News Bits

by Luke Muehlhauser on February 26, 2010 in News

I updated the Top 20 Most Popular Atheism Blogs list again because I was excited to see I’m closing in on the #3 spot! I’m especially blessed by that because there’s some pretty damn heavy and technical stuff here, and I’m surprised so many people have the stomach for it. Yay!

Ancient religious temple found in Turkey predates civilization, providing some support for the Sky Cake theory of religion.

Epic Vridar: What do Jesus Mythicists Believe? and James McGrath’s reply.

Maddow gets it right about why private health insurance fails: The incentives are all wrong. You can extrapolate her remarks to capitalism in general, but the important thing right now is health care.

Jesus mythicism in one article.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

foolfodder February 27, 2010 at 12:30 am

I read headlines that Richard Dawkins is censoring people, and everyone is pissed. So what’s really happening? He’s switching his forum to an improved format and letting people know in advance so they can copy any old threads they want to save to the new forum. God, people are dumb.

Please read further:

http://realityismyreligion.wordpress.com/2010/02/23/locked-entry-will-open-soon/
http://realityismyreligion.wordpress.com/2010/02/25/update-on-dawkins-forum-closure/

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lukeprog February 27, 2010 at 1:32 am

foolfodder,

Excellent links. I’ve removed that paragraph from my post.

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Sabio Lantz February 27, 2010 at 4:00 am

(1) You are technical but you also keep it real !
Don’t climb too high, the air is thin up there.

(2) BTW, that temple “discovery” was in the news in 2008. Chatter hit the web about the garden of Eden being discovered. Some think that Gobekli was right around the transition of humans from hunter-gathers to agricultural evolution when height and bone health started to decline and massive slavery was developed when feeding with stored grains was possible.

(3) Luke jumps into politics again! Let’s see who can vote in the most moribund system of health care Democrats or Republicans. The problem is costs — and economics does not seem to be in the realm of common sense. Yet everyone is trying to use their common sense to solve this. I love her dramatic ending “…at your very grave peril!”

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Jeff H February 27, 2010 at 10:51 am

Wow, good video. Makes me happy that I live in Canada. I’m still surprised that it’s taking this long for the health care reform to go through. I find it fascinating to see just how much the US is tied to laissez-faire capitalism. Somehow letting the government handle things is going to bring an end to the world – regardless of the fact that there are plenty of other thriving developed countries that seem to have no problem with it.

Again, glad I live in Canada.

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cl February 27, 2010 at 11:38 am

How does that discovery provide “some support” for the Sky Cake theory of religion? I didn’t see anything in the article that would support that claim.

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lukeprog February 27, 2010 at 12:14 pm

cl,

Any sentence with that contains the phrase ‘Sky Cake’ should be taken as a joke.

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Alex February 27, 2010 at 1:09 pm

How exactly could you extrapolate her remarks to capitalism in general? Whenever somebody makes an argument of this type (capitalism doesn’t work well with X because the incentives involved in X are all wrong), it seems to be implicit that markets generally *do* lead to pretty good outcomes, and abnormalities in particular areas such as health care are due to features that make the incentives different from markets in general.

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lukeprog February 27, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Alex,

What I mean is that perverse incentives are intrinsic to capitalism. They are not only found in certain areas like health care.

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Reginald Selkirk February 28, 2010 at 12:14 pm

lukeprog: cl,Any sentence with that contains the phrase ‘Sky Cake’ should be taken as a joke.  

Was that a joke?

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TaiChi February 28, 2010 at 4:27 pm

foolfodder: I read headlines that Richard Dawkins is censoring people, and everyone is pissed. So what’s really happening? He’s switching his forum to an improved format and letting people know in advance so they can copy any old threads they want to save to the new forum. God, people are dumb.

Update: Dawkins has posted an apology on his website. See http://richarddawkins.net/articles/5165

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lukeprog February 28, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Interesting. I’m very glad to hear he’ll keep a read-only archive of the old forum. It’s lovely that Dawkins responds to criticism, and that the community vocalizing its complaints made a difference. And I suppose he can’t sack Josh because his talent is too valuable, or something like that, though I wonder what will happen next time Josh shows his face in public. Also, will Josh continue to act as he did in the past, or has he been chastened?

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