The Happy Atheist
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
“I’m an atheist swimming in a sea of superstition, surrounded by well-meaning, good people with whom I share a culture and similar concerns, and there’s only one thing I can do. I have to laugh.” —PZ Myers
On his popular science blog, Pharyngula, PZ Myers has entertained millions of readers with his infectious love of evolutionary science and his equally infectious disdain for creationism, biblical literalism, intelligent design theory, and other products of godly illogic. This funny and fearless book collects and expands on some of his most popular writings, giving the religious fanaticism of our times the gleeful disrespect it deserves by skewering the apocalyptic fantasies, magical thinking, hypocrisies, and pseudoscientific theories advanced by religious fundamentalists of all stripes.
With a healthy appreciation of the absurd, Myers not only pokes fun at the ridiculous tenets of popular religions but also highlights how the persistence of Stone Age superstitions can have dark consequences: interfering with our politics, slowing our scientific progress, and limiting freedom in our culture.
Forceful and articulate, scathing and funny, The Happy Atheist is a reaffirmation of the revelatory power of humor and the truth-revealing powers of science and reason.
instill some strange fear in the writer. It’s God as Voldemort, and all I can say is F_CK THAT. There ought to be a room in every house to swear in. It’s dangerous to have to repress an emotion like that. MARK TWAIN God damn it. I was brought up to think that that phrase was a great sin—gentlemen simply didn’t say that. And according to an especially patronizing attitude, one particularly didn’t say anything like that in front of women. Apparently strong words were too much for the weaker
absence of evidence. He makes what some call “explicitly scientific arguments” that God is found in quantum indeterminacy: because the behavior of subatomic particles isn’t fully predictable, God can “intervene in subtle, undetectable ways.” That is, the dice that God is playing with are loaded. And whenever we try to scrutinize the process, he’s really, really good at putting in a fair set of dice. God cheats at physics. Terry Pratchett, the fantasy author, says, “Let’s call it Quantum!” But
his house by a flood. As the waters rose higher and higher, he had to climb up on the roof, where he sat down to pray for God to rescue him. A little later, his neighbors paddled by in a canoe and offered to take him to high ground. “No, thank you,” he said. “I have faith that God will save me.” And he prayed some more. The water rose higher, and a rescue boat motored up to his roof and offered to take him to a warm, dry shelter. “No, thank you,” he said. “God will not let me down.” And he
purview: the importance of art and architecture in reflecting a fundamentally scientific view of the world around us. The story begins with stone tools and ancient stone cities, which are more than just convenient stacks of natural objects; creating them actually required that the material be probed and manipulated and exploited. Bronowski suggests that this is the root of scientific thought. The notion of discovering an underlying order in matter is Man’s basic concept for exploring nature. The
We defy such arbitrary restrictions on our freedom, be it a demand that we treat crackers with respect or a demand that we do not render images of some guy. We violate these restrictions because we can. Any of us can pick up a Sharpie and scrawl out a picture of Muhammad. Go ahead. Do it yourself. If you’ve got some artistic talent, maybe you drew a sketch of a bearded man. If you’re like me and aren’t particularly skilled, you drew a stick figure or something equally simplistic. Is it actually