A Welcome Message From Robyn Blumner

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You might be wondering what a syndicated newspaper columnist and editorial writer is doing as the new executive director of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. At the newspaper, I was a close observer of the Religious Right and how it sought — often successfully — to insinuate religion into public policy. A recurring theme of my columns was how people with religious blinders were often at the forefront of attempts to hold back scientific and human progress, whether by imposing limits on embryonic stem cell research or over-the-counter access to emergency contraception, among many examples.


Also, my roots are in progressive advocacy and nonprofit administration. I spent a decade heading up statewide offices of the American Civil Liberties Union, first in Utah, then in Florida.

Like many of you, I was enthralled by The God Delusion and upon reading it became an instant Richard Dawkins fan. Richard's clear, logical arguments against belief in God and the supernatural were so compelling that I couldn't believe anyone reading them could walk away anything but convinced. I was already an "out" atheist, but the book gave me something to point to when friends, acquaintances and my newspaper readers wanted to know more about the reasons for my lack of belief. Since then I've read Richard's books on evolutionary biology and have come to appreciate his wide-ranging brilliance.

With the help of an immensely talented staff and a committed corp of volunteers, I will be working toward promoting Richard's vision that science be free from backward religious encroachments and that atheists, agnostics and other freethinkers stand and be counted politically.

Join me.

Robyn Blumner

Written By: Robyn Blumner
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60 COMMENTS

  1. “I was already an “out” atheist, but the book gave me something to point to when friends, acquaintances and my newspaper readers wanted to know more about the reasons for my lack of belief.”

    Ditto! Welcome aboard Robyn. I look forward to your contributions on the site. jcw

  2. Welcome Robyn, and greetings from the Tampa Bay Area (where you may still reside). I’ve read you for years in the St. Petersburg (now Tampa Bay) Times and you were a welcome voice of reason in matters not only of religion, but also civil liberties. You will get a lot of thoughtful, enthusiastic support from the bright folks here.

    -Steven

  3. Great to know that you have further acknowledged the common denominator amongst progressive science thinkers and indeed free thinkers in all fields of life. It seems sometimes that the divisive religions, of which most are, have too much sway in the natural progression of all aspects of life and as an Atheist I am convinced that needs to be curtailed if we are to move foreword into the next stage of human evolution.
    Great to have you on board Robyn

    KW

  4. Great to know that you have further acknowledged the common denominator amongst progressive science thinkers and indeed free thinkers in all fields of life. It seems sometimes that the divisive religions, of which most are, have too much sway in the natural progression of all aspects of life and as an Atheist I am convinced that needs to be curtailed if we are to move foreword into the next stage of human evolution.
    Great to have you on board Robyn

    KW

  5. Can a fellow atheist please define what they mean when they use terms like “progress” and “progressive”? For me, these words are uncomfortably reminiscent of the ideas of certain Protestant denominations from which they originate.

    In a godless, dysteleological universe made of atoms and the void, in what way does “progress” exist? Is there an unacknowledged faith here, that science leads always to the good, and not the “terrible truth” that Nietzsche spoke of, which may drive men “mad from the revelation,” as Lovecraft put it.

    Mature atheism needs to include ideas like these; it should be much more than the latest fashionable progressive “-isms”, or an ersatz religion imposing an imaginary moral direction upon history. Science is our most conservative institution; it doesn’t promise fashionable truths, equality of all men, salvation from death, or a utopian future. Science simply offers the terrible truth for those who can stomach it. So be careful, secular “progressives”, that you don’t confuse atheism with the Religion of Progress!

  6. Welcome Robyn, and best wishes in your new adventure leading RDFRS.

    As I’ve said when we face our many challenges – keep charging up the hill.

    Like with Mount Improbable, the only way up to the peak is by taking the very gradual slope…. Mac.

