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MORE BIG CONFERENCE NEWS!

Hang out with Lawrence Krauss
May 29–31, 2015
Lawrence Krauss

Lawrence Krauss, the world-renowned physicist, cosmologist, and atheist activist is not only coming to the Friday night dinner, to mingle with guests and speak about the future of space and civilization on Saturday, he has confirmed that he will be attending the private dinner at the Shermer residence Sunday evening, along with Richard Dawkins as a fundraiser for the Richard Dawkins Foundation. You can dine privately with Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss, Michael Shermer, and others by purchasing your ticket today!

This is going to be our biggest conference ever that will sell out the Caltech auditorium, so be sure to REGISTER NOW for the Friday night dinner, the Saturday all-day lectures and discussions (meals included), one of the Sunday field trips, and evening private dinner with Dawkins (which is tax-deductible!).

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NEW ON THE MORAL ARC BLOG
Why Islam? Of the three great monotheistic religions only one did not go through the Enlightenment

The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom (book over)

Visit the Moral Arc website for more information about the book, or click one of the following to order the book right now from Amazon, Shop Skeptic, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, iBooks, Kobo, and IndieBound.

One of the central tenets of science is to define a problem to be studied with as much clarity as possible, and the key to clear communication is calling things what they really are. Unfortunately, both the American media and public intellectuals have failed to be honest in identifying what everyone in Europe knows is the primary source of terrorism in the world today: Islam.

Yes, there are political and economic motives behind terrorism in addition to religion, and most Muslims are not terrorists, particularly those living in Western countries. And of course Islam is not the only religion that can lead to violence, as witnessed in the occasional abortion clinic bombing by Christians, but I can’t even remember when the last one was. (I just checked: there were two in 2012, no injuries, three in 2007, also no injuries, a handful of inept attempts at arson in the early 2000s, with most serious attacks made in the 1980s and early 1990s.) Instead, most Christians who oppose abortion protest peacefully, as they did in front of the Supreme Court building in Washington DC that I happened upon on January 22, the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, when I was in town on my book tour for The Moral Arc

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Donald Prothero
Poes, Trolls, and Dinosaur Deniers

Donald Prothero considers the Christians Against Dinosaurs website, and reflects on the problem described by "Poe’s Law": it is often impossible to tell the difference between parody and sincere extremism.

Read the Insight

Daniel Loxton
Gotcha! Thinking About Skeptical “Stings”

Daniel Loxton considers the long, valuable, and ethically complicated history of skeptical undercover investigations and debunking traps.

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Considering a Complaint About Skeptical Tactics

Daniel Loxton describes a recent recurrence of the very old controversy about skeptical use of undercover investigation and "sting " tactics.

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io9 INTERVIEWS DANIEL LOXTON

The Truth About the Future of the Skeptic Movement

Daniel Loxton is the editor of Junior Skeptic, a periodical aimed at kids that's bound into every issue of Skeptic magazine. He's also an artist, a cryptid enthusiast, and a passionate advocate of the skeptic movement.

Read the interview

4 Comments »

4 Comments

  1. John R Murphy says:

    “Everyone in Europe “knows” is the primary source of terrorism in the world today: Islam”
    Does this belief make it so? (1 billion Hindus believe that the god of the human intellect has an elephant’s head)
    Islam does not have a Pope or Global Leader. Are these worldwide attacks coordinated or is it just a conspiracy theory ? How can one tell the difference between a true conspiracy and a false one?
    “ Of the three great monotheistic religions only one did not go through the Enlightenment “
    After the Charlie Hebdo slaughter the Roman Catholic pope explained “if you insult my mother, I will give you a punch” Is this the enlightenment Shermer speaks of?

    • Bad Boy Scientist says:

      I agree. It seems too simple-minded (especially for a group of people self-labelled as skeptics) to pin it on a religion as if it were that easy. One thing they seem to overlook is Islamic terrorism has not been occurring at a constant pace throughout the past centuries. Christian & Jewish terrorism have not either. It is important to find the significant factors rather than simply grasp at the most obvious ones…

      When consider centuries old religions, looking back a few decades is shallow and, perhaps intentionally biased.

      • Mark Tichenor says:

        Orthodox or “fundamentalists” exist in every religion – indeed in every organized group. When a group believes it has a mission, commissioned by god, it operates on the highest level of mission and “action”. So it is with orthodox/fundamentalist islam. Universal islam lives within it’s own schism – that of ancient orthodoxy vs modernism. Islam has had its share (a lesser share I believe) of enlightened thought but it also has had its larger share of fundamental expression (think https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=sayyid+qutb+and+the+origins+of+radical+islamism&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8), (Yusuf al-Qaradawi), and many more.

        It matters not whether the orthodox are purists not interested in economic control or activists for jihad, control and advancement of the culture and civil code (sharia). Your comments cause me to think your reference to be the more self enlightened muslim that commits his own sin of Ijtihad (self interpretation) that is not permissible in the world of the orthodox/fundamentalist.

        Islam is defined by the scriptures and schools and defined in the sharia. That is what matters and that is what is happening – and why. Naturally fundamental islam wants its caliphate. its rule of its homeland and ultimate control of the world. That is allah’s command

  2. Ray Madison says:

    If there’s anything to be skeptical about, it’s the combined neoDarwinistic “wisdom” of Dawkins, Krauss and Shermer all of a piece.

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