144

TL;DR: Those regions are poor areas considered as priority for public help by the French government to reduce inequalities. It has nothing to do with Islamic law or police patrols. I'm a French citizen. So what are the ZUS (Zone Urbaine Sensible)? They are sensitive urban areas where the French government wants the local politics to put in effort. Those ...


139

Let's break the original claim down into several constituent components. Islamic prayers have now been introduced into Toronto and other public schools in Ontario. Toronto Sun, CBC News, and others have reported that some Ontario schools provide prayer space for devout Muslim children. The original claim is therefore true, although misleading. Muslim ...


100

Summary: The graphic is based on an article from the Council for Secular Humanism which is almost entirely incorrect It seems to be the case that the infographic is based on the report "How Secular Humanists (and Everyone Else) Subsidize Religion in the United States"., by the Council for Secular Humanism. The figures seem to agree, so it's reasonable to ...


81

There was no poll. This was intended to be satirical, but appears to have missed its mark in many places. It was originally posted on a Facebook page for the The Atheist Advocate. In response to complaints, the poster writes: The original meme is a caricature, based on the fact that many conservative Christians think about homosexuals in a negative way. ...


70

This is a situation in which inadequate understanding of terminology causes confusion. In the referenced text, the Jews are called Adam, and the Gentiles are not called Adam. The Gentiles are the non-Jews. Adam literally translates to "Man" (hence its appearance in DevSolar's answer). So the people who claim that it supports considering the non-Jews to be ...


61

Kent Smith, a.k.a Flickr user kentsmith9 claims to be the original photographer of this image. He writes: I thought this was the most unusual thing I saw on the Alaskan cruise in the water. These two bodies of water were merging in the middle of the Alaskan gulf and there was a foam developing only at their junction. I thought this was an example of ...


61

No. According to the US State Department's evaluation of Japan in its 2012 International Religious Freedom Report: The [Japanese] constitution provides for freedom of religion, and other laws and policies contributed to the generally free practice of religion. The government generally respected religious freedom in practice. There was no change in ...


54

No, Easter is derived from Eōstre, who was a Germanic divinity, a goddess of the dawn. The word is related to other dawn goddesses, but not to Ishtar, who is goddess of fertility and war. This is backed up by The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, 1971, Vol. 1, pg. 827: Besides the lions on her gate, her symbol is an eight-pointed star. ...


52

There have been several studies over the years on the rates of atheism in the top scientists in various fields, the people who are recognized as being highly accomplished. This is a letter in Nature in 1998 describing the findings of the most recent iteration of this study. In 1998, members of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences were polled on ...


51

No. To knock the argument down quickly: the generally accepted age of the universe, according to modern cosmology (using the ΛCDM model) is 13.75 +/- 0.11 billion years. This doesn't match the 15.75 billion years claimed. (Not sure what happened to the 7th day? Presumably that is another 125 million years that has been forgotten about?) For further reading:...


48

From article 1, section 4 of the Texas Constitution, bolding mine: Sec. 4. RELIGIOUS TESTS. No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall any one be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being. ...


46

The question asks: Can Mormons really distinguish other Mormons from non-Mormons based on skin texture? That is a reasonable question given the quoted Digital Universe article says: A study done by psychology professor Nicholas Rule, of Toronto University, shows that Mormons and non-Mormons alike can identify Mormons based on no more than their skin ...


44

Dr Kerzin (who reportedly made the claim) might have been misunderstood by the reporter and/or the editor of the article. It might be truer to say that he is dead and meditating (for some suitably vague definition of "him", given that the self is difficult to define and that Tibetan Buddhists believe in a continuing existence after death and rebirth). The ...


43

Is Idaho forcing pastors to conduct same-sex weddings or face penalties? Yes and no: Yes: It's a real (albeit recent) story There is a lawsuit, and it is in Idaho The people involved are "ordained Christian ministers" No: It's a city (Coeur D'Alene) ordinance, not the state's (Idaho) That the city "would" enforce the bylaw is the opinion of the Deputy ...


41

While it is possible that the ABC poll mentioned may have had flaws, ABC is an experienced polling organization. It is unlikely that it has made an error of tens of percents in the estimates. The given percentage is 61, with a margin of error of about 3%. This is in line with other polls. This one gives 54% as the number who believe in a six-day creation. ...


