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Are vaccinations a satanic tool?

Wow. Daniel Florien at Unreasonable Faith relates an experience he had recently with someone who is an anti-vaxxer for a reason that he (and I) hadn’t heard before. Normally, I’ll hear arguments that vaccines contain deadly toxins or that they don’t work or that the government is trying to get us used to doing what they say (!!!). The reason that Daniel heard is…

They’re using the vaccines to introduce microchips into the population — these chips are the mark of the beast. They’ll use them to track us and eventually we won’t be able to buy or sell without these chips, just like the Bible says. Don’t get the vaccines!

Wow. Just add this to the giant trash bin of absurd reasons to avoid protecting your children.

Go check out his post for the rest of the story.

Some quick notes from Borders

I’m hanging out at Borders this morning while waiting to pick up my daughter after a class she’s taking. I grabbed a copy of The Annotated Origin and Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species – A Graphic Adaptation (like a graphic novel version of OTOOS) and am sipping on some coffee while hooked up to free wifi. It’s a good morning.

This isn’t my “home” Borders, so I went to the religion section to check out what they had to offer and to see how different it was from the Borders I normally frequent. This religion section is smaller, but had a nicer selection of atheist books. I did crack myself up when I noticed a section that was labeled “Christian Fiction” and thought to myself, Doesn’t that apply to this entire section?

I also saw a copy of Evolution for Dummies and considered (briefly) buying it and mailing it to Ray Comfort, but I figured that even a dumbed down version wouldn’t really help Ray… or Kirk, for that matter.

On another note, a friend of mine picked up a copy of Comfort and Cameron’s version of On the Origin of Species and is dropping it off at my house today.

It’ll be like the proverbial red-headed stepchild.

Intellectual Dishonesty, Cameron Style.

633619816658263170-ceationismSoon Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort will descend upon college campuses nationwide with their particular brand of evangelical drumbeating. On November 19 they intend to hand out over 50,000 copies of Charles Darwin’s, On The Origin Of Species. These copies of On The Origin Of Species have been blessed with a 40 to 50 page introduction penned by Ray comfort himself. Advanced copies of Comfort’s version of this book indicate that he has edited it. Kirk Cameron has also released a promotional video trying to drum up support for their campus campaign. I watched this video. It wasn’t easy but yes I watched it. After watching it I felt compelled to put together,what became,  my first attempt at video editing in an effort to shine the light of rationality on the rantings of Kirk Cameron. Please enjoy.


Bill O’Reilly revs up his war engine

Bill O’Reilly is playing his "War on Christmas" game again. It seems the Governor Steve Beshear of Kentucky decided that the seasonal tree this year would be called a "holiday tree" instead of a "Christmas tree" (he’s since revoked that decision and it’s back to being a "Christmas tree"). This, of course, drew outrage from offended Christians and the ever so fair-and-balanced Bill O’Reilly.

Here’s the video. My take on it follows.

I’ll start off with my opinion that calling the tree a "holiday tree" is stupid. It is a Christmas tree. Let’s just call it that. However, saying "happy holidays" is not stupid. It’s inclusive. Not only is it inclusive of other religious beliefs (Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Al Hijra, etc), but it’s also inclusive of other secular holidays (Thanksgiving and New Years Day, for instance).

Christmas has been secularized to the point where there are very few people who get offended over a Christmas tree, Christmas lights, snowmen, candles, elves, Santa, and the myriad of other secular Christmas displays. Similarly, I don’t know anyone who gets offended over religious displays when they are displayed in an appropriate place… like a church or on private property. The problem comes when the religious aspects of Christmas are displayed, promoted, paid for, or endorsed by any government (or taxpayer supported) organization.

That said… on to O’Reilly’s buffoonery.

He starts off announcing the story, and then says "Kentucky is a traditional place, as you know." By "traditional," what he means is "right-wing religious," but he uses the term "traditional" to make it sound warm and inviting… all apple pie and warm cookies. He also says "that kind of nonsense usually doesn’t play down there," planting his cleated feet firmly in the camp of religious intolerance (as if he needed to plant them deeper than they already are).

Gretchen Carlson states that she thinks that Beshear’s change of heart is "emblematic of what was goin’ on this summer at the tea parties. I think that now Americans have the "fight within them and they’re gonna stand up and they’re gonna be heard." O’Reilly thinks she may be right, of course… but I take offense at being lumped in with her version of what "Americans" are. I sincerely doubt that the tea parties had any real effect on rational, thinking Americans. The right-wing Fox News minions? Yes, perhaps.

