Archives for May, 2010

Retiring Rep. Bart Gordon wins the internet with this comment: “For anyone that is concerned about federal employees watching pornography, they just saw a pornographic movie. It’s called; ‘Motion to Recommit,’” Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN) said. “It was a cynical effort to undermine an important bill for my 9-year-old daughter, for your kids and your…

Ophelia Benson continues to tangle with the silly and unjustifiable argument by Sam Harris that science can produce morality. Harris has shown himself to be beyond the realm of reason on this matter (and perhaps others), but if it brings her joy, I say mazel tov. At long last, someone is deploying against Harris what…

So remember how I posted a thing about how “critical analysis” is just another Marxist/postmodernist catchphrase adopted by fundamentalists to advance their religious/political agenda? I thought it was interesting, but relatively uncontroversial. Rob Crowther, Disco. ‘Tute’s scribe in residence, objects not because of the basic thesis of the piece, but because I didn’t clearly indicate…

Alabama creationism

When I first heard about an attack ad in Alabama charging that gubernatorial candidate Bradley Byrne was in favor of evolution, I didn’t even bother blogging it. Of course Roy Moore – famously removed from the state judiciary for unconstitutionally forcing religious symbols into public places – would use evolution as a weapon against his…

Those who follow creationism carefully know that after it became clear that Intelligent design would fail in court, the new strategy which took the field often simply called for “critical analysis” of evolution. The practical effect is the same as when creationism is forced into the curriculum, but the phrasing is more pleasant to the…

Kagan for Supreme Court

I’m honestly undecided about Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court. She’s got a distinguished record of legal service and scholarship, though few publications to document her views. Larry Lessig likes her, Glenn Greenwald doesn’t. At the end of the day, President Obama likes her, and the general sense is that the Senate will like…

Understatement of the day

Chris Mooney interviewed Elaine Ecklund about her just-released Science vs. Religion, and takes issue with her claim that second-generation atheists (those raised by atheists) are less anti-religion than first-generation atheists. As a counterargument, he writes that he is a second-generation atheist, but: I was pretty angry at religion when I was a college atheist activist.…

The origins of “woo”

Jim Lippard is tracking down the origin of the term “woo”. He finds a few references (mostly to “woo-woo” or “woo woo”) in the 1990s, and then a gap until this, from The North British Review, vol. 1, no. 11, p. 340, in a discussion of “Our Scottish fishermen” from 1842: When beating up in…

S.E. Cupp has become a minor bete noir here, partly because I’ve been tracking reaction to her profoundly inaccurate book. But today, she actually says something I agree with. Or at least, she accidentally implies something I agree with. The essay is a bit of sports commentary, or rather sports journalism commentary. She can’t fathom…

Get this kid a blog

He’s funnier than S. E. Cupp, at least.