  7. Well welcome I’m new here to I don’t have anything against atheists or free thinkers , free of god but I believe in knowledge and its author and I do have a power I can take technology out of the bible and build a light you can base a civilization on that’s energy independent without the need for fossil fuels for making electrical power, portable and on demand, I could certainly make the global fossil fuel kingdoms of earth go bankrupt and make man start all over economically but I do care about the transition and the suffering it would cause in nations without a government that could feed their people,, but man better get a plan because I was sent here to do a job, from my teacher

  8. Again, I say “welcome” to Robyn (I have done this on another thread also). She sounds like an excellent choice. I’ve previously asked why we seem unable to keep our executive directors (we have had three in the past twelve months) but my enquiry has met with stony silence. If anyone could enlighten me, I’d be most grateful.

  9. Hi Robyn. Can I make a plea for the elimination of the term religious right on this site. Firstly, it has no equivalent in most parts of the rest of the democratic world and can’t really be read across. Secondly, the word right is irrelevant. It is religious people of any political persuasion that need keeping in check. Thirdly, I and, I’m sure, many other atheists have what might be described as rightist views on the economy, government spending, personal liberty, social provision etc. I don’t want to get into any of that as this site is for religion and science – not general politics. The trouble is every time anyone uses the term religious right, I want to jump in.

    • In reply to #10 by GPWC:

      Hi Robyn. Can I make a plea for the elimination of the term religious right on this site. Firstly, it has no equivalent in most parts of the rest of the democratic world and can’t really be read across. Secondly, the word right is irrelevant. It is religious people of any political persuasion that need keeping in check. Thirdly, I and, I’m sure, many other atheists have what might be described as rightist views on the economy, government spending, personal liberty, social provision etc. I don’t want to get into any of that as this site is for religion and science – not general politics. The trouble is every time anyone uses the term religious right, I want to jump in.

      In reply to #12 by 78rpm:

      I very strongly agree with Comment 10, every word of it. Definitely leave politics out, especially the anti-”right” animosity.

      Sucks to be constantly reminded who your ideological bedfellows are, does it?

  10. Welcome Robyn -

    Let’s hope with this change in editorial leadership we can dispense with the childish practice of labeling skepticism about AGW alarmism “pseudoscience.” My greatest disappointment has been that Richard Dawkins has allowed his website to be hijacked by those with so little understanding of the science of climate (such as it is), much less the scientific method. You know the type: those who naively believe that the climate alarmist conjecture, still in its infancy as a science, is on all fours with the theory of evolution by natural selection, or the theory of gravity. Ugh!

    My observation has been that no rational discussion of certain politically charged topics, of which climate alarmism is one, is permitted on this website. The bullies immediately mock and shout down anyone with a slightly different understanding. The pre-Victorian euphemism for an atheist was a “free thinker;” but this website has sadly been populated by talking heads with no abiding attachment to freedom of thought. As a civil libertarian who presumably values freedom of thought and expression, I’m hoping you can change that culture, Robyn.

    Good luck!

    • In reply to #13 by Thylacine:

      Let’s hope with this change in editorial leadership we can dispense with the childish practice of labeling skepticism about AGW alarmism “pseudoscience.”

      There is no chance that this climate denial pseudo-science will be treated for anything except the ignorant assertion that it is.

      My greatest disappointment has been that Richard Dawkins has allowed his website to be hijacked by those with so little understanding of the science of climate (such as it is),

      Perhaps you could work on the science of psychological projection as well as embarking on a beginner’s course in climate science.

      much less the scientific method.

      It is always comical when those so lacking in understanding of evidenced scientific methodology, pose as experts, posting vacuous assertions and childish rhetoric, while demonstrating zero capability to present an evidenced reasoned case.

      My observation has been that no rational discussion of certain politically charged topics, of which climate alarmism is one, is permitted on this website.

      It is also a good idea to master the basics of reasoning before lecturing others on that subject
      That way reasoning and “rational discussion”, can be recognised when it is seen.
      Many failed thinkers have had to be reminded, that “logical reasoning”, is a deductive process, not a badge which they stick on to their personal ill-informed opinions.