O’Reilly turns his attention to Margaret Hoover and says that "we" (his show? Fox News?) had to hammer Washington state last Christmas because the governor there put up an atheist sign (OMG HORROR!) next to the Christmas tree and nativity scene. He charges right past the whole "nativity scene" bit. Perhaps he didn’t want to draw attention to the overt religious displays in government buildings. I don’t know.

Hoover says that we’re a multi-ethnic country (true) and that "atheists can’t impose their atheism on the rest of us… and vice versa" (also true).

O’Reilly, however, comes back with "But that’s not really true" and Carlson, in a flash of brilliance (not), says, "We call it Christmas because Christmas falls on December 25th. It’s Christmas!" Ummm… somebody needs to go back to remedial Sunday school, it seems.

O’Reilly’s argument is that "polls say" that 70% of Americans are "fed up with this nonsense" and want "Christmas to be Christmas." He doesn’t mention which polls or what "this nonsense" is specifically. He just gives a vague, unsupported statement as his means of "destroying" Hoover. He also says that the Christmas tree came from Germany and it’s a "tradition that America has embraced." He changes his tune slightly and says that (emphasis mine) "70% of Americans want traditional Christmas to be kept that way." Again, vague. I’m an atheist and, other than a Christmas Eve church service, my family’s Christmas is as "traditional" as it was growing up. O’Reilly’s statements are vague to the point of being… pointless.

But here’s where he really gets going. He says, "Don’t tell me about pluralistic nonsense. This is the tyranny of the minority." O’Reilly is a master of absurdism. Tyranny? Seriously? Calling a Christmas tree a "holiday" tree is tyranny?

Hoover says it’s up to the states to decide how to handle the issue and they have to answer to their citizenry. O’Reilly’s counter? "That dopey governor out there… and she is a giant pinhead… imposed her ridiculous view of life on Washingtonians." Wow. Because she allowed equal access for various religious displays (since the Constitution requires neutrality), she’s a dopey, giant pinhead? That’s classic O’Reilly, right there.

Carlson is no better and interjects that "they put up a Festivus pole" when, in actuality, they did not. They requested one, but the whole situation got shut down before getting too out of hand. Carlson goes on to make some remark implying that the American people would like to see their tax dollars being spent to stop all religious displays that are non-Christian.

O’Reilly finishes up by stating that the "Supreme Court has already ruled that you can have these displays. You don’t have to make these insane changes." What constitutes "these displays?" Christmas trees? Okay. Manger scenes? No. The Supreme Court has ruled no such thing.

O’Reilly is a master of delivering blustering, absolutist rhetoric while remaining pointless and vague. He spouts off with intolerant, bigoted tirades on a regular basis… but has a devout following of like-minded acolytes that hang on his every word, nodding their heads with a hypnotically zealous agreement. There was very little mention of Christianity in this video, but the undertone was there. From "traditional" Christmas to the tea partiers (who were, on the whole, overtly and fundamentally religious), the implication is that O’Reilly’s version of Christmas is the only acceptable way for Americans to spend the holiday season and, indeed, it’s the only acceptable holiday.

And remember, we call it Christmas because Christmas falls on December 25th.

Facebook makes for interesting discussions

A friend of mine posted a Facebook update this morning proclaiming that she is a Christian and proud of it, asking others to proclaim the same and to pray for others who join in. Here’s the text of her post [sic… but emphasis mine].

[Her name] Is a Christian and proud to say it!! Let’s see how many people on fb aren’t afraid to show their love for God! Repost this as your status. Each time you see this on someones status say a quick prayer for that person!! Let’s get God back in this country like He should be!!! If you agree post this in your status. Like/unlike write a comment.

That’s all pretty innocuous and she meant it as an upbeat comment to start the day… but she did solicit comments, and after a few positive responses with prayers (“Father I lift up [her name] to you right now and I ask you to flood her with your presence today.”), another poster hit upon the phrase I highlighted above. He said [sic]…

[His name] while I’m pleased to know that your religious perspectives bring you joy and peace, I have reservations about the comment “Let’s get God back in the country like He should be”. I’m not sure who says “He should be”, but it certainly was not our wise and enlightened founding fathers, who were careful to institute concepts like the seperation of church and state and freedom of (and from) religion. Spirituality is a personal path, to be kept in one’s heart. Once you start declaring that God should play a role in an entire country, you infringe upon the rights of people with a different belief system. A quick study of Saudi Arabia or Iraq shows what that can lead to.

