Archives for December, 2010

Ending the Year on a High Note

I am on the mailing lists of a number of creationist organizations, including the Access Research Network. A few days ago I received a postcard from them. It opens with the following, encouraging paragraph: The economy has taken its toll on us here at ARN with our donations and product sales this year less than…

Harris States it Plain

Essays like this must be the reason I am a fan of Sam Harris. While the United States has suffered the worst recession in living memory, I find that I have very few financial concerns. Many of my friends are in the same position: Most of us attended private schools and good universities, and we…

The Jewish View of Creationism? Really?

Update: I have revised the original post to reflect the observation made by ProgJohn in comment five, and Raka in comment eleven.   Over at HuffPo, Rabbi Adam Jacobs presumes to explain “The Jewish View of Creationism.” The title alone is a bad sign. The standard line is that if you put ten Jews in…

I am sorry to do yet another post about Michael Ruse, but I do feel the need to reply to his latest. Partly I feel compelled to reply because of this remark: In the case of people like me, those who endorse the independence option, our fellow nonbelievers are scornful to an extent equaled only…

Evolution and Original Sin

I had intended to devote this post to Michael Ruse’s latest column for HuffPo. It turns out, though, that first we need to consider this earlier column from Ruse. When I first started writing about evolution and creationism I took a highly accommodationist line. I was perfectly happy to parrot the conventional wisdom that evolution…

A Good Day

Another semester has come and gone. Turned in my course grades today. Much happiness. Oh, and DADT was repealed. Eight Republicans decided to stop being evil for a few minutes and voted the right way.

Cat Saves House From Fire

I realize that other people have the cat blogging beat nailed down, but this story is just too heart-warming to pass up. Now, back to grading finals…

The Big Monty Hall Book has now been reviewed in Mathematical Reviews. The reviewer is Paul Humphreys, a philosophy professor at the University of Virginia. Let’s have a look: Those intrigued by the original Monty Hall problem will find that this book is a superb source of variants of the problem, pays careful attention to…

Who Was John Morrison Moore?

The BECB (that’s the big evolution/creation book) is slowly winding its way towards a complete first draft. I just finished writing a chapter about religious experiences. Creationists routinely tell me they have had them, you see. So over the last few months I have read my share of the literature on the subject. I started…

Krugman Spanks Milbank

Here’s Dana Milbank making stuff up in The Washington Post: This is a hopeful sign that Obama has learned the lessons of the health-care debate, when he acceded too easily to the wishes of Hill Democrats, allowing them to slow the legislation and engage in a protracted debate on the public option. Months of delay…

The Big Tax Deal

Here’s an interesting nugget from Ezra Klein: If you look at the numbers alone, the tax cut deal looks to have robbed Republicans blind. The GOP got around $95 billion in tax cuts for wealthy Americans and $30 billion in estate tax cuts. Democrats got $120 billion in payroll-tax cuts, $40 billion in refundable tax…

Geniality, ID Style

Discovery Institute flak David Klinghoffer is getting all misty-eyed about the tenth anniversary of Jonathan Wells’ book Icons of Evolution. Doubtless you recall the book, which contained very little that was true. What struck me, though, was this statement from Klinghoffer: When I say the book is sweetly reasoned, I don’t only mean that it’s…

Picking Silly Fights

Jerry Coyne and P. Z. Myers, those little scamps, are kvetching about the NCSE again. It seems that the NCSE posted a link to this series of videos defending the compatibility of evolution and Christianity. Here is the NCSE’s post: Interested in exploring the issues raised by science and faith? A free webcast series promises…

ID and Catholicism

Over at HuffPo, John Farrell has an interesting post up about the dissatisfacton with ID expressed by many Catholics. He writes: The Discovery Institute has from its beginning claimed it would in short order get actual scientists to consider intelligent design as a viable scientific theory, by publishing peer-reviewed articles in the leading science journals.…

A New Tourist Attraction for Kentucky

It used to be that Kentucky was known primarily for bourbon and horse racing. But now they seem determined to add creationism to that list: Gov. Steve Beshear said Wednesday that a creationism theme park, expected to open in Northern Kentucky in 2014, would have a $250 million annual impact on the state’s economy. Ark…