    • In reply to #13 by Thylacine:

      Welcome Robyn -

      Let’s hope with this change in editorial leadership we can dispense with the childish practice of labeling skepticism about AGW alarmism “pseudoscience.” My greatest disappointment has been that Richard Dawkins has allowed his website to be hijacked by those with so little understand…

      Can’t you find some other forum where most people don’t agree with the vast majority of climatologists?
      And why do you want such a debate anyway? Are you a Climatologist? Are you hoping to engage a real climatologist here? Is it up to you to be a skeptic about these things?
      For my part, i don’t believe in absolute truths. The job of science is to explain… making hypothesis, observations, measure stuff and make some predictions. When i look to a community that studies climate and you see that only a few out of thousand experts don’t agree (not a bad thing, by the way) i make the bet that the majority is probably closer to the truth. I do it because i don’t know shit about the details (even if the general is pretty obvious). But you may be a expert. in that case, you should be debating experts.

  11. Welcome Robyn, I am glad to see you have extensive experience in writing. We need a clear, concise message at every turn. I fear your task here will be a major one, I congratulate you on being chosen. Good luck and best wishes.

  12. Keep up the bombastic insults and sophomoric psychology, A4. It shows what type of person you truly are. Had you been born a century earlier, there is a good chance you would have been a leader in the eugenics movement: the same naïve scientivism, the same certainty in your own rectitude, the same need to champion of a cause. Keep blogging. Your personality shines through loud and clear, and it is not the temperament of a scientist.

    What observations would falsify your alarmist conjecture? How about 17 years of no increase in global temperatures? 20 years? 30 years? How far does the divergence between model projections and empirical observations have to get before your certainty in the models is diminished? Or are you of the denialist school of thought that says there is no divergence between the models and the observations?

  13. Thank you, Thylacine, for your comments #13 and #19. I always refrained from posting similar thoughts because I knew I would receive, as you phrase it so well, “bombastic insults” for my political incorrectness on this forum. I am less courageous than you and less articulate, but I am in your camp.

    • In reply to #20 by 78rpm:

      Thank you, Thylacine, for your comments #13 and #19. I always refrained from posting similar thoughts because I knew I would receive, as you phrase it so well, “bombastic insults” for my political incorrectness on this forum. I am less courageous than you and less articulate, but I am in your camp.

      Nothing that some study cannot remedy. It’s never too late to learn.

  14. Welcome, Robyn. Based on your past work, you seem to be a great addition to the cause, as it were.

    As others have said, it would help if a clarification could be given about the fate of Elizabeth Cornwell (who many of us assume is the Exec. Dir of RDFRS) and, indeed, Sean Faircloth (who, I guess, is still the Dir. of Strategy and Policy).

  15. Welcome, Robyn.

    I’ve followed you here from your column at the Tampa Bay Times and you’ve been a joy to read. Hope it all goes well and that a legally-ordained, non-atheist Pagan priest doesn’t upset too many apple carts.

    Be well, Doc

  16. Welcome Robyn, I’m looking forward to your contributions.
    I’d describe myself as a partially out atheist, still lurking near the closet door in relation to my mum, who is an ordained Anglican aged 82 years, and has a disapproving look that has been honed by over half a century of practice. (By which I probably mean I’m a bit of a coward)
    Good luck keeping us in order!
    Steve

  17. Dear Robyn;
    Welcome aboard!!! Your varied and valuable experience will be a boon to us. Please pace yourself and don’t allow a hectic schedule to take a toll. May I humbly suggest that the next frontier of focus be, Dying With Dignity. Sometimes called Medically Assisted Dying and known by other monikers as well. This is a fascinating and challenging humanistic goal. The British Columbia Humanist Association and Dying With Dignity Canada are jointly hosting a live event. To be held at Celebration Hall
    Mountain View Cemetery (cheeky aren’t we?)
    5455 Fraser St in Vancouver
    Medically Assisted Dying: Toward a Happier Ending
    BC Humanist Association
    Thursday, 13 March 2014 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (PDT)
    Vancouver, BC CANADA $15 in advance and $20 at the door

