Archives for October, 2009

For some reason, people are only now realizing Christopher Hitchens’ distaste for Mother Teresa. It’s like they started paying attention to the world a week ago.

There’s been much ink spilled lately about the latest work from the authors of Freakonomics. I should say before getting into this that I haven’t read their last book, and don’t plan to read the sequel. I also haven’t read any of Malcolm Gladwell’s books, for largely the same reasons (note that the Freakonomists apparently…

Norman Levitt was a great man, a leonine defender of science against the trendy pablum advanced under the guise of post-modern critique. This defense was most famously advanced in Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and Its Quarrels with Science, co-authored with the indomitable Paul Gross. He also assisted in an amicus brief in Kitzmiller v.…

On false equivalences

Jason Rosenhouse, criticizing Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum’s reply to Jerry Coyne’s review of their book in Science, ends with this thought: You can not consistently argue that one side hurts the cause every time they open their mouths, but then object that you are not telling them to keep quiet. Free speech has absolutely…

Happy Birthday!

I’ll be back in Kansas to take part in the celebration of KCFS’s tenth anniversary, and I hope to see you all there

You may recall Martin Cothran from our fight over whether Pat Buchanan is a racist and a Holocaust denier, and from his guest-blogging gigs at the Discovery Institute, and through his other attempts to abuse logic for partisan purposes. Not content to push creationism with the Disco. ‘Tute and other forms of evangelical Christianity through…

Slacktivist is talking sense. He notes a common problem in dealing with creationists: I find I’m unable to communicate with them — not just because I’m less fluent in the language of science, but because when they start talking about science then words no longer seem to mean what they mean for the rest of…

In a radio interview today, George Herbert Walker Bush complains about the “lack of civility in politics“: The Republican elder statesman said, “It’s not just the right.” He complained, “there are plenty of people on the left.” While he said he does not believe in personal name-calling, he singled out MSNBC personalities Keith Olbermann and…

Don McLeroy, erstwhile head of the Texas Board of Education, doesn’t like the National Academy of Sciences. At least not on even-numbered days. During the science standards fight, he praised the NAS definition of science. Then again, he endorsed a crazy, self-published pamphlet declaring that the NAS is “sowing atheism.” And of course, he dismissed…

Capitalism beats creationism

At least in the movies. Michael Moore’s Capitalism has passed Expelled as the fifth-top-grossing political documentary EVAR! It’s showing on fewer screens and has earned over 2 million dollars more, to date, than Ben Stein’s crapfest. This makes total sense. Michael Moore’s movie is quite good, is based on real and well-documented events, and has…