Five things that atheists don’t want you to know

This is an experiment in PuffHo/BuzzFeed/Thrillist clickbaiting. So, here goes:  “Five Things That We Atheists Don’t Want You to Know About Us.”

1. We’re all secretly nihilists, because we realize that life without God has no meaning. But we keep that to ourselves.

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2. We’re all scared shitless of death, as we know that it’s the end of the line. Worm food—period.

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3. We know that our atheism involves as much faith as does religious belief. After all, you can’t prove a negative!

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4. Despite our claim that we’re all independent free-thinkers, we look constantly to our old, rich, white cisgender heterosexual male leaders to tell us what to do.
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“This book is the worst thing I’ve ever read. It won’t even admit
that dogs can’t get into Heaven.”
—Edward Fleaser, Duane Gish Professor of Religious Confabulation,
Pasadena City College.

5. We’re really atheists because we realize that since morality comes only from God, we’re free to act on our most bestial, venal, and criminal impulses. It’s FUN!
5f7483ff274587b3c58c2d1ab40e-morality-is-subjective-therefore-no-moral-code-is-better-than-another

Next: The Ten Best New Restaurants You Shouldn’t Miss

128 Comments

  1. TJR
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Its all true. I regularly sacrifice small mammals to Richard Dawkins.

    • Doris Fromage
      Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      You’re a cat! I KNEW it!!

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted January 29, 2016 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      If you were a real atheist, you’d sacrifice and eat babies.

      Take your agnosticism and shove it up your d*g’s butt.

      • SA Gould
        Posted January 29, 2016 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        Glad you called out the un-unbeliever!

      • Another Tom
        Posted January 29, 2016 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        But only organic, free range, non-GMO babies.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted January 29, 2016 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

          You inspired me to do a post on my site: For WEIT Readers – Babies Galore!

          http://www.heatherhastie.com/for-wiet-readers/

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted January 29, 2016 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

            ‘i before e except after c’ , eh?

            cr

            • infiniteimprobabilit
              Posted January 29, 2016 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

              But I did like ‘Good enough for dingoes, good enough for you’

              cr

            • Heather Hastie
              Posted January 29, 2016 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

              WEIT readers are too clever – you’re all noticing my screw up! Pity I didn’t before I posted it this morning. I made several other mistakes in that post as well, and had to re-publish four times before I noticed them all. (My record is nine times!) 🙂

              But at least I remembered to post it. I wrote a couple of thousand words about the GOP debate last night, then forgot to hit “publish.” I wondered why the post was getting no hits for about fifteen hours before I worked it out.

              My excuse is GOP debates damage the brain 🙂

              • The Rose
                Posted January 30, 2016 at 1:00 am | Permalink

                Pish-Tosh!, It’s up to ‘J-Man’ to subsequently name it What Is Evolutionarily Trout

              • Heather Hastie
                Posted January 30, 2016 at 11:16 am | Permalink

                The truth is I never learned to type properly, and thus my fingers frequently don’t get things in the same order as my brain. However, I often still read them how I meant to type them rather than how I actually typed them.

              • Diane G.
                Posted January 30, 2016 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

                @ The Rose

                Much simpler than naming what is evolutionarily not trout. (Assuming you itemize.)

  2. Wildhog
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    How could they call it heaven if there are no dogs there? Everyone will just go where all the dogs are, and god will be left in a lonely hell of his own creation.

    • Mark Joseph
      Posted January 29, 2016 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      Revelation 22:15, speaking of heaven: “Outside are the dogs…” This is my favorite verse!

      Of course, there is nothing *specifically* about cats being on the inside, but I think that that was probably taken for granted.

  3. Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    “Edward Fleaser, Duane Gish Professor of Religious Confabulation, Pasadena City College.”

    “Religious confabulation” Fabulous! Simply fabulous!

    • Posted January 29, 2016 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    • Posted January 29, 2016 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      I really didn’t feel like laughing today… until Jerry put this post up. Religious confabulation really got to me, as well.