  18. Congrats from a seventy-one yr. old American, who was a fundamentalist “Christian” till forty-four years ago while teaching in its Va. SDA academy. I sort of escaped to Spain in 1970 with one of my students (huge scandal), with whom I’ve been very happy ever se. For me, Dawkins, along with Dennett, Harris, the now gone Hitch,and even Barker, MacBain and Johnson (I have Mormon and Baptist in-laws) kinda represent a rich, second addendum to my own study on discarding religions and simply thinking intelligently. Have read the whole Bible eight times, so when I got serious with theology after college, it becameonly natural- a logical must- to dump faith altogether. But right now reading, “The Folly of Fools..,” a bk. which Richard might even approbate. By the way, more atheists in Barcelona than in my native NYC, for sure, so kinda nice not having to put up with the depressing average ignorance of over 70% of my fellow US citizenry. .The best to you and your team doing such fine and vital work. Mitchel Vega

  19. I’m sure this post will be deleted along with the previous one I made on this thread, but I thought all those who bemoan the quite accurate use of the term ‘religious right’ and the supposed ‘anti-right animosity’ on this site might benefit from reading the following:

    Atheists can’t be Republicans: The secular have no place in today’s GOP — and libertarian atheists should realize that now

    Oh, and welcome to Ms Blumner.

    • In reply to #30 by Katy Cordeth:

      I’m sure this post will be deleted along with the previous one I made on this thread, but I thought all those who bemoan the quite accurate use of the term ‘religious right’ and the supposed ‘anti-right animosity’ on this site might benefit from reading the following:

      Atheists can’t be Republicans:…

      Hi Katy,

      I didn’t realise the Mods were so touchy – I thought you had removed your comment yourself.

      Naturally, I don’t agree with that article at all. If the atheist movement (however you define it and however it may be organised) starts campaigning on other topics, I would have thought we cease to be an atheist movement and will dilute our message and confuse those we are trying to reach. I hope Robyn isn’t going to take us down that line – I add to keep it on topic!.

      Naturally, there are things about the right I don’t support, but I could equally write a article like this one about the atheist movement and the left … called “Atheists can’t be Democrats/Labour”. Then I would site that in the UK after 13 years of Labour government, we have run up an extra £500bn of debt, but still the gap between rich and poor has widened, we invaded Iraq along with the Americans and others, and Labour (not the Coalition) stirred up and overplayed the threat of terrorism, then passed a great number of repressive anti-libertarian laws. Come on atheists – there’s no place for you on the left.

      Incidentally, my comment here is an opinion piece and should not be taken as fact … just like CJ Werleman’s.

      Geoff

      • In reply to #35 by GPWC:

        In reply to #30 by Katy Cordeth:

        I’m sure this post will be deleted along with the previous one I made on this thread, but I thought all those who bemoan the quite accurate use of the term ‘religious right’ and the supposed ‘anti-right animosity’ on this site might benefit from reading the following:

        Atheists can’t be Republicans:..

        Hi Katy,

        Hello

        I didn’t realise the Mods were so touchy – I thought you had removed your comment yourself.

        It’s pretty much a crap shoot with my comments these days whether they’ll incur the wrath of the mods. I didn’t think it was off-topic, but there you go. I’ve begun archiving the email notifications I receive when I submit a comment just so I can keep track of the ones that have been sent to the cornfield.

        Naturally, I don’t agree with that article at all. If the atheist movement (however you define it and however it may be organised) starts campaigning on other topics, I would have thought we cease to be an atheist movement and will dilute our message and confuse those we are trying to reach. I hope Robyn isn’t going to take us down that line – I add to keep it on topic!.

        Politics and religion seem to be joined at the hip; I think in the modern world it’s well-nigh impossible to separate the two. I’m very much with Phil on this one: I’d like to see a lot more articles posted here about politics, even if they aren’t ostensibly about religion. Er, and hopefully Ms Blumner can facilitate that (thanks for the reminder).

        I’m a staunch believer in the Adamsian fundamental-interconnectness-of-all-things paradigm: it all comes together in the end. The atheist movement, indefinable thing that it is, needn’t be limited to gabbin’ about God and railing against all the petty stuff religious types occupy their own time with. It can encompass the entire zeitgeist: politics, science, literature, media, you name it.

