The founders were deists and atheists, not godbotherers.… Read the rest
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Long, detailed, indispensable.… Read the rest
There is a lot of discussion of the Taboo mentality going on right now – which is good, in the sense that the dangers of the taboo mentality are being pointed out, but it’s bad, in the sense that there is also a lot of Taboo mentality around right now. Is it worth it to have some people thinking badly to give an occasion for other people to explain what’s wrong with bad thinking? Wouldn’t it be better and simpler just to have everyone thinking clearly to begin with? Yes, probably, but since that’s not going to happen, it’s a good thing there are people around to do some nudging.
Salman Rushdie at Open Democracy, for example.
Is the issue free speech or academic standards?… Read the rest
Thomas Brown says Ward Churchill invented a story of intentional smallpox infection.… Read the rest
Discriminatory laws perpetuate violence against women. … Read the rest
Concern about unintended consequences of civilizational encounters.… Read the rest
The moment you say any idea system is sacred, freedom of thought becomes impossible. … Read the rest
Evolutionary biologists have offered hypotheses for how complex things evolve in nature. … Read the rest
How much we want to believe a proposition is not a reliable guide as to whether it is true.… Read the rest
In the wake of the recent lawsuits over the teaching of Darwinian evolution, there has been a rush to debate the merits of the rival theory of intelligent design.
And it’s all downhill from there.
Intelligent Design creationism is not a “rival theory.” It is an ad hoc pile of mush, and once again we catch a creationist using the term “theory” as if it means “wild-ass guess.” I think a theory is an idea that integrates and explains a large body of observation, … Read the rest
‘Behe doesn’t get to just wave his hands and have all the evidence for evolutionary biology magically disappear’… Read the rest
No. Why bother debating?… Read the rest
In Kansas, the state-approved answer might soon be Yes. … Read the rest
Norman Levitt has some very pointed things to say about Harvard.
Harvard University, the oldest in the USA and the wealthiest in the world, thinks very well of itself…It is an open secret that [Summers] was handed the helm at Harvard out of a growing sense that the place had grown stale, complacent, and narcissistic. Too many Harvard professors had settled into the habit of assuming that any old doctrine, opinion, or casual observation they chanced to utter was, ipso facto, profound and epochal merely because it issued from the great faux-Georgian citadel on the Charles. In truth, the place had grown somewhat dowdy, intellectually speaking, and, even worse, had proved itself susceptible to the vagaries of academic fashion…In some
‘Ward Churchill has been masquerading as an Indian for years behind his
dark glasses and beaded headband.’… Read the rest
‘The image of an angry Indian’ – as seen at your local multiplex.… Read the rest
Lacking ‘convincing’ non-design explanation, justified to think intelligent design was involved in life.… Read the rest
Two very different ways of thinking about science: via tools or concepts.… Read the rest