      Thanks, PCC!

  4. GBJames
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Damn. They found us out. Oh well, I guess I’ll just go eat a baby.

    • Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      +1

    • Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Only one?

      • GBJames
        Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        You’ve got to pace yourself. It’s not even lunchtime yet!

    • E.A. Blair
      Posted January 29, 2016 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      So that’s what Planned Parenthood does with all those baby body parts – the secretly own a chain of underground baby bistros.

      Which is easier to unload – a truck full of bowling balls or a truckload of dead babies?

  5. Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Hilarious!

  6. Marc-Olivier
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    That was excellent & hilarious!

    1. Religous people (in general) can’t grasp that there is a difference between I VALUE LIFE versus LIFE AS INTRINSIC VALUE. But as the saying goes, «life without God has no (I would add ULTIMATE/objective)meaning.»

    A relative meaning is good too (relative to our subjectivity).

    2. Dead. We are afraid of suffering, not of dead per se. MARK TWAIN said :

    “I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”

    I want more hilarious stuff like that! haha

    • Richard
      Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      I like Epicurus:

      Why should I fear death?
      If I am, then death is not.
      If Death is, then I am not.
      Why should I fear that which can only exist when I do not?

      • Dominic
        Posted January 29, 2016 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        Exactly! 🙂

      • Posted January 29, 2016 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

        I rather think Epi-pen missed the point. I don’t want to stop existing. At least not soon. And ~40 years from now is soon, relatively speaking.

        • Diane G.
          Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

          + 1

        • Richard
          Posted January 30, 2016 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

          Agreed.

          That’s another reason I am an atheist: what god would give us such a wonderful gift as life, only to take it way again after only a few (too few!) decades, just as we are starting to get the hang of it?

          • Posted January 30, 2016 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

            It seems to me, were humans a naive and irrational species, you could take this desire to keep existing and make a profit somehow. Monetize it in some way, prey on people’s desire for the show to keep going with them at center stage. Hmmm….how could we do this?

            • Posted January 30, 2016 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

              I think it’d be very difficult to get people to believe you.

              • Diane G.
                Posted January 30, 2016 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

                Srsly. Who’d ever buy something as ridiculous as an…uh…um…oh, let’s call it an “afterlife.”

              • Posted January 30, 2016 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

                Yeah you say that now. But I have a message from your old dog who is alive and well in the hereafter.

                “Woof.”

                Sound familiar? Thought so…

              • Diane G.
                Posted January 30, 2016 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

                OMG! It’s a miracle! Praise Buster!

              • Posted January 31, 2016 at 4:25 am | Permalink

                Not so much an “afterlife”; more an «après vie».

                /@

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted January 31, 2016 at 10:15 am | Permalink

                That would make a great cartoon with all the recently departed chilling at a chalet.

              • Posted January 31, 2016 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

                h/t DNA, of course! #42

                /@

  7. BobTerrace
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Cthulhu will smite every one of you heathens.

    See cthulhu dot org

  8. Doris Fromage
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    The “Adopt a D*g” ad in the middle was my first LOL of the day – what a face! A face only an atheist could love!! Because everything in atheism is ugly and twisted and malformed!! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!! (shuffles off all hunched over to do some vivisection just for fun)

    • Richard
      Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      Igor! Have you been drinking the embalming fluid again? I’ve told you before, that’s my own personal supply!

    • Posted January 29, 2016 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      I was going to ask Prof. Coyne where he has found the d*g photo. If it is authentic, whoever owns the animals could make big money by selling him to an horror movie producer.

    • Posted January 30, 2016 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

      That’s why we atheists only like comedians like Ricky Gervais.

  9. Sastra
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    I bet this post gets quoted a lot… by people who can’t and/or don’t want to recognize sarcasm and/or satire

    I sure hope you know what you’re getting into. And if you do, I sure hope it stays fun.

    • Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Note the tags at the bottom. NOBODY can get away with accusing me of making serious admissions.