        Naturally, there are things about the right I don’t support, but I could equally write a article like this one about the atheist movement and the left … called “Atheists can’t be Democrats/Labour”. Then I would site that in the UK after 13 years of Labour government, we have run up an extra £500bn of debt, but still the gap between rich and poor has widened, we invaded Iraq along with the Americans and others, and Labour (not the Coalition) stirred up and overplayed the threat of terrorism, then passed a great number of repressive anti-libertarian laws. Come on atheists – there’s no place for you on the left.

        I think you could write a piece called “Left wingers can’t be Democrats/Labour”. The Blair administration eventually became more right wing than Mrs Thatcher (rust in peace, Iron Lady) could have dreamed. It wasn’t lefties who increased the gap between rich and poor and took Britain to war.

        Incidentally, my comment here is an opinion piece and should not be taken as fact … just like CJ Werleman’s.

        That’s a relief. :)

    • In reply to #31 by 78rpm:

      And I say “thank you” to the moderators who removed the post mentioned above, as I was one of the targets of that ad-hominem attack.

      I’m sorry if I caused offence, 78rpm. I’ll try to be more sensitive in future when replying to your posts. Kid gloves from now on, I promise.

  20. I live in a world seemingly spread uniformly along a moral values axis. At one end are people who care only about fairness and equality (pretty much my end) and at the other are people who care for these things but tempered by co-equal concerns for loyalty, authority and “purity”. These are “visceral” temperaments quite inaccessible to logic or reason and too often are translated directly into political behaviours. These behaviours are justified on the basis of the nearest existing political dogma, more often than not, and made inaccessible also by “virtue” of confirmation bias, and by the failure to recognise the cognitive peculiarity we each carry. It is clear there might be a tendency towards religiosity on the “right hand end” of the moral axis, but this in no way should necessarily map to the right hand end of political behaviours.

    Our gut feels on moral issues, if we are to be the true authors of our moral/political behaviours, cannot, in any reasonable sense these days, be the sole arbiter of such behaviours. Evidence reason and a process of moral calculus is expected of us in our enlightened state.

    So, much as I am personally satisfied by egalitarianism, I have to find a proper balance of valuing it against the comfort and happiness of others. Everyone the same?…..exactly? We are all different, wanting different things. This is why something like the push for equality cannot sit with the left moralists or the left political dogmatists. There is a big chunk of unfairness that will result.

    The Equality Trust of which I am a great supporter urgently needs to see that being taken up by the left and becoming a leftist project is the kiss of death for it. Based on a piece of academic research by two epidemiologists, Wilkinson and Picket, it convincingly associates income equality with a plethora of societal virtues where all get to win. Immediately the left said, well the more income equality the better. Well, no. That is not what the data shows. Pushed to its limit it almost certainly will increase unfairness and under exploit all the talents available to it. We all want different things, free time , money, responsibility, no responsibility, endless education, little education, kids, no kids. Robustness of society may well result from our huge variety of wants and capabilities. The right political choices we make collectively must ultimately be guided by the very best measures of our collective thriving…..and not by dogma.

    Atheism plus was to be roundly condemned in my view for hitching political behaviours to Atheism. We shouldn’t be fooled by such dogma here.

  21. @GWPC, @Katy Cordeth:
    Focus people! It was my impression this was NOT a political commentary site, but rather a forum for discussing “innovating for a secular world”. The traditional terms- left, right together with the associated baggage is so passé and shouldn’t be part of the vocabulary used on this site.

    Please review and understand the mission statement of the site: “Our mission is to support scientific education, critical thinking and evidence-based understanding of the natural world in the quest to overcome religious fundamentalism, superstition, intolerance and human suffering”.

    It clearly does not make any reference to ideology that is so often directly and indirectly brought up here. FYI, I consider myself an Anarchist. The way we continue to govern ourselves in today’s world is no longer relevant and needs a complete overhaul. Don’t ask me for the answers, I don’t possess the intellect to offer real solutions, I just know what we have now doesn’t work very well at all and its time for a change. jcw

    • In reply to #38 by kaiserkriss:

      @GWPC, @Katy Cordeth:
      Focus people! It was my impression this was NOT a political commentary site

      I just know what we have now doesn’t work very well at all and its time for a change.

