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deconversionmovement:


Irish schoolchildren to learn about atheism
Up to 16,000 primary-school pupils in multi-denominational sector will learn about atheism, and others will be offered courses on the internet and smartphone apps
In a historic move that will cheer Richard Dawkins, lessons aboutatheismare to be taught inIreland's primary schoolsfor the first time.
The lessons on atheism, agnosticism and humanism for thousands of primary-school pupils in Ireland will be drawn up by Atheist Ireland and multi-denominational school provider Educate Together, in an education system that the Catholic church hierarchy has traditionally dominated.
Up to 16,000 primary schoolchildren who attend the fast-growing multi-denominational Irish school sector will receive tuition about atheism as part of their basic introduction course to ethics and belief systems, including other religions.
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Not only did I think before posting this, but I had to think about how I felt about this.  Then I read that these courses will be taught alongside courses on ethics and belief systems.  Given that, the courses can’t be equated with indoctrination.  Education teaches diversity; indoctrination teaches exclusivity.
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deconversionmovement:

Irish schoolchildren to learn about atheism

Up to 16,000 primary-school pupils in multi-denominational sector will learn about atheism, and others will be offered courses on the internet and smartphone apps

In a historic move that will cheer Richard Dawkins, lessons aboutatheismare to be taught inIreland's primary schoolsfor the first time.

The lessons on atheism, agnosticism and humanism for thousands of primary-school pupils in Ireland will be drawn up by Atheist Ireland and multi-denominational school provider Educate Together, in an education system that the Catholic church hierarchy has traditionally dominated.

Up to 16,000 primary schoolchildren who attend the fast-growing multi-denominational Irish school sector will receive tuition about atheism as part of their basic introduction course to ethics and belief systems, including other religions.

Continue Reading

Not only did I think before posting this, but I had to think about how I felt about this.  Then I read that these courses will be taught alongside courses on ethics and belief systems.  Given that, the courses can’t be equated with indoctrination.  Education teaches diversity; indoctrination teaches exclusivity.

I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I’ve been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say one was an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn’t have. Somehow, it was better to say one was a humanist or an agnostic. I finally decided that I’m a creature of emotion as well as of reason. Emotionally, I am an atheist. I don’t have the evidence to prove that God doesn’t exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn’t that I don’t want to waste my time.
Isaac Asimov (via ikenbot)

(Source: afro-dominicano)

deconversionmovement:

Turkey’s science state council halts publication of evolution books

The Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) has put a stop to the publication and sale of all books in its archives that support the theory of evolution, daily Radikal has reported.

The evolutionist books, previously available through TÜBİTAK’s Popular Science Publications’ List, will no longer be provided by the council.

The books have long been listed as “out of stock” on TÜBİTAK’s website, but their further publication are now slated to be stopped permanently.

Books by Richard Dawkins, Alan Moorehead, Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Levontin and James Watson are all included in the list of books that will no longer be available to the Turkish readers.

In early 2009, a huge uproar occurred when the cover story of a publication by TÜBİTAK was pulled reportedly because it focused on Darwin’s theory of evolution.

The incident led to intense criticism and resulted in finger-pointing by various officials of that publication and its parent institute.

A few months later, the article in question appeared as the publication’s cover story.

See, apatheists and accommodationists; this is why we can’t stay quiet.  This is why we can’t live and let live.  Our silence gives them more authority—either because they feel that our silence is a way of saying we don’t care or because our silence is means to admit that what they’re doing is acceptable and even right.  We must care; moreover, the primary way of getting someone to realize that they’re wrong is by telling them.  In the case of these obdurate zealots, the voices must be louder; they must be less tolerant of this kind of behavior.  So, if you think you’re doing everyone a favor by remaining silent, you’re wrong; you’re committing an injustice.  You’re telling them that it’s okay to march on gay parades; you’re telling them that it’s okay to strip women of their rights; you’re telling them that it’s okay to prohibit children from learning evolution; you’re telling them that it’s okay to acid bathe children seeking an education and to murder children during exorcisms.  In this world, silence is a form of permission and I will not grant them permission.  These type of religious people will change or be changed; their doctrines will change—thus, changing the face of their religion—or their doctrines will be brought down and their religion along with them.  That is our ultimatum and all out of respect for human rights and those who fought long and hard for the free enterprise of reason; wherever and whenever rights are infringed upon or the free expression of reason is limited or even censored, we should speak.  Speak regardless of who’s offended; speak regardless of what’s jeopardized; speak even if you are threatened; fear not the chains of dogma that have enslaved minds for centuries.  Those chains are looser and rustier now than ever; let us proceed and let us break them.

