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What's New Archive2003November

What's New on the Secular Web?

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November 27, 2003

Added "The Wedge at Work: How Intelligent Design Creationism Is Wedging Its Way into the Cultural and Academic Mainstream" by Barbara Forrest to the Modern Library.

Barbara Forrest, Southeastern Louisiana University, outlines the political agenda of the Discovery Institute's "Wedge Strategy," exposing it as a scientific failure encumbered by religious ambition and public relations. Forrest articulates clearly the goals, strategies, and political ambitions of the Intelligent Design movement in America today.

November 22, 2003

Added "Evidence, Arguments, and Proving a Negative" by John Dill to the Agora section of the Kiosk.

John Dill came to the Internet Infidels Discussion Forum a theist, deconverted, and now considers himself an atheist. As a former theist, he has some pointers for all atheists regarding "proving the negative."

November 9, 2003

Added "Exposing the Indefensible" by Taner Edis to the Modern Library.

This is a review of S. T. Joshi's God's Defenders: What They Believe and Why They Are Wrong (Amherst, NY: Prometheus, 2003). "Many infidels will enjoy this book, which skewers some of the more popular (rather than scholarly) defenders of religious faith. Joshi has a sharp tongue, which he uses to good effect in deflating some pompous and ill-conceived apologetic arguments which have found a large audience. Exploring the veracity of religious fact-claims can be a frustrating experience, since finding the better cases for theism often requires a struggle to get through much that is plain nonsense. It is good to encounter a book that gets hold of some of these more inane arguments--including some which command a great deal of popular respect--and ridicules them mercilessly."

November 3, 2003

Interested in publishing on the Secular Web?

The Secular Web Submission Guidelines & Instructions have been revised--again--in order to make them easier to understand and to include the fact that Kiosk submissions are now reviewed by a review committee. Although requirements for publication of a scholarly paper in the Secular Web Library are fairly stringent, it is relatively easy to get your work published in the Agora section of the Secular Web Kiosk. We don't publish everything submitted for publication in the Kiosk, of course--but we do publish whatever the review committee finds acceptable and of likely interest to our secular audience. Please see the Secular Web Submission Guidelines & Instructions for details.

November 1, 2003

Feature article: "The Immortal's Dilemma: Deconstructing Eternal Life" by George Hart.

Some believe that if life must end, life is meaningless. Death means that from your perspective, ultimately, there is no perspective. You become exactly what you were before you ever came to exist, that is, you become nothing. To become nothing is therefore no different from never having been at all. If your life is as if it never had been, then death erases the meaning of your life. Hart demonstrates, however, that the concept of personal immortality creates its own dilemmas, dilemmas which actually deprive life of meaning.

Book-of-the-Month: Freedom Evolves, by Daniel C. Dennett.

Here is the story of how we came to be different from all other creatures, how our early ancestors mindlessly created human culture, and then, how culture gave us our minds, our visions, our moral problems--in a nutshell, our freedom. Like the planet's atmosphere on which life depends, the conditions on which our freedom depends had to evolve, and like the atmosphere, they continue to evolve--and could be extinguished.

Video-of-the-Month: The Circle. (Subtitles in English.)

"It's a girl." The first words spoken in Jafar Panahi's The Circle should be celebratory, but instead the mood is mournful in this passionate portrait of the plight of women in Iran before the easing of strict Muslim law. Their world is one of constant surveillance, bureaucracy and age-old inequalities. But this stifling world cannot extinguish the spirit, strength and courage of the circle of women.

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