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
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
I am so excited to finally be writing the post we have all been waiting for since January. This week I finished Rick Warren’s evangelical Christian bestseller The Purpose-Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? I can’t wait to put it back on the shelf and let it gather dust, as it should. That way, it can’t hurt anybody.
“Here we go,” some people might be thinking. “What is it this time in this uplifting Christian book about finding your purpose that made this atheist so upset?”
I will tell you what.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
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
I have been excited to write this post since last May. My husband and I were on a weekend trip in State College, PA celebrating our six-year dating anniversary by visiting all the local bookstores as we are wont to do. In a cute cafe and bookstore called Webster’s, I came across a uniquely rustic book called The A B C of Evolution by Joseph McCabe. It was $20 which is above the average price for a used book, but something told me I would never find a book like this again, so I bought it. Part of what sold me was the copyright date of 1920; at the time I thought to myself that that would soon be 100 years ago! Since then I’d been waiting for the perfect time in 2020 to look back at where the study of evolution was 100 years ago.Read more
It can be easy to assume that old books don’t say much. The books themselves often serve as rustic decorations. I’ve definitely been guilty of buying old books with the primary intent of showing them in my collection and a secondary intent of actually reading them. But when I bought The Causes and Cure of Unbelief last fall, I knew I wanted to eventually read the whole thing. After doing so, I learned why some ideas best remain forgotten.Read more
The gifts I want most are typically books. As you may know, all the books I enjoy stem from a common theme, but the range of books I end up owning and reading can be pretty varied. I started my nonfiction obsession with books like The God Delusion and The Language of God, but I found that my favorite topic within atheism and apologetics was evolution, or narrower yet, human evolution. Branching from human evolution, I’ve also taken a greater interest in and appreciation for human history.Read more
If you only know of Richard Dawkins as a militant anti-theist, then you don’t know Richard Dawkins. In his purest form, the man is an enthusiastic and impassioned science communicator, and one of the biggest fans of Charles Darwin that I have ever read. This was made crystal clear to me as I read The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution. I decided to read this book when everyone on the Internet decided to collectively make it known to me that it was an amazing, must-read book.Read more
This week, we’re returning to Rick Warren’s evangelical Christian bestseller The Purpose-Driven Life. In this post, we will specifically be looking at what harmful and even dangerous teachings are lurking in Part Two of the book: “You Were Planned for God’s Pleasure”.Read more