Have a Godless New Year: Atheist New Year Resolutions

Here are some great suggestions about how to improve yourself and the world around you without being religious. I particularly liked the part about not hiding your atheism because it’s not something shameful. I’m going to continue to post mostly about science, but at the same time, I want to try to be more open about this aspect of myself.

I hope you all had a wonderful trip around the Sun. Mine was a little difficult, but I have high hopes for the next one.

(Source: fuckyeahreligionpigeon)

holymoleculesbatman:

Richard Dawkins on Militant Atheism

As an evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins has broadened our understanding of the genetic origin of our species; as a popular author, he has helped lay readers understand complex scientific concepts. He’s best-known for the ideas laid out in his landmark book The Selfish Gene.

In recent years, Dawkins has become outspoken in his atheism, coining the word “bright” (as an alternate to atheist), and encouraging fellow non-believers to stand up and be identified. His controversial, confrontational 2002 TED talk was a seminal moment for the New Atheism, as was the publication of his 2006 book, The God Delusion, a bestselling critique of religion that championed atheism and promoted scientific principles over creationism and intelligent design.

Feel free to give your own opinion on this subject. What do you think about Dawkins’ reflections upon atheism vs. religion? 

Activate the Mechanism!: ‘Intelligent Design’ Not Enough For Creationists, Now The Push For ‘Divine Mathematics’

freedominwickedness:

abaldwin360:

For years now we have seen people seeking to push the bible into the science classroom. However, the move in recent years to push the religiously based ‘charter school’ system has opened up a new front in the war to erode critical thinking

Are You Qualified To Discuss Evolution? Yes I Am!

deconversionmovement:

confrontingbabble-on:

The theory of evolution has alas, never been without controversy, largely as it appears, its conclusions are unpalatable to many. As a biologist, I’m often pretty enthusiastic about the whole theory of evolution thing. The idea that we are related to every other animal on this planet is profound and amazing. Nonetheless, sometimes I wonder if there’s any point trying to discuss the theory with some people. If I had a dollar for every time a creationist gave me the correct definition of evolution…well, I still wouldn’t be able to afford a coffee. So the quiz below is a rough guide for anyone who thinks they’re qualified to discuss evolution.

Quiz
Question 1
The definition of evolution is
A) The change in the frequency of genes (traits) in a population of organisms over time due to selection and drift.
B) There are many definitions of evolution that cover distinct natural phenomena (macro- versus microevolution, origin of life etc).

Question 2
The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics
A) allows for a decrease in local entropy even if global entropy increases so long as energy can be supplied to the system.
B) means evolution is impossible

Question 3
A scientific theory is
A) a system of ideas held as an explanation for a group of facts or phenomena; confirmed by observation or experiment, and accepted as accounting for known facts on which it depends.
B) An unproven hypothesis lacking evidence.

Question 4
The age of the earth is
A) About 4.5bn years
B) About 6,000 to 10,000 years

Question 5
The biological model of abiogenesis describes
A) the successive, step-wise process by which molecules combine to make primitive cells able to replicate, in an open thermodynamic system.
B) the sudden emergence of fully-formed organisms in a closed thermodynamic system (i.e. spontaneous generation)

Question 6
Fossil evidence of evolution
A) is supported by many sequences showing the transition of arrays of traits through the geological column
B) still doesn’t exist because the gaps and missing links are so many.

Question 7
The probability of evolution occurring is
A) based on a Markov statistical process with many trials, implying a very high likelihood.
B) practically impossible because the odds are akin to a tornado tearing through a junkyard and assembling a Boeing 747.

Question 8
Evolutionary Biologists
A) claim that humans once shared the same ancestor as other apes.
B) assert that people evolved from monkeys.

Question 9
In evolutionary biology, speciation is typically a process where
A) adaptations gradually accumulate and spread through a population until it is distinct from others.
B) entire new species appear as offspring of an existing species.

Question 10
Evolution is
A) an interactive system where random events- like mutations- end up being sorted by a (non-random) selection process.
B) an entirely random process where everything happens as a chain of coincidences.

The answers are all a.  All the b answers are what anti-evolution propagandaists think.  Question six is the most interesting and perhaps the hardest to understand.  However, a sound knowledge of the Allopatric Speciation Model will make transitional forms a little easier to grasp.  I liked this quiz, but you should have mixed up the letters a bit and put in other plausible sounding answers.

Note:  Make sure to read the OP’s explanations after taking the quiz!

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