A Fate Worse Than F

Simon Fraser University is instituting the grade of FD, a grade worse than F, for “egregious cases of academic dishonesty.” It can only be given by authorities higher up than professors and it would have possibly long lasting implications: The FD would remain on a student’s transcripts during their time at SFU and for two years after graduation, which could affect the possibility of postgraduate studies or even getting a job if a potential employer asks to see transcripts. Severity… Read more


A really disturbing look at some incidents from Scientology’s dark and abusive history.. Read more

On The Necessary Connection Between Reasoning And Accepting Rational Norms As Having Merit

Wandering Internet Commentator asks You’ll have to excuse my ignorance here, whereas you have a doctorate in philosophy (I think) I’m just a Wandering Internet Commentator whose experience with philosophy extends no farther than a 101 college class. I’m very close to the doctorate but not quite there yet—check back in a few months… So if you wouldn’t mind me asking, just what is the difference between an empirical argument and a normative argument, and why should we consider the… Read more

On Unjustifiably Leveraging One’s Credibility

WIC writes this reply to recent remarks I made to him.  I am only quoting here the portion I specifically address, to read his counter to me in its entirety, click here. The question then becomes whether or not Collins is truly ‘sloppy’ outside the lab in regards to religion. You, Harris, Myers, and other atheists might believe so, but some folks ranging from Christian laymen to Christian scientists to maybe even some agnostics…perhaps even–gasp!–atheists!–might disagree. Personally, after reading Harris’… Read more

When Should A Scientist’s Faith Disqualify Him From Scientific Institutional Authority?

In reply to this post addressing previous objections that Wandering Internet Commentator made to me, WIC returns volley (sentences in italics are quotes he has taken from my previous post to him): I anticipated creationists figuring in your reply. The problem is, though, I’m not really sure they’re the best example of religion ‘polluting’ the scientific endeavor. Outside of other creationists and evangelical Christians, nobody takes ‘creation scientists’ seriously. If these people were peddling their faith-polluted science in peer-reviewed journals… Read more

More Thoughts On Scientists In The Public Square

My previous post today on religious scientists was based on a comment I first made on the blog He Lives in reply to a post there.  Below is a subsequent comment from that blog from “Wandering Internet Commenter” interspersed with my replies to him. Normative arguments are fun and all, but it never hurt to have at least a small bit of empirical backing to them. You note ‘infamously bad examples of people who bring their faith into the laboratory,’… Read more

On Ill-Prepared College Freshmen And Grade Inflation

Steve Salerno paints a dark picture: Loath to force ill-prepared students to stretch by mandating a core sequence in math and science, most colleges permit them to concentrate in their major subjects and fluffy electives.A 2004 study of 50 major colleges and universities found that half failed to require students to take a suite of core courses in such basic subject areas as math, science and economics – and a quarter required just one such core course or none at… Read more

Diploma Mills

Ridiculous: Jefferson High School Online and Vencer High School Online BBB has received complaints from consumers in Texas, Ohio, and South Carolina who say they passed Jefferson High School Online’s test and paid more than $200 to receive a high school diploma. When the students tried to enroll in college using the diploma they were told that it was not valid. The first part of the test is a questionnaire that asks students several “life experience” questions, including what type… Read more

How PZ Myers Differs From Rush Limbaugh

Prometheus Unbound takes issue with PZ Myers: I certainly understand why people like PZ Myers’s style. It is easy and uncomplex, and impatient with nuance. It’s what makes Fox News so popular. And it may well draw a crowd of young people. Myers is ever on the ready to stir the shit. And he is supremely confident. These are attractive features to many insecure people. They are also the characteristics of the demagogue. I know I take a harsh view… Read more

What’s In A Name? On Redefining Belief In God Rather Than Rejecting It

VorJack summarizes Robert Jensen’s thesis that God is mystery itself, rather than a principle that hopes to explain them: Jensen is not saying that God is a mystery. Instead, he is saying that God is mystery itself. God is what we call all those things about the universe that we don’t or can’t understand. Let me put it in a more familiar way. This isn’t a God is in the gaps argument. This is an argument that God IS the… Read more