Your post requested a comment, I’m sharing mine.

I found that a pretty fair response. Given our secular Constitution and the religiously diverse population in this country, I think the idea of putting “God back in this country” is, at the very least, a bad one. [His name] calls it out perfectly, saying that it would “infringe upon the rights of people with a different belief system” and points to perfect examples.

The response came quickly from [her name] and said [sic]…

[Her name] Our God teaches peace. Their Gods teach violence. That’s all that needs to be said about that.

I thought the response was first, missing the point and second, misinformed. So I responded with a simple…

[Me] In [his name’s] defense, a theocracy is a theocracy, regardless whose concept of a deity is used.

I thought maybe that bit of simplicity might help [his name’s] point hit home. It didn’t. [Her name] posted another bit about the god of Islam vs. the god of Christianity, but deleted it shortly thereafter. Then another poster joined in… and inspired me to write this blog post. She said [sic]…

[Supporter] It’s been quite awhile since I studied this, so I could be incorrect, but the reason why there was “separation between church and state” was so there was not a dictatorship as in England. They did not want the government to dictate how things should be handled…they wanted each jurisdiction to have the right to dictate that, which is the main reason America was even founded. Now, it is important to not that it was “One nation, Under God”….so that negates the theory that they didn’t want God to be a part of things…..I still also believe that if you view Creationism as a religious theory, than Evolution should also be a religious theory, and then the answer in school would be teach neither, or teach both….just as some believe God shouldn’t be taught in school, others don’t subscribe to the “big bang THEORY” either……just some other thoughts to consider.

I pondered a response for a bit, but decided there was too much wrong with that to deal with in a Facebook status thread, so I bowed out by just saying “Too much for me to get into on a Facebook thread.” [His name] had one more go, however, with this [sic]…

[His name] Bear in mind, the God of Islam is the same God of Christianity and Judaism, and the Qu’aran speaks of peace (and violence) as much as the Bible does. Also remember that “one nation, under God” is a phrase that did not officially exist in the US until the 1950’s to seperate us from the “godless” communists. I generally keep my opinions to myself, but this post conveniently comes the day after an election wherein I am once again denied the equal rights (thanks, Maine) of the majority because of the loud and powerful religious right’s influence on government and voters. Anyway, being thought provoking can be upbeat and lifting. I’m not trying to insult anyone, and I’ll say no more.

Good for him. Not only did he call out one of the misconceptions in [Supporter’s] post (The “One nation, under God” part), but he called out the religious right’s negative influence on human rights in this country… with a perfect timely example.

[Supporter] is also misinformed about evolution and creationism (and the big bang theory, it seems), saying that if creationism is a religious theory, then evolution should be a “religious theory.” Those who know anything about evolution (or science) will automatically recognize that statement as absurd, but it’s one that is heard all too often. When people can’t discern the difference between biblical “magic” and scientific theory, it’s a pretty glaring sign that the educational system in our country needs some serious help.

It’s frustrating, to say the least, and I cringed when I read [Supporter’s] post. I pulled back from commenting harshly, though, because she’s been a friend for a long time and I value our friendship… and I think that particular Facebook thread was an inappropriate venue (it had been hijacked enough as it was).

Perhaps sending her a Richard Dawkins article would be a good starting point.

My daughter is awesome!

This evening, I was waiting for my new laptop to get through all its updates and my wife and I were watching NCIS while waiting, which allowed my eight-year-old daughter to stay up a little later than usual because… you know… we didn’t want to miss any of the NCIS episode to go tuck her in and I needed to be there to click “Next” on my laptop. Priorities.

While my daughter was, in turn, waiting for my wife and I to finish our important “tasks,” she grabbed some paper and colored pencils and wrote and illustrated a four-page book. Though the book doesn’t show off her graphic artistry (she can do much better), when I read the book, I was delighted… and proud. Here’s the book (click to embiggen).

Title Page
Page 1
Page 2
Page 3

Now, of course she doesn’t know everything, but if you’re going to learn everything, history and science are pretty good starting points. This creation of hers happened without any prompting on my part tonight, so I was especially pleased that she felt it was a cool enough topic to illustrate… in the 10 or 15 minutes she was waiting! She read it to me and my laptop and NCIS got ignored from that point.

