Is American Scientific Illiteracy The New Atheists’ Fault?

Jerry Coyne pushes back hard (again) against the latest publication of the falsehood that American resistance to evolution is the New Atheists’ fault: 1.  The “new atheists” have been on the scene for exactly five years, beginning with Sam Harris’s The End of Faith, published in 2004.  But American’s attitudes to evolution have been relatively unchanged (with 40+% denying it) for twenty-five years.  This means two things: a.  American illiteracy about evolutionary biology cannot have been due to criticism of… Read more

Daily Hilarity: Harrison Ford’s Wife And Family

via The Daily Dish Read more

Debunking The Bible Code

via Holly Pugliares  Your Thoughts? Read more

Using “They” As A Universal Singular Pronoun

Inhabitatio Dei finds some precedents with clout for using “they” rather than “he” or “she” as a pronoun for a general human being without gender specified: Here are just a few samples of “they” being used as a universal singular pronoun in Western literature: — Shakespeare: and every one to rest themselves betake; — Jane Austen: I would have everybody marry if they can do it properly; — W. H. Auden: it is too hideous for anyone in their senses… Read more

Banning the Burqini

The official reason was strict public health standards: PARIS — A Muslim woman who tried to go swimming in a head-to-toe “burquini” has been banned from her local pool in the latest tussle between religious practices and secular authority in France. Officials on Wednesday insisted they banned the woman’s use of the Islam-friendly swimsuit because of France’s unusually strict hygiene standards in pools — not because of official hostility to wearing overtly Muslim garb. Under the policy, swimmers are prevented… Read more

Judge This: Sex Offenders In Illinois Banned From Social Networking Sites

  Today, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a law making it illegal for sex offenders to use social networking sites. Is this a necessary ban to protect the state’s children? Or a misguided move guaranteed to keep criminals who’ve paid their debt living on the margins of society? Read the story here (and its comments section which includes a reply from someone claiming to be a sex offender himself) and then offer us Your Thoughts in our comments section. Read more

Religious Extremists Appeased Again

Disgraceful: Yale University and Yale University Press consulted two dozen authorities, including diplomats and experts on Islam and counterterrorism, and the recommendation was unanimous: The book, “The Cartoons That Shook the World,” should not include the 12 Danish drawings that originally appeared in September 2005. What’s more, they suggested that the Yale press also refrain from publishing any other illustrations of the prophet that were to be included, specifically, a drawing for a children’s book; an Ottoman print; and a… Read more

Disambiguating Faith: Faith As Loyally Trusting Those Insufficiently Proven To Be Trustworthy

Yesterday I began my series of posts attempting first to disambiguate the various senses of the word faith, to explore how the various practices referred to under this one word’s umbrella all relate to each other and how they can be ethically and epistemologically assessed, both as they occur individually and in various combinations with each other.  In this installment I want to distinguish trust based on objective considerations of trustworthiness with faith, which often connotes a trust that goes… Read more

Natural Selection In The Modern Human Species

Yale University’s Stephen Stearns argues we’re not done evolving: Stearns hired a postdoc, Sean Byars, and together with Govindaraju and Douglas Ewbank, a University of Pennsylvania demographer, set to work analyzing a handful of medically relevant traits for their effects on women’s lifetime reproductive rates. They measured the statistical associations between the traits and family size in the first two generations of Framingham women to estimate the strength of natural selection and the potential genetic response to selection. Early results… Read more

Gay Marriage Responsible For Drought

This is why we need faith-based arguments in the public square.  How would any rational 21st Century person be able to divine such important truths as Mike Heath figured out for us if it weren’t for the input of faith? in recent days, we are all taking more notice of the sky for the simple reason that all is not well with the weather. Friends known for their high-spirits seem remote and gloomy. Our gardens droop low as if worn… Read more

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