      • Sastra
        Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        Nobody can get away with accusing you of making serious admissions in any situation where someone serious will be there to cite serious reasons why their serious accusations do not hold and people will subsequently take these reasons seriously.

        People iz funny, tho. It’ll be fun to find out.

      • Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        Gotta say I’m with Sastra.

        Disingenuous quote-mining, thy name is theism.

        • Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:55 am | Permalink

          Alternatively, earnest but ridiculous misunderstanding, thy name is also theism.

          Theists like to think they’re all about appreciating subtlety and nuance while atheists are low-brow, black-and-white thinkers. Nothing could be more backward.

          • Heather Hastie
            Posted January 29, 2016 at 11:42 am | Permalink

            They name is also He Who Shall Not Be Named, but has the initials CJW. This’ll be all the proof he needs that New Atheists are giving other atheists a bad name. At least this time he won’t have to make up his quotes from scratch!

            Good on you Jerry. This is hilarious! I love it! 😀

            • Posted January 29, 2016 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

              Depressingly, I’d have to agree. I think that falls under my first option above.

        • Mark Joseph
          Posted January 29, 2016 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

          I’m with the two of you; in fact, that was the first thing that came to mind while reading the post.

    • eric
      Posted January 29, 2016 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      I recognize it, but in terms of serious feedback, I honestly don’t mind the title or list format. If Jerry wanted to use those methods in nonsatirical articles, I’d be fine with it (to some extent…too much of anything gets old). The most annoying thing about clickbait “style” is (a) hiding the content until you click (here, below the page), (b) the intermixing of ads and/or huge amount of the page not devoted to content, and (c) something Jerry thankfully didn’t add, pop-up windows or apps that run when you click on the bait.

      • eric
        Posted January 29, 2016 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

        Actually, what I meant to say was this:

        FIVE IMPORTANT OBSERVATIONS ON JERRY’S CLICKBAIT ARTICLE!!!
        (click here to read)

        • Sastra
          Posted January 29, 2016 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

          **I AM AN ADVERTISEMENT FOR A CHRISTIAN SINGLES SITE DANCING ACROSS YOUR SCREEN**

  10. Janet
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    When I clicked on a similarly named email yesterday I was sent to a blank page. I thoght that was the joke! That there is nothing atheists don’t want you to know!

    • Posted January 29, 2016 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      PCC(E) hit [Publish] too soon!

      /@

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted January 29, 2016 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        Oh, and I thought the Xxx in lieu of text were kisses just for me. Must be my arrogant, delusional atheism affecting my judgement again. 🙂

    • jimroberts
      Posted January 29, 2016 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      I too wondered whether that was PCC(E)’s point.

  11. gluonspring
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Five Things That We Atheists Don’t Want You to Know About Us.

    Our real names!

    The first thing that came to my mind, before clicking on the clickbait to see what the five would be, was “Our real names.”

    Of course, that’s only because we don’t want to be showered with so much Christian love, because we hate loving kindness or something.

    • BobTerrace
      Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      You uncovered my ruse. My real first name is not Bob.

      • Posted January 29, 2016 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        Robert?

        • BobTerrace
          Posted January 29, 2016 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

          Yes; so hard to keep secrets here.

    • Posted January 29, 2016 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      Rumpelstiltskin!

      /@

  12. Nicholas Arand
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    I guess god has just hacked your site 🙂
    You’ve forgotten we have a good sense of humor!

  13. Benjamin Branham
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Fantastic! This made my day.

  14. HaggisForBrains
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    😀 😀

    Love the final clickbait link!

    I wonder when the quote-mining will begin…

  15. Mark R.
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    This post is a nice change of pace. What fun. Yesterday I clicked on the link and went to a blank page; I’m glad today it had substance…well, sort of. 🙂 Bravo PCC(e)!

  16. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    The title had me worried for a moment about this here website.

  17. Q-Tim
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    “Duane Gish Professor of Religious Confabulation” made my day

  18. Steve Pollard
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Had to read it twice… but that made the joke even more fun! I wonder if PCC has ever considered writing standup…

  19. Jerry Tarone
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    They found Cuddles, my dog!

    • Diane G.
      Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

      LOL!

