Chronicling the follies of religion and superstition, the virtues of skepticism, and the wonders of the real (natural) universe as revealed by science. Plus other interesting and educational stuff.
"Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure."
“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.
“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”
The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. It may be a long farewell, but it has begun and, like all farewells, should not be protracted.
Richard Dawkins, interview with The National Geographic Channel (via thedragoninmygarage)
Many adults are put off when youngsters pose scientific questions. Children ask why the sun is yellow, or what a dream is, or how deep you can dig a hole, or when is the world’s birthday, or why we have toes.
Too many teachers and parents answer with irritation or ridicule, or quickly move on to something else. Why adults should pretend to omniscience before a five-year-old, I can’t for the life of me understand. What’s wrong with admitting that you don’t know? Children soon recognize that somehow this kind of question annoys many adults. A few more experiences like this, and another child has been lost to science.
There are many better responses. If we have an idea of the answer, we could try to explain. If we don’t, we could go to the encyclopedia or the library. Or we might say to the child: “I don’t know the answer. Maybe no one knows. Maybe when you grow up, you’ll be the first to find out.
//I’ve been fighting off tears of sympathy and sadness and horror for the last six hours, but now that the kids are in bed I can finally let them flow freely.
Dear theist parents,
Your children would have made you proud today. They told the one child that stood up for them against bullies on the playground a few weeks ago that he was a terrible person because he doesn’t go to church.
Your children would have made you proud today. They told the one child they trusted to never laugh at their expense, that he was headed for hell because he doesn’t believe in your god. And that they would laugh at him from heaven.
Your children would have made you proud today. They told their best friend, the friend that was always there for them with encouraging words and a huge smile and help with reading, that they would never talk to him again him because he was evil. They don’t want his evil to turn them evil too.
Your children would have made you proud today. They told the child that has so much empathy he would happily spend HOURS searching for medicine on that silly City Folk game because one of the characters was sick, that he is just as bad as your devil.
Your children would have made you proud today. They told the child who decided to donate all of his allowance money and several of his Christmas presents to the women’s shelter so the kids there could have a few nice new things, that he’d be better off gone because atheists are evil.
Dear theist parents. Pat yourself on the back. You’ve taught your children hate and cruelty, you’ve taught them malicious words and a spiteful religion, you’ve taught your children how to bully anyone that doesn’t bow down to a god your kids couldn’t even define.
I hope you’re proud.