Archives for June, 2010

Taking a Break

It will continue to be bloggus interruptus around here for a while. There are two main reasons for this. One is simply that I have two books under contract, both of which must be at least substantially done by the time school starts up again at the end of August. That means I am already…

Isaac, 2004-2010

My cat, Isaac, died on Monday. He never did anything like a normal cat, and that includes the manner in which he died. He went from no symptoms to multiple organ failure in less than a week. We’ll come to that in a moment. Cats like Isaac are the reason people own cats. If he…

Evolution and Suffering

Over the past few years I have asked a fair number of creationists what it is they find so objectionable about evolution. They have a great many complaints, but the one I hear most often is some version on the problem of evil. Evolution by natural selection is a cruel and wasteful process. It is…

Tarnishing the Brand?

Have a look at this interview with Boston University religion professor Stephen Prothero. It contains a number of interesting nuggets, but this is the part that jumped out at me: Baer: Proselytizing atheists like Dawkins have carved out a niche within a largely religious public sphere. Would a less emotional, less evangelistic atheism be capable…

Aggravation!

Over the past few weeks I have been working my way through season three of Dexter. Somehow I had gotten my Netflix cue out of order, so that they actually delivered the final disc, number four, to me before sending me the other DVD’s. This particular disc contained only a single episode, the final one…

Last year I attended a paleontology conference in Cincinnati. While I was there I attended a session on science and religion, during which a parade of people trumpeted the warm relationship between the two. Predictably, there was much bashing of the New Atheists, with Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris and Stenger all specifically called out by name.…

Israel

On most issues my politics are decidedly left-wing, but there is one big exception to that. That exception is Israel. On the subject of Isreal I get very right-wing. When I look at Israel I see a Western-style democracy that has achieved extraordinary things in just sixty years. Their universities and technological achievements are among…