  20. Beau Quilter
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    You forgot:

    We’re all just angry at God, because he hurt our little feelings.

    And since we’re angry at God (and they’ll make us admit it eventually), we’re not really atheists because … wait for it … you can’t be angry at something that doesn’t exist!

    gotcha

  21. Dominic
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Open secret – I AM a nihilist – but so what?! I am a cheerful one! Neither do I fear death – Epicurus
    http://www.iep.utm.edu/epicur/#SSH5g.i

  22. Zado
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    As per #4, I wear the label of “Sam Harris fanboy” proudly.

    Which of course means I uncritically imbibe everything he says. I also have a 4’x6′ poster of him on my wall which I regularly pray to for guidance.

    • Robert Seidel
      Posted January 29, 2016 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      You mean of course: Meditate in front of, right?

      • Posted January 29, 2016 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

        Pray to; meditate; hey, whatever euphemisms you kids want to use…

  23. Maple
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I take this as a bit of verbal irony, sarcasm in the vein of “A Modest Proposal” or the dangers of “Dihydrogen Oxide.”

    Alas, my fear is that some will think it is all “true, true, true!”

    Mind you I do sometime worry about the eventual heat death of the universe, when I go to bed at night.

  24. barn owl
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Awww, poor ugly punkin of a d*g!

  25. Posted January 29, 2016 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    I just looked it up. Turns out I’ve been cis-sexual all these years and never knew it!

    • Posted January 29, 2016 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      Actually, PCC(E) should have said, “cisgendered, heterosexual”.

      /@

    • BobTerrace
      Posted January 29, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Real atheists are asexual or even antisexual.

  26. kieran
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    I’ll be trying some of those restaurants as soon as I get my appetite back….

  27. Neil
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I came back here to post something silly but the subsequent post on the Holocaust has erased any humor from my mood. The emotional whiplash of these two posts is too much for me.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted January 29, 2016 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      You can find a safe space down below. I hear there are fuzzy blankets and you can pop some bubble wrap.

      • Neil
        Posted January 29, 2016 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

        I don’t need your micro-aggression Mark! #NotAllMarks

  28. Alastair Haigh
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Are you going to be here all week? I hope so because that was very funny indeed!

  29. Frank Bath
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    What about the 500 million Buddhists, aren’t they all atheists?
    Apologies if I’m not the first to post the idea.)

  30. Reggie Cormack
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    “Five things that atheists don’t want you to know”
    I think PCC(E) may be on the cusp of a new career.

  31. Posted January 29, 2016 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Ahhhh, nothing like a fine clickbait, I am sated.

  32. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    It occurs to me that although there are lots of arcane technical terms in theology, there is none for those who believe or disbelieve in the presence of dogs in heaven.

    I propose canocaelists and acanocaelists for believers in dogs in heaven and their opponents respectively.

    • Diane G.
      Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

      Very good! 😀

  33. Diana MacPherson
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    And our Barbie Dolls are atheist too.

    • Posted January 29, 2016 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      Aw … not the new curvy Barbie!

      /@

    • Posted January 29, 2016 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      I love our surprise orgies. Although, we have them so frequently they’re not really surprising anymore.

      • JonLynnHarvey
        Posted January 29, 2016 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        Is the orgy itself the surprise, or is the surprise IN the orgy like it’s a surprise that Brad Pitt is showing up not announced in advance?

      • phil
        Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

        Wait, I’m missing something. How come nobody told ME?

      • The Rose
        Posted January 29, 2016 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

        …we use only the finest babies in our crunchy orgy, spring surprise…

  34. Mike
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Poe’d in 3, 2, 1…

  35. kelskye
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    I’ve tried not to make a secret of my nihilism tbh, even though people take it the wrong way.

  36. Posted January 29, 2016 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    It is my birthday today, so as you’d expect I’m in a rotten mood. Or at least I was until I read this post. Well done, PCCE!

