“In a newly discovered video, Pastor Eric Dammann admit to punching a child right in the chest because he didn’t take God seriously. And he considers that an ultimately good thing.
As he recounts the story, there was a ‘real smart-aleck’ at some youth group he was at, a ‘bright kid’ who was ‘just trying to push my buttons and was “not taking the Lord serious.’”
Hundreds of people have taken to the streets of Dhaka in protest at the murder of a prominent secular American blogger of Bangladeshi origin who was hacked to death with machetes after he allegedly received threats from Islamists.
Avijit Roy and his wife, Rafida Ahmed, were attacked on a crowded pavement as they were returning from a book fair at Dhaka University. Ahmed, who is also a blogger, lost a finger and remains under treatment at the Square hospital in Dhaka.
The attack took place at about 8.45pm on Thursday evening when a group of men ambushed the couple as they walked toward a roadside tea stall, with at least two of the attackers hitting them with meat cleavers. The attackers then ran off into the crowds. Two blood-stained cleavers were found after the attack, said police.
Many people with religious convictions feel that their faith is rock solid. But a new study finds that prompting people to engage in analytical thinking can cause their religious beliefs to waver, if only a little. Researchers say the findings have potentially significant implications for understanding the cognitive underpinnings of religion.
Psychologists often carve thinking into two broad categories: intuitive thinking, which is fast and effortless (instantly knowing whether someone is angry or sad from the look on her face, for example); and analytic thinking, which is slower and more deliberate (and used for solving math problems and other tricky tasks). Both kinds of thinking have their strengths and weaknesses, and they often seem to interfere with one another. “Recently there’s been an emerging consensus among [researchers] … that a lot of religious beliefs are grounded in intuitive processes,” says Will Gervais, a graduate student at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, in Canada and a co-author of the new study, published today in Science.
It is a clever trick if you can pull it off – mimic another, more dangerous animal and so avoid being eaten.
Many insects try it, but it has been a long standing puzzle why some of the worst mimics in Nature can still seem to escape becoming a meal.
Now, Canadian scientists tell Nature journal they can answer that one.
Larger animals, they say, make for more substantial meals, and so their mimicry needs to be spot on. For small prey, a great performance is not so essential.
“Mimicry of harmless species pretending to be dangerous ones in order to avoid being eaten is one of the best celebrated examples of the outcome of evolution by natural selection,” says Professor Tom Sherratt, of Carleton University in Ottawa, who led the research.
An international team of researchers have discovered that human bipedalism, or walking upright, may have originated millions of years ago as an adaptation to carrying scarce, high-quality resources.
The team of researchers from the U.S., England, Japan and Portugal investigated the behaviour of modern-day chimpanzees as they competed for food resources, in an effort to understand what ecological settings would lead a large ape – one that resembles the 6 million-year old ancestor we shared in common with living chimpanzees – to walk on two legs.
Before them are dozens of massive stone pillars arranged into a set of rings, one mashed up against the next. Known as Göbekli Tepe (pronounced Guh-behk-LEE TEH-peh), the site is vaguely reminiscent of Stonehenge, except that Göbekli Tepe was built much earlier and is made not from roughly hewn blocks but from cleanly carved limestone pillars splashed with bas-reliefs of animals—a cavalcade of gazelles, snakes, foxes, scorpions, and ferocious wild boars. The assemblage was built some 11,600 years ago, seven millennia before the Great Pyramid of Giza. It contains the oldest known temple. Indeed, Göbekli Tepe is the oldest known example of monumental architecture—the first structure human beings put together that was bigger and more complicated than a hut. When these pillars were erected, so far as we know, nothing of comparable scale existed in the world.
PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Every other Wednesday, right after school at 2:45, the newest club at Rutherford High, the atheist club, meets in Room 13-211.
Last Wednesday, Jim Dickey, the president, started out by asking his fellow student atheists (there are a few agnostics, too) whether they wanted to put together an all-atheist Ultimate Frisbee team for a charity event.
“We can pay the entry fee from the club treasury,” said Michael Creamer, the atheists’ faculty adviser, who urged them to take part.
Club members discussed what to do about Faith Week. Rutherford High’s two Christian clubs will be sponsoring a series of before-school prayer circles around the flagpole this week, and several of the atheists felt a need to respond in some way. “We can set up informational tables near the flagpole and do our own speeches,” said Mr. Creamer, who suggested waiting a few weeks. “Remember, we’re not trying to be confrontational; this will be a counterpoint.”
By Richard Allen Greene, CNN
Organized religion will all but vanish eventually from nine Western-style democracies, a team of mathematicians predict in a new paper based on census data stretching back 100 years.
It won’t die out completely, but “religion will be driven toward extinction” in countries including Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands, they say.
It will also wither away in Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland and Switzerland, they anticipate.
They can’t make a prediction about the United States because the U.S. census doesn’t ask about religion, lead author Daniel Abrams told CNN.
But nine other countries provide enough data for detailed mathematical modeling, he said.
“If you look at the data, ‘unaffiliated’ is the fastest-growing group” in those countries, he said.
Atheist Christopher Hitchens seemed to get the best of it in a debate over religion with former British prime minister and Roman Catholic convert Tony Blair.
The two men disputed religion in Toronto Friday night at the Munk Debates before a sold-out crowd of 2,600 — scalpers outside were asking as much as $500 a ticket — as thousands more watched online.
Blair argued for the proposition that religion is a force for good, while Hitchens was against it.
Preliminary results on the Munk website said 68 per cent of the votes backed Hitchens and 32 per cent Blair. Both men gained about 10 percentage points from the pre-debate standings, when 21 per cent were undecided.
Hitchens argued that religion is divisive and causes conflicts or makes them worse.
Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/11/26/blair-htichens-religion.html#ixzz16Xeli74f