      This seems the perfect place to do it to me. Religion intrudes into politics with increasingly desperate ferocity, posited on the claim they are there to to arrest a moral decline. Their license for this is that religion is the true moral author.

      The challenge is, in a rational and evidence based society, how shall we govern ourselves and strike those balances of rights and responsibilities without the “clear”, “moral” guidelines of religion?

      I count myself an anarchist too as a non prescriptive opponent to thoughtless conservatism and other political isms. We do though need to agree processes in addition to this for a democratic (negotiated) synthesis to replace or rebuild in revised form what we have shaken loose.

      • In reply to #39 by phil rimmer: > In reply to #38 by kaiserkriss:

        @GWPC, @Katy Cordeth:
        Focus people! It was my impression this was NOT a political commentary site

        I just know what we have now doesn’t work very well at all and its time for a change.

        This seems the perfect place to do it to me. Religion intrudes into politics with..

        Your point is well taken Phil, and to some extent I do agree with your comment. I think it would be more effective to take religion out of the political arena and attack it with reason. Should politicians and their ilk try to foist their moral authority on the rest of us, they just need a gentle but firm reminder to take their argument to the appropriate forum and not the political one. This takes away from labels of left and right and puts the discussion into the scientific realm of reason, be they social or physical and at the same time undermines their condescending talk from authority. When push comes to shove, even the most die hard religious nut (politician) realizes he has no evidence to support his religious based claims. So take the forum away from them, don’t give them an audience at the political level. Eventually the politico will realize continuously preaching to the choir won’t gain any more traction or votes.

        Here in Canada we had a die hard, young earth, politician who was respected because he left his personal (strong) religious views at home and focused on politics and economic problems. It can be done.jcw

    • In reply to #38 by kaiserkriss:

      @GWPC, @Katy Cordeth:
      Focus people! … It was my impression this was NOT a political commentary site, but rather a forum for discussing “innovating for a secular world”. The traditional terms- left, right together with the associated baggage is so passé and shouldn’t be part of the vocabulary used on this site.

      I agree, right and left and general politics should not be part of the discussion here, which is my point @10 above.

      @ 39 Phil

      Religion intrudes into politics with increasingly desperate ferocity, posited on the claim they are there to to arrest a moral decline.

      True, but, outside of the US, religion rarely features in political debates in the rest of the West. Religious groups try to stick their oar in, of course, and we should combat that, but really our fight with religion can be carried on outside of politics.

      • In reply to #41 by GPWC:

        outside of the US, religion rarely features in political debates in the rest of the West

        But I am deeply exercised by the US….and the MIddle East and Africa and South America to name a few. Stable, coherent and ethical governments, especially now that we have launched ourselves (at least for a while) into an unsustainable existence, are needed to manage a sufficiently soft landing back onto a sustainable planet.

        We are the furthest into the democracy experiment. We need to lead on how it is refined, given the new tools science and reason have revealed. We invent solutions to problems. There is no reason to suppose we can’t improve on how politics is done. Pushing party (dogmatic) politics back into the realms of personal psychologies from whence it emerged and using instead the tools of statistics, epidemiology, modelling and evolutionary principles, in connected societies, to comprehensively and continuously assess harms and to refine policy, is not in anyway to abandon politics but to re-invent it. And then pass it on…

        We need a transition from the “Art of the Possible” to a “Science and informed Art of the Possible.”

        • In reply to #42 by phil rimmer:

          In reply to #41 by GPWC:

          Pushing party (dogmatic) politics back into the realms of personal psychologies from whence it emerged and using instead the tools of statistics, epidemiology, modelling and evolutionary principles, in connected societies, to comprehensively and continuously assess harms and to refine policy, is not in anyway to abandon politics but to re-invent it. And then pass it on…

          Well, I’m absolutely in favour of that, not least because I can’t find a political party that suits my leftist Guardianista tendencies on the welfare state, social mobility etc, but rightist free market capitalist views when it comes to creating the wealth to pay for everything we want.

          In my view a good place to start this new empirical politics would be to look at economics. There is so much scope for experimentation and observation in this incredibly complex subject. Too much of it still relies on value judgements – I know, I’m interested in economics and it is the only subject I ever had any success with at school and Uni, and I am as much at fault as anyone.