    • Posted January 29, 2016 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      Well, happy birthday anyway!

      /@

      • Posted January 29, 2016 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        Thank you kindly. I am beginning to come around to Julian Barbour’s ideas, and, relatedly, that appeals to consequence are not fallacies.

    • Diane G.
      Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Happy Birthday!

      (Perhaps you’d be in a better mood had you been born on February 29th instead?)

      • Posted January 29, 2016 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

        Eh. Who’m I kidding? The ever-increasing baginess under my eyes would be plenty reminder even if we didn’t observe birthdays.

        I used to wear a goatee, but I shaved I off for a while. I then thought I’d try the hipster beard thing. I was mortified to see it come in largely white. No beard for me.

        But thank you! 😉

        • Diane G.
          Posted January 29, 2016 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

          Well, I always envision you as looking exactly like your Gravatar anyway. Ever thought of getting a wig like that?

          • Posted January 29, 2016 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

            In all sober seriousness, yes.

            Not recently, but when I was young, 6-8, I thought it would be a lot of fun to dress up in 18th c garb and pretend to be Bach, Haydn, etc. Never got to dress up, but, and hereafter shall my nerd-cred be unimpeachably established among WEIT readers, at 7 my parents got me an ink well for xmas so I could use the quill pen I’d carved from a goose feather.

            Here’s some extraneous information you may not really be interested in: that bust resides in the Nikolaikirche in Leipzig. Bach’s title in Leipzig was Thomaskantor, and the Thomaskirche was the city’s primary church, but he was in charge of the music at all four of Leipzig’s large churches.

            • Diane G.
              Posted January 29, 2016 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

              I think your quill pen/ink well stage was wonderful! Very creative! As a parent, I was surprised to discover that I could walk all through ToysRUs w/o finding anything I really wanted to buy. My kids got some very atypical gifts..

              And it’s cool to know the story behind your gravatar. 🙂

              You’ve been into music from a very early age–are your parents musicians? (Tell me to bug off if I’m being too nosy.)

              • Posted January 30, 2016 at 9:32 am | Permalink

                Not really. Mom plays piano a bit; dad plays…here we go…washtub bass, jugs, and the musical saw. None of them well. I have a hypothesis that I inherited most of my oddness from my dad.

              • Diane G.
                Posted January 30, 2016 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

                “…here we go…washtub bass, jugs, and the musical saw.”

                😀 “And the doctor said, give him jug band music, seems to make him feel just fine.”

                Also–there goes another of my excuses for not being a musician…

              • Posted January 30, 2016 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

                Lyrics by John Sebastian. Cue Twilight Zone theme.

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted January 30, 2016 at 8:23 am | Permalink

              The inkwell is pretty funny considering you were 8. I’m glad your parents indulged your interests instead of discouraging them like so many parents tend to do when they see their kids have out-of-the-main-stream-interests.

  37. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    I am inspired. I’ve got a blow-torch and pliers, now all I need is a vicar.

    Her’ll love it – it’s a way of life.

  38. The Rose
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    On #5 there’s a scene in the beginning of the Invisible Man where Claude Rains runs down the street throwing rocks through windows where , in MST3K fashion, I imagine him shouting, “Yahoo! I’m an atheist!”

  39. gordon hill
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    I need oxygen… 🙂

  40. phil
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Somebody should tell PZ about No 4. He’s always slagging off at Harris and Dawkins.

    To be honest, the Appeal to Authority fallacy is not always bad. We appeal to authorities if they have a track record of giving accurate information, with the caveat that they could still be wrong, and not simply because they are an authority.

    • Posted January 29, 2016 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

      Most fallacies are not always bad. Definitely context-dependent.

  41. Diane G.
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    Too funny!! And great choices of illustrations to boot!

  42. Posted January 30, 2016 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    6. We’re all pro-life. How else would we eat the babies when they’re born?

  43. Posted January 30, 2016 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    grand fun. and worth it all if one theist quote-mines it in their usual utter ignorance.


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