A few interesting things…

I figured I’d post a few links to some sites/blogs/podcasts I frequent

  • Friendly Atheist – Hemant Mehta’s site, features an advice column from an atheist as well as general atheism/secular news.
  • Pharyngula – PZ Myers’s Blog featuring topics confronting evolution denial to general secular news to polls and more.  A great site if you’ve only got time to read one blog out there.
  • The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe – a weekly podcast covering lots of topics from the skeptical point of view.  They also do interviews with lots of skeptics/freethinkers and bring up good news, with a focus on medicine,biology, and emerging technology.
  • NPR’s Science Friday – A great show that is all about scientific discoveries and debates that are ongoing in science, as well as Science’s role in the government and politics.
  • Bad Astronomy – Phil Plait’s blog about Skepticism, Astronomy news and general “sciency” stuff.

I also tend to use the SkepDad’s link site for lots of good blogs and podcasts and such.

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Jesus Rifles are no more!

ABC is reporting that gun manufacturer Trijicon will no longer be printing Bible references in the serial numbers for the Scopes it manufactures for the US military.

"Trijicon has proudly served the U.S. military for more than two decades, and our decision to offer to voluntarily remove these references is both prudent and appropriate,",said Stephen Bindon,Trijicon president and CEO in a statement.

This is the right decision by Trijicon. Although they never should have put the verse references there to begin with, not only is it insulting to people of non-Christian faith but also people without faith. Imagine the outrage if someone had stamped Koran suras on the scopes instead? I'm glad too that they've decided to provide kits for removing the serial numbers for the ones they've already manufactured.

I wonder what other items have hidden bible versus on them?

First Post

Well this is my first little adventure into the blogosphere, one I hope that
will last for a while.  I'm guessing I should provide a bit of background
on myself and how I got here to start with. 

I grew up in a town in central Kentucky about an hour away from Louisville;
I started my education with a Montessori School run by the Sisters of Charity
and stayed there through kindergarten.  There I learned my first intro
into science and my first intro into religion through their approach at
teaching.  They let us kids explore and pick the subjects we wished to
study, providing hand's on activities that showed us the concepts and skills we
needed to think about subjects ourselves.  These were much more than the
simple puzzles with different shapes, I specifically remember the teachers
there sitting down with each individual student to go over items with us. One
activity sits in my mind; it had a series of beads divided into units that the
teacher would explain to us. A single bead showed us ones, ten beads strung
together showed us tens, ten of those strings strung together showed us what a
hundred looked like, and ten of those showed us what a thousand looked
like.  Another interesting byproduct of that exercise I realized later was
that it got us thinking in dimensions early on.  One bead being a point,
tens being a line, hundreds being 2d objects and thousands being 3d
objects. 

This sort of interactive thinking I believe had some part in coming to where
I am today as a skeptic, atheist and more.  While this sort of teaching
that my preschool/kindergarten gave me was well and good they started with the
Christian teachings early too.  I remember us always doing a Christmas
program and an Easter program recounting the specific tales of Christ being
born, the magi coming to visit, the Stations of the Cross and the story of the
resurrection being shown to our parents in sheets made to be tunics and robes,
with fake beards and miniature props for us tiny kids. 

After kindergarten my parents proceeded to enroll me in the local Catholic
grade school, there a new subject was added to my curriculum besides the usual
of math, spelling, reading, science and social studies.  Religion of
course wasn't just any ole religion it was basically Catholic Sunday school
during the afternoon.  Here I went through all the rituals of my first
reconciliation and Eucharist, I also later completed the act of Confirmation at
school however I was already on my way to where I am today at that point. 

I do have several things to be grateful for though for attending the school
I did, mostly in the junior high years there.  I had a few teachers whom I
greatly appreciate now for challenging my ability to think critically. 
One was my7th grade reading/social studies teacher.  He introduced us to
the other religions besides just Catholicism or Christianity, something nearly
all the other teachers at the school had done.  He introduced these
through his blend of Christianity and eastern religions, specifically Buddhism. 
He taught us some about the 7chakras of the body and some about karma; he also
showed us several films on Buddhism and Hinduism the title of which have long
since eluded me.  This started my thinking of how in the world we knew
that Catholicism or any other religion was correct and how we knew what in the
bible was true and what wasn’t (something I decided to look into on my own when
I reached college) 

The other teacher whom I very much appreciate now is my junior high science
teacher, a man that was a RN at a local Nursing Home in his time not at
school.  Our first few weeks we had him in6th Grade he made us memorize
all of the major bones of the body, all of which I can name still to this
day.  He also instilled in me and my classmates an understanding of the
scientific method and, something to which I'm very, very thankful for and think
needs to be taught in all schools, the difference between a scientific theory
and the general language usage of theory.  He also gave us a pretty great
understanding of general science and biology (sans evolution, though most high
school people have trouble with this).  He opened my mind to the wonderful
world of science and helped start me on my path to skepticism. 

That basically gives some background on me, and kind of how I got started to
me being here.  I'd love to hear feedback from anyone out there and look
forward to blogging more. It will probably be more of my background and whatnot
for now until I find my stride with this.