I think my laptop is still prompting me to click “Next.”

Preachy Comment Spam

I get email notifications when someone posts a comment on one of my posts and today, over the course of about an hour, I got 7 notifications that the same person was commenting. That’s great, I thought! Someone’s actually reading what I wrote and is taking the time to give their feedback!

As it turns out, “Truth seeker” is the commenter and it seems doubtful that he/she was actually reading my posts. All the comments were roughly the same, with bible quotes and preachy “God is great” declarations. Here’s an example.

God is sovereign creator of heaven and earth. He revealed Himself in His Word. He is in control and does His will. God is holy and man is sinful. In order to be in right relationship with God we must repent of our sins and believe in His Son, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross in our place. The wages of sin is death, but Jesus died for us so that we could be reconciled to God. God knows our thoughts and examines our hearts. He knows if you believe in Him or not. When we die, we will each stand before God in judgment. Those who have humbled themselves before God will inherit eternal life. Those who have rejected God or denied His existence will be damned for all eternity. Don’t believe the lie that God does not exist. He has revealed Himself in His creation, the world and universe, and in our hearts and minds. If you truly ask God to reveal Himself to you, He will. Scripture says if you draw nigh to God, He will draw nigh to you. Jesus said, if you deny Him in this life, He will deny you before the Father. I encourage you to humble yourself before your Creator God before it’s too late. Answers to this life and all eternity are found in His Word. God bless.

All the comments are about the same length and vary only slightly in content, but share something in common (other than the religious proclamations). They all contribute nothing to the discussion in their respective articles.

I won’t post any more full comments because it would be redundant, but I just wanted to quote a few select lines [sic]. My comments are in blue, of course.

  • Evolution has never been proven. In over 100 years of studying evolution, science has been unsuccessful and monitoring the evolution of anything. In all their efforts, they cannot turn a dog into a cat or a fly into a misquito. [I think truthseeker was channeling Ray Comfort or Kirk Cameron there]
  • Many people waste their entire lives believing in lies. [Isn’t that an ironic statement?]
  • Faith is a lie is called foolishness. [I was amused by this typo]
  • Evolution is too unbelievable. The odds and likelihood of all necessary events to result in this perfectly balanced universe is ridiculous. [Evolution and the origins of the universe… more Comfort and Cameron]
  • Global warming claims are trickery used to divert funds to other people and nations. [Divert funds from where to where?]
  • All you have to do is believe what God tells you to believe. [So I should hear voices in my head and listen to them?]
  • I choose God and true biblical religion over any and everthing this world has to offer. I don’t have to worry about downloading my memory to a disk [so cool!!!] before I die because my Creator God has kept an account of my life.
  • I encourage you to read the Bible and pray that God will reveal Himself to you. [I did part one. Part two is contradictory]
  • God does not change, His does not waver. Therefore, truths 2,000 years ago are truths today. [So genocide, baby killing, blood sacrifices, and stonings for minor offenses are all still perfectly fine, then?]
  • Every human will one day die. [I can agree with that one]

If you want to read all the comments, here are the links to each one. I marked them all as spam (with “*spam*” at the top) so new visitors won’t confuse them with legitimate comments.

Cherry Picking, Scary Church Signs, Vague God, Creationism = Intelligent Design = Not Science, I am a believer and an atheist, Howse wants to reclaim the church

Happy Birthday… or Anniversary?

Today marks one year since Craig and I first started Rationality Now with a post linking to a debate between Christopher Hitchens and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. Since then we’ve grown in both knowledge and readership and I wanted to sincerely thank all of our current and former readers who have helped make this past year of blogging a great experience.

As if they actually knew, a Jehovah’s Witness showed up at my front doorstep around 9:30 am. My wife answered the door because I was sleeping in so I missed the opportunity to chat with him. It’s actually the first time in my almost fourteen years of living here that someone has stopped by while I was at home… and I missed it.

I’m pretty sure he was going to say Happy Birthday… or Happy Anniversary.

Which is it, anyway?

AAI Convention – Impressions

Craig and I returned from the Atheist Alliance International Convention in LA last night and I’m struggling to get back into the groove of my East Coast time zone. I wanted to post my impressions of the convention, including my highlights and disappointments.

