Book Review: The Power Worshippers by Katherine Stewart

I wish that I could rejoice in the fact that today, I write my first ever blog post reviewing a book by a woman, but the fact is, after reading it, it feels as though there is little to be joyful for. Don’t get me wrong, I truly believe that it would be greatly beneficial for the future of America and of our global society if everyone read The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism, but at the same time, I hated it.

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Answers in Genesis Doesn’t Understand “Ape-Men”

This week we are returning to our series where we examine the claims of everyone’s favorite creationists, Answers in Genesis, about human evolution. The purpose of this series is twofold: I want to learn more about paleoanthropology myself and how to better write about the subject, and I want to act as a resource for anyone who is questioning AiG’s claims but doesn’t know enough about human evolution to be able to refute them. To be sure, I know that Ken Ham and his authors are never going to read this, and they would certainly not change their minds or even their methods if they did. They’ve seen myriads of people arguing against them—and blocked them on Twitter (myself included). This isn’t for the AiG staff but for the more bold of the budding skeptics in their audience.

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Book Review: A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking is undoubtedly one of the—if not the—best-known science books of the twentieth century. Its 2005 follow-up work, A Briefer History of Time, starts its foreword with a note on the original 1988 bestseller’s sales: “A Brief History of Time was on the London Sunday Times best-seller list for 237 weeks and has sold about one copy for every 750 men, women, and children on earth.” From the perspective of today’s reluctance to ponder the greater questions posed to us by science (and the even greater unlikeliness that one is willing to pick up a science book at all), I’m astounded that that many people sat down and read a work like A Brief History of Time.

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Is Religion the Enemy of Science?

We all know the story of Galileo. Galileo is famous for trying to popularize Copernicus’s theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun and not the Sun around the Earth. The sinfully short version of his story is that since his Copernican model contradicted the bible, he was told by the Catholic Church not to speak of it. When Galileo could not keep this promise, he was held before the Inquisition in 1633, declared a heretic, and sentenced to spend the rest of his days in house arrest.

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37 Best Cosmos Quotes

If you read my review of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos two weeks ago, then you’ll know that it became one of my all-time favorite books the moment I read it. I felt as though Sagan took topics that we think of everyday, not taking the time to really ponder, and made them spectacular. This is the power of his writing. Thus, this week I am passing him the metaphorical mic. I hope you enjoy these 37 great quotes from Cosmos as much as I did!

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3 Ways That Answers in Genesis Doesn’t Understand Australopithecus sediba

It’s August 15th, 2008. You’re nine-year-old Matthew Berger, and you’re in Gladysvale, South Africa, looking for ancient human fossils with your paleoanthropologist dad, Lee Berger. “Okay, go find fossils!” says your dad. Only moments later, you find a hominid collarbone sticking out of a rock. Your dad curses in shock after seeing all the other hominid bones lying around it: a tooth and part of a jaw, among others. He goes on to spend years studying these fossils among his colleagues, and he names it Australopithecus sediba.

Fast forward: It’s August 15th, 2020, and you’re a 24-year-old woman with an interest in paleoanthropology. You’re writing a blog post about Australopithecus sediba for a series defending finds like the Bergers’ from the heinous claims of anti-scientists. Hours into your research, you see an article telling you that Matthew’s find was in fact made on this very day, twelve years ago. You don’t believe in coincidences or fate, but it makes you smile nonetheless.

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Book Review: Cosmos by Carl Sagan

Cosmos by Carl Sagan left me speechless. I don’t even know how to express to you how moved I was by Sagan’s writing. But alas, putting into words the impressions left on me by nonfiction masterpieces like Cosmos is what The Curious Atheist blog is all about, so I suppose I’ll give it my best shot.

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Answers in Genesis Doesn’t Understand Human Evolution

Since I first read the story of the groundbreaking 1974 discovery of possible human ancestor Lucy, I have been captivated by the study of human origins. I felt as if during my atheistic indignation at the fantastical creation stories in the bible, paleoanthropology took my hand and showed me that there is an entire field of study that strives to learn where humans really came from. I’ve been baffled that more people weren’t devouring the findings of fossil hunters. I’m afraid that that might be partly because creationist teachings have been normalized, at least in the United States, and I want to help break down, clearly and understandably, why creationism holds no answers about human origins whatsoever.

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Art I Have Made

Last week, I decided to share my process of consolidating my “Curious Atheist” identity with my “real-life” identity, and it felt a bit heavy. On the other hand, beginning next week I have a lot of exciting posts on the way, including a new series on paleoanthropology and creationism! To give my upcoming posts the time they deserve, I thought that today I’d be a little more laid back and share with you some of the artwork that I’ve made over the years. Of course, creating this post took a lot longer than I had planned (what was I thinking?), but regardless, here are photos of—and stories behind—my art pieces!

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