Archives for July, 2009

M and K in DC

The remainder of my review of Mooney and Kirshenbaum on paper will have to wait a bit longer. You see, I now have Mooney and Kirshenbaum in real life to discuss. Always happy to have an excuse to visit the big city, I stopped by the Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington DC to see…

The science blogosphere has been buzzing about Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future, the new book by former SciBlings Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum. For whatever reason everyone else seems to have received their review copies before I did, and I did not want to weigh in until I had read the book.…

Giberson Interviews Collins

On the subject of science and religion, Karl Giberson and Francis Collins are not among my favorite commentators. That notwithstanding, this interview actually manages to be pretty interesting. Giberson’s questions are in bold face, Collins’ answers are in regular type.

Th Richard Dawkins award is given by the Atheist Alliance International based on the following criteria: The Richard Dawkins Award will be given every year to honor an outstanding atheist whose contributions raise public awareness of the nontheist life stance; who through writings, media, the arts, film, and/or the stage advocates increased scientific knowledge; who…

Thomas Sums Up the Bible

In the course of expressing his dismay with the Episcopalian Church (for ordinating gay bishops) and with Jimmy Carter (for holding liberal political views), conservative pundit Cal Thomas provides an apt summary of the Bible: Inclusivity has nothing to do with the foundational truths set forth in Scripture. The church, which belongs to no denomination,…

From an interview with Brad Pitt posted at a German website: BILD: Do you believe in God? Brad Pitt (smiling): “No, no, no!” BILD: Is your soul spiritual? Brad Pitt: “No, no, no! I’m probably 20 per cent atheist and 80 per cent agnostic. I don’t think anyone really knows. You’ll either find out or…

Shuster Brings the Funny

An amusing comment from last night’s Countdown. Guest host David Shuster was siting in for Keith Olbermann: On this day in 1925, an anniversary of note if your name is Sam Brownback. High school biology teacher John T. Scopes was found guilty of breaking a Tennessee state law, teaching evolution. Scopes was fined 100 dollars…

Server Maintenance Tonight

The overlords at Seed have informed us that there will be some server maintenence starting at 7:00 tonight. Alas, it will be impossible to comment during that time. Take that Turkish spammers!

From Yahoo News: Fish have lost half their average body mass and smaller species are making up a larger proportion of European fish stocks as a result of global warming, a study published Monday has found. “It’s huge,” said study author Martin Daufresne of the Cemagref Public Agricultural and Environmental Research Institute in Lyon, France.…

Sholes, Pinker, Respond to Meyer

Blogging will continue to be sporadic around here for a while longer while I struggle to finish up a few projects that for some reason aren’t getting finished on their own. In the meantime you can have a look at two letters to the editor in response to the Meyer editorial on which I reported…

Dennett in The Guardian

Moving back across the pond, we find another wise op-ed, this time by Daniel Dennett writing in The Guardian. He writes: I am confident that those who believe in belief are wrong. That is, we no more need to preserve the myth of God in order to preserve a just and stable society than we…

Stupidity from the Boston Globe

Alas, op-ed’s as measured and intelligent as the one from Reiss and White are a comparative rarity in American newspapers. More often we get tripe like this, from ID supporter Stephen Meyer. He writes: IN THE battle over how to teach evolution in public schools, Thomas Jefferson’s demand for a “separation between church and state’”…

Wisdom from the Independent

Writing in the British newspaper The Independent, Michael Reiss and John White have an interesting suggestion about the school curriculum in England: It is a laudable aim of the current National Curriculum that pupils “know about big ideas and events that shape the world”. But one of the biggest of these is too infrequently studied…

Writing at the Huffington Post, Robert Wright has a very bad post up about the New Atheists and foreign policy. Let’s have a look” It must strike progressive atheists as a stroke of bad luck that Christopher Hitchens, leading atheist spokesperson, happens to have hawkish views on foreign policy. After all, with atheists an overwhelmingly…

Good news for chess fans: The newspaper Marca (journalist Jesus J. Boyero) broke the news that Kasparov and Karpov will play a 12 game (4 Rapid and 8 blitz) match in Valencia 21st-24th September 2009. The match is on the 25th Anniversary of the start of their infamous first aborted match in Moscow in 1984-5,…