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Here in the U.S., there are places where being openly atheist can cost you your job or bring on harassment by your neighbors. If you speak against the dominant religion, someone might go to the newspapers or even on television to shake a heavy finger of disapproval in your direction. In extreme cases, you may face violence from individuals, or government representatives may abuse their power to make your life difficult. You may have to push the government to give you all the protections it promises.
That's here, where we have the First Amendment to back us up.
Things are different elsewhere in the world. Being an infidel or blasphemer, words we use laughingly here, can see people fined or imprisoned or killed. These problems aren't limited to countries we complacently dismiss as "backward" either. There has been considerable pressure on the UN for more than a decade to recognize a "right" for religions to be free from "defamation".
Michael De Dora, Director of the Center for Inquiry's Office of Public Policy and their UN Representative, is fighting hard against laws like these, as well as to bring science and secularism to U.S. policy and law-making. This Sunday, he will join us to talk about why all this matters to us and what we can do to make a difference.
This show had to be rescheduled.
Eyes are a marvel of evolution that first appeared in trilobites during the Cambrian explosion approximately 543 million years ago. There's no doubt that eyes are complex; they have many parts that work together to give us the visual experience we humans and many of our animal cousins share today.
Because of its complexity, many creationists see the eye as a weak point in evolutionary theory. They make an argument of irreducible complexity: that if any single part of the eye was missing it wouldn't function. Therefore, eyes must have been created in their current form - by a creator!
But as Dr. Ivan R. Schwab explains in his new book Evolution's Witness: How Eyes Evolved, this argument doesn't hold vitreous fluid. Much simpler eye designs not only existed in our evolutionary past, but in some animals alive today! We know how eyes evolved, and (spoilers!) no creator is needed. From the Amazon description of Evolution's Witness:
From initial photoreception 3.75 billion years ago to early spatial recognition in the first cupped eyespot in Euglena to fully formed camera style eyes the size of beach balls in ichthyosaurs, animals have processed light to compete and survive in their respective niches. It is evolution's greatest gift and its greatest triumph.
Tune in to Atheists Talk this Sunday November 25th for our inteview with ophthalmologist Ivan R. Schwab as he shares with us the story of the evolution of the eye.
They are the stuff of horror and science fiction stories. They are the fodder for much political debate and public fear. Yet they may be our future and our salvation.
What are they? They are artificially created biological organisms. Authors George Church and Ed Regis, in their new book, Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Recreate Nature and Ourselves, tell us they are coming, and they tell us not to be afraid. Wary, perhaps, but not afraid.
Church is a molecular geneticist, who created many of the tools we use for genetic sequencing. He is also the founder of the Personal Genome Project, which looks to sequence the genomes of 100,000 volunteers and place the data in the public domain to facilitate research into the interplay of genetics and environment in determining how we become who we are. This Sunday, he will talk to us about what we may expect from this future in which we have this kind of information and this kind of power.
Atheists Talk is produced with funding from the Minnesota Atheists and the Humanists of Minnesota. We also wish to thank Q. Cumbers restaurant for purchasing on-air advertising and for providing a great place to eat and gather. This radio program is put together by dedicated volunteers and the generous donations of listeners. If you are able to help with a donation please consider doing so at our Radio Fund page.
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In 2006, when David Mills published Atheist Universe, there weren't many books like it available. Atheist books were science books and philosophy books. GoodReads explains how Mills' book is different.
Clear, concise, and persuasive, Atheist Universe details exactly why God is unnecessary to explain the universe and life's diversity, organization, and beauty. The author thoroughly rebuts every argument that claims to "prove" God's existence - arguments based on logic, common sense, philosophy, ethics, history, and science.
Atheist Universe avoids the esoteric language used by philosophers and presents its scientific evidence in simple lay terms, making it a richly entertaining and easy-to-read introduction to atheism. A comprehensive primer, it addresses all the historical and scientific questions, including: Is there proof that God does not exist? What evidence is there of Jesus' resurrection? Can creation science reconcile scripture with the latest scientific discoveries?
Atheist Universe also answers ethical issues such as: What is the meaning of life without God? It's a spellbinding inquiry that ultimately arrives at a controversial and well-documented conclusion.
This Sunday, Mills will join us to talk about his book and the impact it has had.
Atheists Talk is produced with funding from the Minnesota Atheists and the Humanists of Minnesota. We also wish to thank Q. Cumbers restaurant for purchasing on-air advertising and for providing a great place to eat and gather. This radio program is put together by dedicated volunteers and the generous donations of listeners. If you are able to help with a donation please consider doing so at our Radio Fund page.Add a comment