Sunday, November 28, 2010

BBC - Panorama: British Schools, Islamic Rules

95% of all Muslim children in the UK attend non-faith state schools, however small but rapidly growing number are now being educated in new state Muslim schools. Due to the gaps in school inspection system, the schools easily turn into a center of fundamentalism. John Ware investigates this case and exposes the disturbing evidence such as Saudi text books for children that show how thieves' hands and feet are choped off. (The Quran says "As for the thief, both male and female, cut off their hands." 5:38)

Aired November 22, 2010 on BBC One

File Name ..........: Panorama - British Schools, Islamic Rules.WnA.avi
Total Size (MB) ....: 250,02 MB
Video Length .......: 00:29:02
Audio Bitrate ......: 134 KB/s (VBR)

Evolution: A Scientific American Reader

Divided into four sections that consider the evolution of the universe, cells, dinosaurs, and humans, Evolution brings together more than thirty articles written by some of the world’s most respected evolutionary scientists. As tour guides through the genesis of the universe and complex cells, P. James E. Peebles examines the evidence in support of an expanding cosmos, while Christian de Duve discusses the birth of eukaryotes. In an article that anticipated his book Full House, Stephen Jay Gould argues that chance and contingency are as important as natural selection for evolutionary change. And Ian Tatersall makes two fascinating contributions, submitting his view that the schematic of human evolution looks less like a ladder and more like a bush. Amazon

File size: 4 MB
Format: pdf

[Buy the book]

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Symphony of Science - A Wave of Reason

The seventh installment in the Symphony of Science music video series.

Family Guy's Brian on Real Time with Bill Maher

When his book sales became a failure, Brian decides to write a kind of self-help book (something like The Secret) called "Wish it, Want it, Do it". The book hits the bestseller list and he is invited by Bill Maher. First, Brian thinks one of the other guests of the show is Christhopher Hitchens but he's wrong. At the end, the discussion turns into an ad hominem attack. Totally hilarious episode! From Season 9, Episode 6 called Brian Writes a Bestseller.

Download the full episode [subtitles included]:

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Icons of Unbelief: Atheists, Agnostics, and Secularists - S. T. Joshi

A great collection of biographical essays on eminent names and intellectuals who advocate for atheism, agnosticisim or secularism, such as Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Carl Sagan, Bertrand Russell.

File size: 11 MB
Format: pdf

[Buy it]

Consciousness: An Introduction - Susan J. Blackmore

This is an extraordinary book. Consciousness is a swamp, a hornet's nest, a morass of competing theories and rival projects. It takes guts to put together a book like this one that seeks to present a truly general overview of the literature, ranging from philosophy of mind, through discussions in the fast-developing field of cognitive neuroscience, to the hot and fraught issues of the paranormal, lucid dreaming, and altered states of consciousness. Sue Blackmore carries off this ambitious project! Amazon

Related to: Consciousness Explained by Daniel C. Dennett

File size: 27 MB
Format: pdf

[Buy the book]

Monday, November 22, 2010

Christopher Hitchens Interview - The Hay Sessions (2010)

Christopher Hitchens talks on his latest book, Hitch 22 and various matters at the 2010 Hay-on-Wye literary festival.

File Name ..........: Hay Sessions 2010 - Christopher Hitchens.avi
Video Size (MB) ....: 339,09 MB
Video Length .......: 00:51:56
Audio Bitrate ......: 158 KB/s (VBR)

Beyond Reason

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The God Virus: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture - Darrel W. Ray

"For those hungering for more after reading the books written by Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens and Dennett, Dr. Darrel Ray's The God Virus is a logical and thought-provoking follow-up."
—Hemant Mehta, author of I Sold My Soul On Ebay

What makes religion so powerful? How does it weave its way into our political system? Why do people believe and follow obvious religious charlatans? What makes people profess deep faith even as they act in ways that betray that faith? What makes people blind to the irrationalities of their religion yet clearly see those of others? If these questions interest you, this book will give you the tools to understand religion and its power in you, your family and your culture. This book owes a great deal to Richard Dawkins concept of viruses of the mind, but it seeks to go a step further to personalize the concept of religion as a virus and show how these revolutionary ideas work in everyday life. Amazon

Related to: The God Virus: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture - Darrel W. Ray (Audiobook)

File size: 11 MB
Format: pdf/epub/mobi

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Richard Dawkins Answers Reddit Questions

Read the questions

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pale Blue Dot: A Tribute To Carl Sagan - Benn Jordan

This beautiful album creates a modern atmospheric sound and reminds me Cliff Martinez's (Solaris) music.

