themselves from ways of thinking about their faith that are dangerously simplistic, irrational and outdated.
December 5, 2005
Added Antony in Wonderland: A Rejoinder to Professor Flew (2005), by Raymond Bradley to the Agora section of the Kiosk.
This is Bradley's rejoinder to Professor Antony Flew's reply to "An Open Letter to Professor Antony Flew," also by Bradley, which was published as the Secular Web's Current Feature for August, 2005.
December 1, 2005
Current Feature: Miracles From the Darkness: Medicine and Prayer... or Where Have All the Scientists Gone? (2005), by Gil Gaudia
"It is one thing to examine the effects of a person's belief system on illness when there is a plausible connection between the belief, including prayer, and the body's systems, but another to seek to investigate an effect that lies outside the known laws of science."
Book-of-the-Month: The Faith Healers (1989), by James Randi
A damning indictment of the faith-healing practices of the leading televangelists and others who claim divine healing powers. Randi and his team attended scores of "miracle services" and often were pronounced "healed" of the nonexistent illnesses they claimed. They viewed first-hand the tragedies resulting from the wide-spread belief that faith healing can cure every conceivable disease. The ministries, they discovered, were rife with deception, chicanery, and often outright fraud.
Special Feature: God in the CCU? : A critique of the San Francisco hospital study on intercessory prayer and healing (1990), by Gary Posner, M.D.
Are the data obtained in his study--in which prayer was admittedly "not controlled for"--sufficient to suggest the existence of the omniscient, omnipotent Judeo-Christian God, and the efficacy of intercessory prayer on CCU patients? Or is it much more likely that what we have here is akin to the findings of the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP), in which scientists blinded by faith concluded, erroneously, that the shroud was authentic?