40

Yule: The word Yule comes into Modern English from the Old English ġéol and was a festival occurring around the Winter Solstice. See: Merriam Webster and Wikipedia. Conclusion: False Wicca: There is no good reason to believe that Wicca predates Gerald Gardner in the 1950s (see Hutton's Triumph of the Moon and Aidan A. Kelly's Crafting the Art of Magic). ...


39

While Christianity didn't invent most of the methods of science, there is a plausible case that it nurtured the emergence of modern science (rather than opposing it), and helped it achieve a sustainable impact on the world The idea that religion, in general, and Christianity, in particular, has always been in opposition to science is very easy to believe, ...


39

Yes. In 2016, there were 3 members of the Bundestag who officially stated that they are Muslim. However, a number of people did not give their religion. The German newspaper Die Welt says that there are 6 Muslims: Ekin Deligöz, Omid Nouripour, Cem Özdemir, Özcan Mutlu, Aydan Özoguz, and Cemile Giousouf. 5 of them are in parties that primarily voted for ...


37

There seem to be two claims here. One is that there are no counterexamples of other cultures with a national tradition of a national divine revelation or miracle. The other is an implicit claim that Judaism itself does have such a tradition. Claim that Judaism has an unbroken national revelation tradition In terms of whether Judaism itself has such an ...


36

The Quran has some specific things to say about women, and how they are to be treated. These particular suras are the ones that may have some bearing on that particular belief (all emphasis mine): 4:34 Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women)...


33

There are a few mentions (although a bit less than one would expect): 91:13 And the messenger of Allah said: It is the she-camel of Allah, so let her drink! [...] 7:73 And to (the tribe of) Thamud (We sent) their brother Salih. He said: O my people! Serve Allah. Ye have no other God save Him. A wonder from your Lord hath come unto you. Lo! this is the ...


33

Yes, it's true. Most of this information is available on Operation Clambake which isn't fully indexed because the Cult of Scientology sued Google. You can download the Xenu leaflet put out by Operation Clambake. Wikipedia also covers the Xenu mythology which is also called the Space Opera (mythological event covered in South Park) and other "Incidents" which ...


31

There are two parts to this question: Does the Book of Job refer to a spherical Earth? If so, did it beat the other contenders to be the first to have the idea? Part 1 I don't propose to properly answer Part 1. This is a question for Hermeneutics.SE, not Skeptics.SE. I will note the obvious: the modern English translation provided is clearly not evidence ...


30

You can read the answer right off the study: no, lack of intelligence is not the main reason because the correlation coefficient between IQ and various measures of religiosity are not that large (e.g. -0.25 for fundamentalism). It is an important reason, as is education (as the study explains, the correlation persists when level of education is accounted ...


30

"Comment in passing"—the biblical term "40 days and 40 nights" or similar can be used to mean "a long time". Whether this is the case in any given passage would need to be understood, but is outside the scope of this question. In any normal circumstance you'd be dead long before 40 days without water. But hunger strikers regularly live beyond 40 days and ...


30

I can't find any source for him stating the quote as such. I did find a book, The Knights Templar & the Protestant Reformation, which states that when Stanley Jones, a missionary, met with Mahatma Gandhi he asked him: Mr. Gandhi, though you quote the words of Christ often, why is that you appear to so adamantly reject becoming his follower? Gandhi ...


30

Horus says yes -- he's a sky god Osiris says no -- July 14 Attis -- I haven't found a birthday; he wasn't a god; http://www.tektonics.org/copycat/attis.html alleges that similarities between Christianity and the cult of Attis were due to the latter imitating the former, not the other way around. Krishna says no - 18 July 3228 BCE Zoroaster says no -- 6 days ...


29

Someone pointed out that the answer was in your question. But do you really mean, "Do atheists have a better knowledge of religion than believers, all other factors being equal?". What if atheists have a better knowledge of many things than beleivers, because they tend to be better educated. Your figures also showed Mormons and Jews to be exceptionally ...


29

This is false. That quote was derived from a line of dialogue by a character in his 1932 play "Too True to be Good." The full text of which can be found here. If you search "bankrupt" it is the only result that comes up and you can instantly see the striking similarity between the quotes. THE ELDER [rising impulsively] Determinism is gone, shattered, ...


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