Sunday, June 24, 2007

Carnival of the Godless 69

I'd like to give everyone a warm welcome to my blog and to the 69th Carnival of the Godless--the sort of welcome that ignores the obvious jokes. (So okay, I couldn't resist that little bit of jokage. I didn't plan for it to be this way, I swear.)

I hope everyone here pokes around this blog. Maybe you haven't read it in awhile since I announced I was going on hiatus. The hiatus wasn't quite what I expected it to be; but it meant less time wasted with little posts and more time spent on serious projects like the debunking of J. P. Holding that you can see in the post immediately preceding this one.

We've got a great line up for this carnival. To tell the truth, I often have trouble finding the time to read all the entries in a carnival, but I was forced to for this one, and I'm glad I did--it makes me realize I've probably missed some good material in the others that I've merely skimmed throuhg. So give 'em all a read, you won't be disappointed.

Before I get to the blog posts, however, let me throw in a quick plug for Russell Glasser's counter-apologetics wiki, IronChariots. Blog posts get attention for a week, but this project stands to be a lasting resource for people starting to question religion. It's still something of a work in progress, but I'd ask everybody to consider contributing to it--the more people do, the more useful it will become, and the more attention it will get.

Anyway, on to the carnival.

Skeptico has sent in a nice fisking of an anti-Hitchens piece titled Adopting Secular Religions (Or Not). This may be unintentional, but not only does it take down its immediate target, it has relevance for recent debates about humanism and what atheists should stand for, which makes it espeically worth reading. A similar piece is to be found at A Load of Bright, which finds reason to think the author hasn't read the books he's critiquing.

On the other side of some of the issues Skeptico raised--on the question of the nature of modern atheism--we have a blog post which talks of belief in god vs. belief in a book, by The Skeptical Alchemist.

Richard Chapell of Philosophy, et cetera has given us a nice shorty, though when the theme is old, brevity lets you deliver your punch without boring repetition, which Richard does.

No More Mr. Nice Guy!'s contribution has a title that says it all: That's Mormonic!

Mark Rayner has given us another one of his humor pieces, which links wine to the apocalypse. By all means, click on the real news story at the bottom--you'll find that the absurdity in the humor piece isn't really all that exaggerated.

A fellow reader, Plonka, who happens to be from Australia, asked me whether prayer circles really happen here. That's fron Vjack's entry; pretty well sums up the whole thing.

Michael Behe's latest book has already taken its share of debunkings, but a remarkably lucid addition to that list was sent in by Mike Haubrich. He draws on examples from his own personal ancestry and blog readership, illustrating the flaws in Behe's argument far more vividly than a merely technical critique.

Russell Blackford of The Metamagician and the Hellfire Club (a blog of which I was utterly unware) has sent in a post on the future of religion. This is a blog I need to poke around, see what I've been missing.

For our penultimate entry, I have One Fewer God's debunking of an old creationist canard. An old theme, but worth reairing from time to time.

I'll end with a piece which I didn't know whether to include or not. It's sent in by self-described "reasonable conservative" *cough* Jon Swift and beats up on, of all people, Mr. Wizard:
Don Herbert, who used science to try to "explain" the universe to millions of young people on television as "Mr. Wizard," was by all accounts a kind and genial man. But his gentle disposition masked a sinister and devious plan: To turn the young people of America away from God.

"Over the years, Don has been personally responsible for more people going into the sciences than any other single person in this country," George Tressel, a National Science Foundation official, is quoted as saying in an obituary.
Bizarre, but I looked at the carnival rules and they don't strictly prohibit linking it. So read the whole thing, you should get a kick out of it.

That's it for this carnival, the next edition is at Hemant's place. See you then.


vjack said...

Good carnival. Nice to have some solid godless reading for my Sunday morning.

Blake Stacey said...

Russell Blackford has done some very nice blog posts over the past year. Back in pre-blogospheric days, he also put up a website including several essays published in magazines, which are also good.

Cat Faber said...

The Jon Swift piece was a hoot. I particularly admired the part where he showed how Mr. Wizard was responsible for carnivorous wolves. You don't see that kind of incisive thought every day.

I don't really think Swift counts as "godless" though.

Carlie said...

The really sad thing is that if Mr. Wizard were on the air today, there are a lot of people who would react exactly like Jon Swift, but without the irony.

Mike Haubrich said...

Nice Carnival and thanks for including my entry. I should clarity that I have not read Behe's book, but only the critiques of the sciencebloggers. Anybody is welcome to take that into consideration when reading my post.