Happy Carl Sagan Day!

PS Benn Jordan supports the free distribution of his work on internet. Please, don't forget to make a donation to thank the artist (the paypal address is in the read me file).

Related to: NASA Voyager Recordings - Symphonies Of The Planets

File size: 75 MB
Format: MP3, 178 kbps

Cosmos - Carl Sagan

"Magnificent...Sagan's inquiry into man within nature is free from superstition and pessimism....A grand vision."
 —The American Rationalist

Cosmos was the first science TV blockbuster, and Carl Sagan was its (human) star. By the time of Sagan's death in 1996, the series had been seen by half a billion people; Sagan was perhaps the best-known scientist on the planet. Explaining how the series came about, Sagan recalled:

I was positive from my own experience that an enormous global interest exists in the exploration of the planets and in many kindred scientific topics--the origin of life, the Earth, and the Cosmos, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, our connection with the universe. And I was certain that this interest could be excited through that most powerful communications medium, television.

Sagan's own interest and enthusiasm for the universe were so vivid and infectious, his screen presence so engaging, that viewers and readers couldn't help but be caught up in his vision. From stars in their "billions and billions" to the amino acids in the primordial ocean, Sagan communicated a feeling for science as a process of discovery. Inevitably, some of the science in Cosmos has been outdated in the years since 1980--but Sagan's sense of wonder is ageless. Amazon

File size: 3.41 MB
Format: pdf/epub/mobi

Also watch: Carl Sagan's Cosmos TV Series

[Buy the book]

Monday, November 8, 2010

First Life with David Attenborough (2010)

After fifty years of broadcasting, Sir David Attenborough goes back to the very beginning of life to reveal an astonishing alien-looking world. If "science is poetry of reality", this mesmerizing feature is certainly a proof of it.

Broadcasted October 25, 2010 on Discovery Channel.

File Name ..........: Discovery.Channel.First.Life.with.David.Attenborough.HDTV.XviD-MOMENTUM.avi
Total Size (MB) ....: 699.0 MB
Video Length .......: 01:27:35

[Buy it]

Nature Via Nurture: Genes, Experience, and What Makes Us Human - Matt Ridley (Audiobook + E-book)

In the follow-up to his bestseller, Genome, Matt Ridley takes on a centuries-old question: is it nature or nurture that makes us who we are? Ridley asserts that the question itself is a "false dichotomy." Using copious examples from human and animal behavior, he presents the notion that our environment affects the way our genes express themselves.

Ridley writes that the switches controlling our 30,000 or so genes not only form the structures of our brains but do so in such a way as to cue off the outside environment in a tidy feedback loop of body and behavior. In fact, it seems clear that we have genetic "thermostats" that are turned up and down by environmental factors. He challenges both scientific and folk concepts, from assumptions of what's malleable in a person to sociobiological theories based solely on the "selfish gene." Amazon

[E-book - pdf - 2 MB]

[Audiobook - Read by the author/MP3, 48 kbps - 131 MB]

[Buy the book]

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Atheism is... (A poem by Richard Coughlan)

Atheism offers nothing to me,
It never has and never will,
It doesn't make me feel good or comfort me,
It's not there for me when I'm sick or ill,
It can't intervene in my times of need
It won't protect me from hate,
It doesn't care if I fail or succeed,
It won't wipe the tears from my eyes,
It does nothing when I have got no where to run,
It won't give me wise words or advice,
It has no teachings for me to learn,
It can't show me what's bad or nice,
It's never inspired or excited anyone,
It won't help me fulfill all my goals,
It won't tell me to stop when I'm having fun,
It's never saved one single soul,
It doesn't take credit for antyhing I achieve,
It won't make me get down on bended knee,
It doesn't demand that I have to believe,
It won't torture me for eternity,
It won't teach me to hate or despise others,
It can't tell me what's right or wrong,
It won't tell anybody that they can't be lovers,
It's told nobody where they don't belong,
It won't make you think life is worth living,
It has nothing to offer me, yeah, that's true,
But the reason Atheism offers me nothing is because I've never asked it to,
Atheism offers nothing because it doesn't need to,
Religion promises everything because you want it to,
You don't need a religion or to have faith,
You just want it because you need to feel safe,
I want to feel reality and nothing more,
So atheism offers me everything,
That religion has stolen before.
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