Overall, I’d have to say that I loved the entire event. There were some technical issues every now and then and a bit of disorganization here and there, but it didn’t detract from my experience at all. Almost without exception, the people I encountered were friendly, warm, polite, and fun-loving. There were smiles everywhere I looked. The event was also nearly devoid of religion-bashing, which was a delightful surprise. There were some expected jabs at creationists from some speakers (where appropriate), but that was about the extent of it.

The event was positive, informative, and socially delightful. We were privileged to have lunch and dinner with Margaret Downey, who was a pure delight. I sat next to a wonderful couple from Vancouver (whose names escape me, sadly) at dinner and we had great conversations about religion, politics, and philosophy. At the Sunday night social, I had an exuberantly fun time with Richard Haynes (of Atheist Nexus), Sean Faircloth, Trevor (not Victor), and Carla the veterinarian who delighted in explaining the intricacies of various castration techniques (OMG I hope I got her name right). Topics ranged from zombies to Hello Kitty to health care to the aforementioned castrations (which seemed to come up far too often, with hilarious results). It was wonderful.

I don’t think I’ve ever been to a conference before (professional or personal) with that many openly friendly people.

As for the speakers and events, here’s a summary of my experience.


Friday was the opening day and after a live podcast for Dogma Free America (which covered current events and was quite entertaining), almost all the presentations were paralleled by two others, so it was tough to choose between the speakers (the program wasn’t always clear about the topics).

My first choice was a good one and I listened to Stephen Frederick Uhl, an ex Catholic priest and author of Out of God’s Closet, speak about ethics and morality without religion. I enjoyed his talk immensely and found much of what he had to say paralleled some of my own ideas about ethical/moral guidelines… only he explained things better and in more detail.

I wasn’t as fortunate for my second and third picks of Sunsara Taylor and Maurice Bisheff. Taylor spoke about abortion, but was way too radical in her views for my tastes… and for the tastes of most others in the room, based on the comments and questions she received. Bisheff spoke about Thomas Paine, but his presentation was terribly dry and seemed to promote Paine’s deistic views which, according to this talk, approached the level of metaphysical woo.

Friday night there was a live screening of Real Time with Bill Maher (with Richard Dawkins as guest) after which we got a hilarious presentation by Brian Dalton (of Mr. Deity fame) along with the entire cast of his show who did some of the sketches on stage. Near the end of his presentation, Richard Dawkins and Bill Maher arrived and Maher was awarded with the Richard Dawkins award for his movie Religulous. Maher then delighted the crowd with some great comedy, including a reading from Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life (you can see a clip on YouTube of that bit).

After the main convention hall events, there was a comedy fundraiser for AAI with some very, very funny comedians.


Saturday was science day and all the speakers were directly sponsored by the Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. Every talk I attended was brilliant and informative and inspiring. Some of these talks will be covered in more detail by Craig or me in separate posts, but here’s a summary.

  • J. Anderson Thomson, an evolutionary psychologist, spoke about the evolutionary foundation for morality and the studies that are being done about the brain and how it process moral decisions.
  • Lawrence Krauss, a physicist (and author of The Physics of Star Trek), spoke about the universe, its expansion, its origins, and its future… and made physics not only interesting and entertaining, but incredibly funny.
  • Carolyn Porco, a planetary scientist and the leader of the imaging team for the Cassini project, spoke about Cassini and showed some remarkable images of Saturn, including this one, Saturn eclipsing the Sun and with Earth as a small dot just above the left side of Saturn’s rings.
  • A biologist (whose name I don’t have at the moment) gave an amazing talk about stem cell research and what’s been accomplished so far, what being worked on currently, and what the future holds. His did a great job of making it all understandable to laymen.
  • Jerry Coyne, an evolutionary biologist and author of Why Evolution is True, spoke about the evidence for evolution in various fields. His talk was probably my favorite of the convention, since it’s one of my favorite topics (and favorite books) and he was a very entertaining speaker.
  • Daniel Dennett, philosopher and author of Breaking the Spell, spoke about the “Evolution of Confusion,” the interviews he’s doing with atheist clergy, and the fluff language of some theologians (like Karen Armstrong, as Jerry Coyne reminded me) who say things like “God is the God behind God.”
  • Richard Dawkins was the keynote speaker after the dinner banquet and, being on a book tour, read from the final chapter of his new book about the evidence for evolution titled The Greatest Show on Earth.

