I identify as both an atheist and a bookworm. Over time, both of these identities have become so intertwined with each other that I can barely talk about one without bringing up the other. My favorite way to learn about this big, free, natural world is through reading, and in turn, most of my favorite books are about just that. So after years pursuing an atheistic, scientific, curiosity-fueled book collection that I prize and cherish, I’d like to hope that I’m qualified to give a few recommendations that budding—or lifelong—atheists would do well to read.Read more
While I have been blogging for over three years, it was only two weeks ago when I first read and reviewed Sam Harris’s 2004 “New Atheist” bestseller, The End of Faith. I made it known in that review that The End of Faith is far from one of my favorite books, but I’ve found that it can be easy to separate the book as a whole from its quotability. Like his colleagues Dawkins and Hitchens, Harris knows how to throw down a quotable one-liner with the best of them. Admittedly, Harris often uses harsher language than I feel comfortable using myself, but at the end of the day our values are more or less in line with one another. At the same time, I find it worth noting that several of Harris’s political or societal themes written about in 2004 feel all too timely today in 2020. So without further ado, here are 28 of The End of Faith‘s most memorable quotes!Read more
Once upon a time, I read books to learn the arguments for and against the existence of god and for religion in general. It only took so long for me to feel fully comfortable on the side of atheism. Now my reading has expanded more into things I’m curious about (it’s almost as if I named this blog that on purpose) like paleoanthropology and early Christianity. Relaxing with a good book has been one of my very favorite pastimes for a while. But I knew that my atheist reading repertoire wouldn’t be complete until I had finished Sam Harris’s The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason. Unfortunately, it was anything but relaxing. In fact, I’d say that reading this was exhausting.Read more
Yes, all lives matter.
So why, in that case, does saying so offend so many so deeply?
Since the Black Lives Matter movement began at the hands of three powerful black women in 2013, it has been criticized for its exclusivity. “What about white lives? Asian lives? Mexican, Russian, Indigenous lives? Don’t they matter?” people say. To this, those three women, and the global network that has since grown out of their movement, would say yes, of course. All lives matter.Read more
No matter what else is happening in the world, chances are you will still be able to find me with a book. For the past two weeks, that book has been Misquoting Jesus: The Story behind Who Changed the Bible and Why by New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman. I had been meaning to read this book next for several months, but I kept putting it off. Now that I’ve finally read it, I wish I had earlier. It was incredible!Read more
Three weeks ago, I reviewed my first ever Ian Tattersall book, Masters of the Planet. As I said then, Ian Tattersall is the curator of the American Museum of Natural History’s Spitzer Hall of Human Origins. He’s been involved in paleoanthropology since the 60’s, and his books combine his undeniable expertise with just enough of his own evidence-based opinions and a dash of wit.Read more
Have you ever been going along throughout your day, minding your own business, when suddenly you were bombarded with an absolute fossil of a buried memory? Or rather, you get bits and pieces of a memory of an old book, movie, or TV show? When this happens, it can be next to impossible to think about anything else until you remember exactly what it is that your brain is reminding you of.Read more
If you have been following my blog for a while, then you might know that I’m becoming a bit of a fanatic for paleoanthropology. The study of human origins has taken over my bookshelf, and I’ve found myself daydreaming about going back to human origins exhibits in museums. This is easy to do each time I get really lost in another book on the topic. This time, that book was Ian Tattersall’s Masters of the Planet.Read more
Just when you thought, or at least hoped, that I had forgotten about my series reacting to Rick Warren’s The Purpose-Driven Life, I’m posting about it yet again. On the bright side, we are nearly finished with this damaging book! This will be my reaction to Purpose Four out of five. This time, it’s all about serving God.Read more
A few months ago, I wrote a rave review of one of my now-favorite books, Andrew Seidel’s The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism is Un-American. Being such a fan of the book, and being in agreement with so many of Seidel’s ideas, you can imagine how excited I was last October when I learned that I could meet him on his book tour in April!
Of course, his lecture with the Pittsburgh Freethought Community has been not canceled but sadly postponed for obvious reasons. As the PFC’s marketing chair, I had excitedly but prematurely drafted an advertisement for Seidel’s visit. For now, though, I will stash away my excitement for the day when Seidel finally makes it to Pittsburgh and instead share with you 36 of my personal favorite quotes from his brilliant book.Read more