Congratulations to Carl Weiland!

In the midst of yesterday’s Darwin Day celebrations around the world, you might have missed this little tidbit. Some folks in Australia have begun giving away the Wilberforce Award, named of course for the Bishop Wilberforce who debated the validity of evolution against T.H. Huxley at Oxford in 1860. The award is given to an individual who “through the silly nature of their arguments or actions, have inadvertently done the most to promote evolution as a fact”. This year’s winner… Read more

Answering Comments, part 2

Russell Husted also left a couple of comments in response to my fisking of Mitt Romney’s Wall Street Journal op-ed piece about gay marriage. Russell wrote:Ed, you say “he’s right on the general point that marriage predates our constitution and our nation, but he is wrong to imply that there has been anything like a consistent conception of marriage over those millenia and across cultural lines. The definition and limitations of marriage have varied dramatically over the centuries, both within… Read more

Answering Comments

Russell Husted, a fellow blogger not to be confused with Rusty, left a couple of comments in response to postings far down on my page, so I thought I’d move them up toward the top and answer them before they scroll off entirely. I hadn’t noticed them until now. One was in response to my post concerning the Richard Dawkins incident. Russell wrote:You said of the question:”Can you give an example of a genetic mutation or an evolutionary process which… Read more

France and Human Rights

Just another note on the whole French ban on religious clothing or symbols. For all of France’s screaming about following international norms and international law in the debate over war in Iraq, have they given no thought to the Universal Declartion on Human Rights, which they signed in 1948? Article 18 of that document states:”Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or… Read more

Happy Darwin Day

Charles Darwin was born Feb. 12, 1809. With the publication of On the Origin of Species in 1859, Darwin took his place alongside the likes of Copernicus, Newton, Kepler and (later) Einstein as the greatest of the great scientific thinkers. His place in that pantheon is secured by the fact that, 150 years later, the basic theory that he developed is the central organizing theory of at least a dozen fields of science. It’s difficult to even imagine hypothetically what… Read more

More People Talking to God

The religion news blog is reporting the story of Marilyn Cole, a Virginia woman who keeps getting arrested for trespassing at a car lot:The case against Marilyn Cole, 40, of 4420 Scarborough Square, appeared to baffle Prince William County General District Court Judge Wenda K. Travers for a time Tuesday morning following calm, often rational testimony from Cole that God told her to get a free vehicle from Malloy Lincoln Mercury & Mitsubishi. Cole testified she knew she had been… Read more

This Week’s Carnival is up

The Brigade of Bellicose Women at On The Third Hand are hosting this week’s Carnival of the Vanities. Check it out and follow the links. You’ll get to see interesting writing from other bloggers. It will either inform you or inflame you, and either one can be a good thing. And go back to read On The Third Hand every day just because it’s a cool blog. Read more

Follow-up on the French Religious Clothing Ban

The warning I gave in my post yesterday is echoed on CNN today. Is there really any doubt that banning the wearing of headscarves is only going to further radicalize the Muslim community in France? Not to French Muslim leaders:”The majority of Muslims want to practice their religion in peace and in total respect of the laws,” said Lhaj-Thami Breze, president of the Union of Islamic Organizations of France, the country’s biggest fundamentalist grouping. But “when you persecute, when you… Read more

Madonna as Campaign Consultant

I’ve been reading excerpts from Paul Waldman’s new book Fraud: The Strategy Behind the Bush Lies and Why the Media Didn’t Tell You. There are a few brilliant paragraphs scattered about, but like most partisan polemicists, Waldman seems to think that what he describes is unique to his enemies, in this case Republicans. To wit:Just as Newt Gingrich once counseled that Democrats should be portrayed as “the enemy of normal Americans,” Republicans, from President Bush on down, endlessly assert that… Read more

Has France Lost Its Mind?

The lower house of France’s parliament has voted to outlaw “signs and dress that conspicuously show the religious affiliation” of students in French public schools. The AP reports:The measure, which would outlaw conspicuous religious clothing and symbols in classrooms, was approved 494-36. It goes to the Senate, where little opposition was expected, in early March.I’ve been watching this story build from afar in total astonishment. I don’t know anything about the French constitution (assuming they have one)…have they no provision… Read more

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