Saturday evening, there was a live music party hosted by Atheist Nexus. I was completely bushed at this point and didn’t stay around for much of it… and had a Sunday breakfast scheduled for 7:00 am with the board members of Atheist Alliance International.


I had breakfast with Stephen Uhl (mentioned earlier) and Stuart Beckman, the current president of AAI. We gave Beckman some feedback about the convention and had some great conversations about building support in the atheist/skeptic/free-thinking community and getting rid of the stigma society attaches to atheism.

There were two headline speakers after breakfast.

  • Jonathan Kirsch, religious historian and author of The Grand Inquisitor’s Manual, spoke about the Inqusition, its origins, its methods, and how they have been used over the centuries… even up to the current day. It was a fascinating talk and he was an entertaining speaker.
  • Eugenie C. Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education and author of Creationism vs. Evolution: An Introduction, spoke about the verbal and legal tricks that creationists use in their attempts to insinuate creationism (or intelligent design… same thing) into our schools’ science curriculums. She was warm and funny and it’s reassuring to know that she and her staff are on top of the issue.
  • Sadly, Richard Haynes, the founder of Atheist Nexus, was moved to after the closing ceremonies, so only a small crowd got to hear his talk about his story, starting Atheist Nexus, and how to help build the atheist community.  He was very friendly, humorous, and relaxed and made a great presentation. It would be great to have him as a headliner at the next convention.

Sunday night there was an informal social at the hotel bar from 7:00 to midnight for those folks who were staying over until Monday. I got there a bit early, doing some writing and drinking Diet Coke, until folks started to arrive… and then it was a phenomenal evening of hilarity, as I mentioned at the start of this post.

Overall, this was a terrific event. The minor glitches and snippets of disorganization didn’t phase me and the speakers were informative and inspirational. What really made the event special, however, was the sense of camaraderie, friendship, and warmth that was exuded by the attendees. For folks that are frequently labeled with all kinds of derogatory terms (hateful, angry, rebellious, etc), they certainly blew away that stereotype and made the convention center into a place that felt welcoming and comfortable… even for non-atheists (of which there were a few).

I’d definitely go again.

AAI Convention – A Theory Of Disbelief

disbelief of godDan and I are just returning from the 2009 AAI conference in Los Angeles. It was truly awesome and I highly recommend that if you ever have the opportunity to attend one of their events, you do! Over 700 fellow atheists were in attendance. It was announced that next year the conference will be held in Montreal.

I am currently on a plane flying at 35,000 feet using wifi, listening to the Beatles on my ipod, while remotely connecting to my home desktop pc to transfer the image you see above to my laptop so that I can post this article. Yes creationists, science sure is an inconvenience. As I write this using so many different sciences at once, I am even more amazed by the ability of creationists to obstruct the upward scientific evolution of mankind. Which brings me to my point. I think I may have figured out why so many creationists happen to be global warming deniers, anti stem cell research advocates, etc.

The conference was nothing but one brilliant speech after another. I sat there finding it impossible to believe that any creation minded person could possibly walk out with their beliefs still intact. I watched and heard some of the most brilliant minds of our time explain evolution, biology, earth science, astro physics, genetics & embryonic cell research. How could anyone watch all of the same presentations and still have an ounce of doubt about our place in the universe? Then it hit me. My theory is something I call, the unification of belligerent thought theory. I have noticed that a significant (certainly higher than any probability model’s results) number of creationists also deny global warming for example. Why is this? There is no religious connection so to speak. So why?

I believe that some people just can’t deal with…being wrong (Ray Comfort & Ken Ham, I’m talking to you). I know this is a revolutionary concept. It is just impossible for me to believe that anyone could have sat through the lecture that Lawrence Krauss presented about the origins of our universe and walked away saying, ” …that doesn’t make any sense. That’s not what the bible says”. Religion requires commitment to a defensive posture. Under the light of any intelligent scrutiny, religion’s mythical and contradictory nature becomes a glittering jewel of  nonsense. I believe that belligerent thought is a style of thinking not limited to a particular topic. Generally people who are unwilling to accept being wrong about one belief are incapable of admitting the same for another. This means the road ahead for atheists to promote science and critical thinking skills may be longer than hoped. Have no fear though, a long road just means we need to travel faster to get to our destination of rationality.