There have been a long string of articles recently that have accused atheists, particularly the big names in atheism, of being Islamophobic:
Conversations about the practical impossibility of God’s existence and the science-based irrationality of an afterlife slid seamlessly into xenophobia over Muslim immigration or the practice of veiling. The New Atheists became the new Islamophobes, their invectives against Muslims resembling the rowdy, uneducated ramblings of backwoods racists rather than appraisals based on intellect, rationality and reason.
There are too many articles and too many angles of attack for me to read them all and respond here, however I’d point you to this post on Why Evolution is True which has rebuttals for 7 of the complaints raised in the articles. Continue reading →
When I was working at the Compton Herbarium I had the chance to see many different plants, some of which were particularly interesting. One of those was Solanum sisybrifolium, a type of nightshade, which caught my attention by having thorns on it’s leaves! 3quarksdaily has a post concerning the Solanaceae, the nightshade family, which has a wide variety of plants that includes both deadly poisons and hallucinogens to potatoes and tomatoes. It is well worth a read.
The second link (third really but one of the previous ones was just for further information) concerns Alexander Aan who most readers should remember as I’ve covered his story a number of times. He’s the Indonesian who posted “God doesn’t exist” on Facebook and was sentenced to 2,5 years in jail and fined approximately US$10 600. There is currently a petition to get President Obama to call for Aan’s release which needs 25 000 signatures. I think it’s only intended for Americans but my second highest number of hits is from the US so I think it’s worth linking to here.
There’s not too much new about the Alexander Aan case but there are a few things I missed when I originally wrote about his sentencing. There seems to be some disagreement with what he wrote. I originally read, and quoted, “God doesn’t exist” but now I’m seeing “God does not exist.” Of course that’s not really that big of a difference and it’s probably not even worth worrying about since he probably posted in Indonesian and not English. A little more serious was that I missed part of his sentence. Not only was Aan sentenced to 2,5 years in jail but also fined Rp100 million (about US$10 600). This article has some information on the groups that are supporting him.
I first mentioned Alexander Aan in my Valentine’s day post then, again, in my follow-ups post. For those that don’t remember, Alexander Aan is an Indonesian who posted a Facebook message that simply said, “God doesn’t exist.” That post was all it took for him to be arrested and for some Muslims to call for his execution. Continue reading →