Archives for August, 2007

Polling Data on Science and Religion

Chris Mooney has a link to this analysis of recent polling data. The analysis was written by David Masci. The subject: How Americans feel about science and faith. Mooney thinks the data supports the Matt Nisbet line that people like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens hurt the cause. I disagree. Here’s Mooney main comment: So…

Huckabee on Cancer

And while we’re perusing the Hardball transcript, here’s Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee commenting on the causes of cancer. Huckabee, recall, was one of three Republican candidates to raise his hand to affirm his rejection of evolution. Take it away Guv’ner:

Hitchens and Donohue on Hardball

God is Not Great author Christopher Hitchens and Catholic League president Bill Donohue showed up on Hardball yesterday to mull over the issues raised by the Time article. I’d write some commentary, but some things simply defy comment. I have taken the liberty of putting certain choice nuggets in bold:

Mother Teresa’s Doubts

Time‘s cover story this week is about Mother Teresa. Specifically, it’s about her newly released personal correspondence in which she repeatedly expresses grave doubts about the truth of Christianity, even to the point of questioning whether God exists. It’s a little hard to nail down from the Time article what Teresa did and did not…

Creepy Moment on Hardball

Last night’s edition of Hardball with Chris Matthews provided more than its fair share of strange moments. There was an amusing exchange between Christopher Hitchens and Catholic League president Bill Donohue regarding the current Time magazine cover story about Mother Teresa’s religious doubts. But since I only have about ten minutes until my next class,…

See Behe Flail

Perhaps you saw this article from The New York Times last week. It describes some significant new findings in protein evolution: In work published last year, Dr. Thornton reported how his group reconstructed an ancestral protein of two hormone receptors found in humans. The two, once identical, diverged along different evolutionary paths. One is now…

Leaving Children Behind

Have a look at this op-ed from today’s Washington Post, by Susan Goodkin and David Gold : With reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act high on the agenda as Congress returns from its recess, lawmakers must confront the fact that the law is causing many concerned parents to abandon public schools that are…

Revere on Nisbet

Over at Effect Measure, Revere takes a few shots at Matt Nisbet: It’s not just that the Dawkins/Hitchens “PR campaign provides emotional sustenance and talking points for many atheists,” although it does that too. It’s that the various writings of Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, Hitchens, PZ and now a number of others has opened up a…

America’s Worst Colleges

It’s that time of year again! That most worthless of weekly news mags, U. S. News and World Report, has just published its annual list of America’s Best Colleges. As usual, they tinkered with their ranking system again, for the sole purpose of fiddling with the order, thereby creating some news. Will Princeton or Harvard…

The Right’s Desperation, Part Two

But when it comes to brain-dead venom-spewing, Kristol is an amateur compared to Town Hall columnist Lisa De Pasquale. How bad have things gotten for the right? Well, let’s have a look. A standard criticism of the phony machismo that is the stock-in-trade of right-wing politicans is that they are unwilling to see their own…

The Right’s Desperation, Part One

Now that it has become obvious to all that every stated reason for the Iraq War was either an outright lie or a gross exaggeration, and that any hope for a successful outcome was squandered by the incompetence and myopia of the Bush administration, the Right’s know-nothing political lackeys have been reduced to bleating about…

The Importance of Bloggers

Perhaps you’ve heard of Andrew Keen? He showed up on Colbert recently to discuss his new book The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet is Killing Our Culture. One of his points is that bloggers in particular are mere amateurs who inevitably coarsen the public debate and threaten professional journalistic enterprises with their ceaseless…

Atheist Noise Machine?

Matt Nisbet has been beating his favorite dead horse again. That’s the one where he excoriates people like Richard Dawkins for being just so darn mean in his discussions of religion. In this post he praises Carol Tavris for echoing his favorite talking points, and in this one he praises Michael Shermer for doing likewise.…

A Transition at the NCSE

While I’m getting caught up, allow me to echo Ed Brayton’s sentiments on the changing of the guard over at the National Center for Science Education. Nick Matzke, hero of the Kitzmiller trial, will be leaving to obtain a PhD in evolutionary biology from Berkeley. Not too shabby! And taking his place will be my…

The Big Science Bloggers Confab!

I’m back in Virginia after my brief visit to New York. It was really great to meet so many of my fellow science bloggers. I feel so unworthy right now! Bora has the skinny on the weekend’s doings along with copious photographs. After our big brunch on Saturday, I decided to eschew the visit to…