A brief history of atheism (7)

After centuries of slow but substantial and significant progress, the new century opened with a devastating demonstration of the power of belief in god. The flying of planes into those symbols of American military and economic might in the name of god...

A brief history of atheism (6)

The twentieth century saw a dramatic increase in the numbers of people who were willing to acknowledge that they did not believe in any god. This rise was particularly pronounced in Europe, where many intellectuals very publicly dismissed the very...

A brief history of atheism (5)

The nineteenth century saw a flourishing of overtly atheist writings and political radicalism. The conjunction was far from accidental. Richard Carlile illustrates this relationship perfectly. Carlile was radicalised by the social and economic...

A brief history of atheism (4)

Thomas Paine marks a significant turning point in the history of atheism. Whereas up till this time, scepticism, let alone outright disbelief, had been very much confined to the upper reaches of societies, with the writings of Tom Paine such ideas and...

A brief history of atheism (3)

  The Enlightenment was an extraordinary moment in the history of humanity. Building on the discoveries of the previous few centuries, there arose of flowering of reason that was truly remarkable. Educated people across Europe and America...

A brief history of atheism (2)

Throughout recorded history the term atheism has been used as a pejorative, an insult, an accusation. The trial of Socrates, two and a half thousand years ago, clearly illustrates this point. Socrates was charged with atheism and leading the youth...

A brief history of atheism (1)

The history of atheism is incredibly controversial. The controversy begins immediately with the very definition of the subject matter. The religious apologists dogmatically assert that the term means the denial of the existence of god. This, of...

Time and creation

Well if you have a trawl through the wonderful world of Christian apologist web sites, you will see that Professor Steven Hawking is apparently very much in vogue at the moment. However, it will not take you long to discover that they are only...

Creationists and the ninth

I have written before about creationists and how they argue about the theory of evolution.* I do not intend to repeat those observations in this post. Rather, I simply wish to address something that I have found very puzzling: the alacrity with which...

What does religion do to a person's mind?

Religious beliefs, creeds, doctrines and dogmas are so counter-factual that these fantastic ideas do terrible things to the minds of believers. If you do not believe me, you can easily test this assertion by talking to a believer. If you ask...

War on drugs and the bankers

Since Mexico declared its war on drugs in 2006, more than forty thousand people have been murdered in this drug war. Every day dead bodies are found on the streets, people are kidnapped and held for ransom or just disappear without trace. Mexico has...

Concerned Christian

Numenian is a deeply concerned Christian. He has uncovered a serious threat to humanity and has urgent advice for everyone. However, I notice that only ten people have viewed his call to arms. So, in the spirit of helping him to get the message out,...

Fellow travellers

A fellow traveller, etymologically, is one who shares in a joint venture. In modern usage, this has become a term for one, who whilst not a member, is a sympathiser. The fellow travellers I have in mind are the godless who criticise other...

Why evolution is true

In the 'Pages' section to the right, I have posted a presentation by Professor Jerry Coyne on 'Why evolution is true'. It is well worth watching, as is his book, of the same title, well worth reading.

Why evolution is true

Professor Jerry Coyne wrote a really neat and very accessible book called Why evolution is true. If you have not read it, I would strongly recommend it. However, for anyone who would rather listen than read, here is a video of Jerry talking about why...

Truth: an accident of geography?

The religious like to flatter themselves that they know the truth. They like to claim that their religion is the one true religion and that their god is the true god. But there is no basis for such claims as a mere glance at the religious geography of...

Road to Damascus

Professor Steven Hawking famously stated in his best selling book, A Brief History of Time that the development of a theory of everything would mean we would know the mind of god. Naturally, the religious liked the metaphor and attempted to pretend...

Unit 731

  Shiro Ishii calls for a brain. Guards hold a randomly selected man, whilst another cleaves the man's head open with an axe. The brain is immediately presented to the general. Welcome to Unit 731. Unit 731 was a biological and chemical...

Still waiting

For thousands of years people have been claiming that some god or other actually exists. Some of those claims cited Zeus, some Thor, some Brahman, some Yahweh and so on. And in all those millennia not one single shred of evidence has been presented to...

US: tough love?

If one looks at the world's prison population statistics, one might be led to the conclusion that the United States is the most criminal country the world has ever seen. Certainly it jails more of its citizens than any country throughout recorded...

Rainbows

Some people like to think the world is intuitive. They like to think that reality must conform to their intuitions. They don't say that of course. They dress their intuitive apprehension of the world in some fancy sounding words like logic and reason....

Logic is absurd

Logic is utterly absurd. Its absurdity is clearly revealed when people try to use it as a substitute for empirical knowledge. This was incontrovertibly demonstrated by Zeno two and a half thousand years ago; although, that, of course, what with him...