          But whether it should be on this site, I’m not sure. Maybe, I could stretch to agreeing to a little corner.

  22. Robyn, I used to read your columns in the Salt Lake Tribune when you were at the ACLU of Utah. Occasionally we would get your columns from St Petersburg/Tampa. It will be good to read your columns on a regular basis now that you’re with the Dawkins Foundation.

  23. Ms. Blumner,
    You wrote “an immensely talented staff and a committed corp [sic] of volunteers”….

    Very unfortunate that a “syndicated newspaper columnist and editorial writer” does not know the difference between a corp (an abbreviation), a corps, and a corpse! Don’t feel bad. Our dear leader, BHO, is equally as ignorant. I hope your understanding of basic biology exceeds your vocabulary. Even if it does, how will you convincingly express that understanding or any opinion derived from it?

    PS….try the spell check utility on MS Word. It can help you cover up major “syndicated” shortcomings. Your immensely talented staff has failed you (maybe a corpse of a staff?).
    Good luck.

    • In reply to #45 by gmoeller:

      Ms. Blumner,
      You wrote “an immensely talented staff and a committed corp [sic] of volunteers”….

      Don’t ever read the Graundiad. You’d be so busy making snidey comments that you’d never find the time to get a life.

  24. The atheist, agnostic and believer all represent the trinity that will always appear in religion, philosophy and science. The trinity can only be understood by its parts and their relation to each other. Holding one part without the others diminishes that part proportionate to its distance from the others. Inevitably growing distance will lead to correction sometimes forceful. This truth can be seen and measured and will be the driving force of future human evolution.

    • In reply to #50 by Voidicle:

      The atheist, agnostic and believer all represent the trinity that will always appear in religion, philosophy and science. The trinity can only be understood by its parts and their relation to each other. Holding one part without the others diminishes that part proportionate to its distance from the…

      This is mystical gobbledygook. Please try to speak plainly and use language comprehensible to rational people.

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  26. WooHoo… very well said Robyn… sounds like you’ll be both an effective and energetic voice for “belief” based on the best available evidence… which is to say: scientific inquiry.
    Yes, the incursions made by those indoctrinated into religious beliefs, into areas which should brook no quarter for such delusional claims, in the 21st century, boggle the Enlightened mind. How this charade by the faith-based continues despite major strides in the story science is able to tell, which is at complete odds with any “holy book”, is beyond puzzling.
    Alas… it all seems to get back to our evolutionary tribal ways, which appear almost impossible to shed. Perhaps your voice and vigor will help tilt the balance toward the light o’ reason. Best of luck to all at The Foundation!

  27. Like several others here, I have nothing at all against you, but I find the connection between atheism and “progressive” activism a bit disturbing as it seems to conform the stereotype we atheists fight against every day. As a nearly life long atheist (over 45 years) and hard core libertarian conservative, I have little at all in common with “progressives”. I simply lack any superstitions, any believe in anything supernatural, and I have a life long love and respect for science. I fail to why so many seem think science or atheism is a left wing or even a big government issue. The only difference I see between big government theocrats and big government progressives is the flavor of the dictatorship. I can assure it’s it’s quite possible and more common that you may realizes to be atheist without supporting more intrusive government.

  28. In reply to #57 by william.r.james:

    For the moment, we right wing atheists don’t have a problem within the new-atheist world beyond feeling a bit uncomfortable with the uncritiqued left bias in many articles and blogs. But if the movement becomes more organised in some way and wants to enter politics, then it may be a different story.

    In the UK, I was an active greenie for many years and still am in my personal life. But I have little or nothing to do with the political arm because, feeling under pressure to introduce “other” policies, The Green Party became a left of centre party with many policies even to the left of the Labour Party.

    Not only has the Green Party lost people like me to the cause, others who are not so green as me will also be put off the green message because of their other policies. It’s a real problem for single issue groups in a first past the post electoral system. The Greens (or UKIP for that matter) apparently feel they need other policies to make themselves electable, and that’s when the internal battles begin and can easily undermine the original single issue.

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