Archives for October, 2009

I had intended to leave this subject behind, at least for a while, but Josh Rosenau has a lengthy post up that I think merits a reply. See also this post and the ensuing comments. On several occasions at this blog (here and here for example) I have endorsed the efforts of the NCSE and…

What with all the general business and the ample supply of recent blog fodder, I seem to have gotten away from my Blogging Dawkins project. That state of affairs ends now. In Chapter Two Dawkins laid out the case that artificial selection can and has caused enormous changes in the physical features of organisms in…

!!Ong Bak 2!!

OMG! A new Tony Jaa movie: Back in 2003, a little Thai movie called Ong Bak introduced the world to an elephant-herder-turned-martial-artist named Tony Jaa. Directed by Prachya Pinkaew, the movie became a global sensation and rocketed Pinkaew and Jaa into the international celeb-o-sphere. They quickly collaborated on a follow-up called Tom Yum Goong (aka…

Unscientific America, Revisited

I’m sure we all remember the book Unscientific America, by Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum. I found the book to be very disappointing, for reasons I explained in my epic, three-part review (Part One, Part Two, Part Three.) In short, I felt the book was superficial in its analysis of the problem and, as as…

Atheist Schism?

So says NPR: Last month, atheists marked Blasphemy Day at gatherings around the world, and celebrated the freedom to denigrate and insult religion. Some offered to trade pornography for Bibles. Others de-baptized people with hair dryers. And in Washington, D.C., an art exhibit opened that shows, among other paintings, one entitled Divine Wine, where Jesus,…

Travel Should Always Be Like This

The trip to California went well. Suspiciously well, in fact, to the point where, even though I am now back home, I am still waiting for something to go wrong. I first became suspicious during the two-hour drive over to Dulles Airport. There was no traffic. How odd. My rule of thumb when flying out…

California Here I Come!

For my San Bernardino readers, I will be flying out to California tomorrow to deliever one of the keynote talks at the big MAA meeting. The talk will be at CSU San Bernardino at 9:00 am on Saturday morning. Nine am on a Saturday? They didn’t mention that when they invited me! The title of…

So wonders Razib Khan over at Secular Right:: In any case, I’m on the record as saying that predictions for 2012 are very premature. But, it looks like 3 of the front-runners for the G.O.P. nomination are rather frank Creationists (Palin, Huckabee and Pawlenty). I’m skeptical about any of these as likely candidates (i.e., if…

You are probably familiar with the Bloggingheads website. The site, founded by Robert Wright, features conversations between various bloggers, journalists and scholars on whatever issues it amuses them to talk about. The site has long featured scientists among its participants. Two recent dialogues hurt that relationship. The first featured historian Ronald Numbers palling around with…

A Tale of Two Columns

I only have time for quick blogging today, so how about a brief observation. Here is Paul Krugman’s latest column. It is a characteristically lucid and informative column about some bad economic ideas that are circulating around Washington these days. Here’s a sample:

And mostly favorably, too. You might need a subscription to read the review, alas. The reviewer is Donald Granberg, a sociologist (now retired) at the University of Missouri. He published several papers on the MHP during the nineties. I liked this part of the review: The author does a masterful job of tracing the problem…

One Big Happy Family

Richard Dawkins stopped by the NCSE the other day. Josh Rosenau writes: And no, blog drama did not spill over into the real world. It was a great visit, with Dawkins and Genie getting along swimmingly. Anyone surprised by this? Let’s face it, the blog drama hasn’t really been that dramatic, occasional whining from certain…

Andrew Sullivan has posted several more blog entries on the subject of theodicy. Here’s one written from a theistic perspective. It gets off to a bad start: The emails you have received regarding the theodicy problem are, I think, very telling. Most striking to me is how few of your correspondents — and none in…

Do ID Folks Suffer From Weak Faith?

Via Andrew Sullivan I came across this article, from the Canadian magazine The Walrus, on the subject of science and religion. The article’s focus is on Guy Consolmagno, a Jesuit astronomer. It was the article’s conclusion that really caught my eye:

As a companion to this post, I would like to put forth Alan Grayson, a first-term representative from Florida, as a candidate for Speaker of the House. On Wednesday Grayson said: Now, the Democrats have a different plan. The Democrats say that if you have health insurance, we’re going to make it better. If you…