My favorite Ann Druyan quote on science and skepticism is pithy, philosophical, profound

Ann Druyan: Science is a way to keep from fooling ourselves... and each other.

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Ted Cruz’s Chief Advisor & Dad Campaigns for Son, Christian Rule, & War on the Faithless

[Excerpts from my original post at The Friendly Atheist, where I’m a regular contributor.]

Sen. Ted Cruz leaves no doubt that his father, evangelical minister and wildly popular conservative Christian speaker Rafael Cruz, is his most important professional and personal mentor. Throughout his 2012 Senate campaign, the Texas Republican relied heavily on his father as both chief advisor and veritable stand-in for himself whenever needed. The senator opened both his March 23rd speech declaring his presidential candidacy and his first campaign ad with tales of his father’s inspiration and guidance.

Rafael and Ted Cruz (via YouTube)

While it was questionable whether President Obama‘s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, was fair game for those seeking clues to Obama’s views and intentions, here there can be no question. Rafael Cruz is a wide-open window into Ted Cruz’s soul. And the view isn’t pretty. Continue reading

How Christians Think They Can Convert Atheists… According to WikiHow

[Excerpts from my guest post at The Friendly Atheist.]

You learn a lot about campaigns when you read their strategy memos. WikiHow contributors have put together a page on How to Persuade an Atheist to Become Christian, and it’s probably a little more revealing than they intended.

So while I’ve taken the small liberty of providing a helpful title for each step, here are Christian WikiHow authors’ actual instructions for how to convert an atheist:

Think of it as setting them up on a blind date with Jesus

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Religious Pseudoscience in America’s Public School Science Classrooms: Jesus Better Make Way for the New Age

[Excerpts from my guest post at The Friendly Atheist.]

A charmingly enthusiastic science teacher from Arkansas just received an award for helping her students learn about nature and environmental sustainability:

Hackler [Intermediate School] is one of six schools in the state winning the Arkansas Green Schools Challenge, sponsored by the Arkansas Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council and the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators.

A science and social studies teacher, [Barbara] Penrose is teaching her students much more, such as how make compost and how to grow vegetables to feed their families. Actually, Penrose teaches the fourth-graders more than that; she teaches them to appreciate and care for the environment around them.

… Penrose not only teaches her fourth-graders about protecting the environment and recycling, as you might expect, but also “fun” things like worm composting for the school’s vegetable and butterfly gardens. Though an annual butterfly release, they learn about pollination, and they’re developing a marked nature trail to teach identification of trees, wildflowers, birds, and insects.

Wonderful stuff. I wish my school had been like this!

But wait… we’re not done yet: Continue reading

New Research Further Confirms That Near Death Experiences Have “Quite Probably” Been Explained

[Excerpts from my guest post at The Friendly Atheist.]

Heaven is Real 1 Heaven is Real 2Heaven Is Real 3

From the 2014 film Heaven is Real, based on the New York Times nonfiction bestseller by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent about their 3-year-old son Colton’s NDE tale.

The University of Michigan made the stunning announcement this past week that the “near-death” experiences so many people have isn’t really Jesus calling us home. It’s our brain trying to kill us:

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HuffPo Publishes the Most Inane Article Ever Seen on the Internet

[Excerpts from my guest post at The Friendly Atheist.]

An associate editor for Huffington Post Lifestyle, Suzy Strutner, has bequeathed upon the world a truly extraordinary work of inanity in a piece called “Your Birthday Says A LOT About What Happens In Your Home.”

So there’d be no confusion, HuffPo wisely waited till the day after April Fools to post the piece on its “Positive Change” section. Let us ponder Strutner’s words as she shares her findings about Local Space Astrology in home floor plans:

Your birthday creates special, invisible “planet lines” around your house.
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