Religion

Pure Pedantry

Category archives for Religion

A cat hit by a motorcycle in Port Harcourt, Nigeria allegedly turned into a middle-aged woman. Good thing there were lots of people around to kill a second cat-person and beat the accident survivor into a confession of witchcraft. What could be described as a fairy tale turned real on Wednesday in Port Harcourt, Rivers…

…this has got to be in the top ten at least. I haven’t been following this much, but Ben Stein is coming out with a movie called Expelled. The movie purports to challenge Darwinism’s monopoly of classroom instruction — which to me sounds like trying to challenge yellow’s monopoly of bananas…yeah, it’s all over but…

A Christmas present, maybe? Maybe not. A “neurotheology” researcher called Dr Michael Persinger has developed something called the “God Helmet” lined with magnets to help you in your quest: it sounds like typical bad science fodder, but it’s much more interesting than that. Persinger is a proper scientist. The temporal lobes have long been implicated…

Moses was high as a kite

And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. (Exodus 3:2) Moses was high when he saw that bush. Or so speculates Benny Shanon, a professor of cognitive psychology at…

Writing in the City Journal, Theodore Dalrymple criticizes the equivalence of religion with the immoral and atheism with the moral: Lying not far beneath the surface of all the neo-atheist books is the kind of historiography that many of us adopted in our hormone-disturbed adolescence, furious at the discovery that our parents sometimes told lies…

Pairing Science and Atheism Redux

Last week, I posted a long argument for why I believe pairing science and atheism is a poor strategic choice for scientists. The response to that article has I think been largely positive, but I do want to address the criticisms of it now that I have had a chance to read all the comments…

In 1922, John Dewey, pragmatist philosopher and champion of Progressive education, wrote an article in The New Republic entitled “The American Intellectual Frontier.” The subject was William Jennings Bryan’s attack on evolution that would later culminate in the Scopes trial. The argument that Dewey made was not what you would think, however. Though he was…

European market for religion

As an American living in Europe, I am at times accutely aware of the differing levels of religiosity between my country of origin and my current residence. But an article from this past weekend’s edition of the Wall Street Journal suggests that the disparity may be starting to decrease. Surveys show that, particularly among young…

The latest issue of Science magazine (May 18) has several reviews devoted to the coming of age of behavioral neuroscience. However, one by Paul Bloom and Deena Skolnick Weisberg caught my eye. The review is entitled “Childhood Origins of Adult Resistance to Science,” and their core argument is that resistance to science in adulthood is…

Daniel Lazare, writing in the Nation, has an interesting article about differences of opinion even among atheists: This is the problem, more or less, confronting today’s reinvigorated atheist movement. For a long time, religion had been doing quite nicely as a kind of minor entertainment. Christmas and Easter were quite unthinkable without it, not to…