February 6, 2006

Not that this is going to surprise anyone, but the Catholic Church has issued an official statement saying that no one has a right to say anything that might offend “the faithful”: The Vatican on Saturday condemned the publication of cartoons lampooning the Prophet Mohammad which have outraged the Muslim world, saying freedom of speech did not mean freedom to offend a person’s religion. “The freedom of thought and expression, confirmed in the Declaration of Human Rights, can not include… Read more

February 6, 2006

I was contacted this afternoon by Scott Hechinger, a recruiter for the New York City Teaching Fellows program. New York City has a chronic shortage of math and science teachers and they developed this program to help alleviate that shortage. In the last five years, this program has helped 7500 people go through a subsidized Master’s Degree program and become math and science teachers, but they need many more. If any of you out there have a bachelor’s degree in… Read more

February 6, 2006

You may recall a few weeks ago when crandaddy, one of Dembski’s acolytes at Uncommon Descent, posted a link and a quote from Raj Baldev noting a “grave error” in human evolution. When I pointed out that Raj Baldev was in fact an astrologer, a consultant to Saddam Hussein, and a general occult whacko, the post was quickly edited to take out the reference to Baldev and crandaddy dishonestly claimed that he deleted it not because of the embarrassment of… Read more

February 6, 2006

Feb. 12, 1809 was the day on which both Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin were born. Though we now celebrate Lincoln’s birthday on President’s Day, Feb. 12th is still referred to as Darwin Day and celebrated around the world. This Sunday, it will be celebrated in churches as well. The same folks who put together the Clergy Letter Project, a letter supporting evolution signed by over 10,000 clergy, have organized over 400 churches to celebrate Darwin Day by teaching on… Read more

February 6, 2006

This morning, Attorney General Gonzales testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the NSA wiretap program. The Republicans on the committee refused to swear him in under oath, which was requested by the Democrats. This is the second time that I’m aware of that this has happened recently. A few months ago, when a group of oil company executives testified, the same thing happened – the Democrats said that witnesses should be sworn in like always and pledge to tell… Read more

February 6, 2006

In addition to my disagreement with PZ on some things, I absolutely agree with his post about the administration’s many attempts to subordinate good science for political considerations. Many other people have written about this around the blogosphere, based on this article in the New York Times that contains a rather stunning segment about a NASA memo: In October 2005, Mr. Deutsch sent an e-mail message to Flint Wild, a NASA contractor working on a set of Web presentations about… Read more

February 6, 2006

PZ Myers has posted a follow up to his post on the Muslim caricatures, and while I think he’s correct to say that some have caricatured his own position, I still think the uncaricatured position is problematic. Clearly, he is not arguing for Islamic radicalism, nor is he arguing that religion should never be satirized, nor is he arguing that the Danish newspaper should be forbidden from publishing such satire. To suggest otherwise is to argue against a straw man…. Read more

February 5, 2006

It’s almost 1 pm and I think we’re into hour 14 of the Super Bowl Pregame Show, which lasts so long that they might as well have Jerry Lewis host it. The game supposedly starts at 6, but the kickoff probably won’t be until next Thursday so they can squeeze in a few more bad commercials and human interest stories about the backup weak safety for one of the teams whose third cousin was traumatized by the death of a… Read more

February 5, 2006

So I’m flipping channels last night and I come across TBN, the Christian TV network, where they’re interviewing members of the two Super Bowl teams who are Christians to get their witness. And Jeff Hartings, center for the Steelers, makes this statement: I know that God didn’t bring me to the Super Bowl one year before I was ready for it, he brought me here right when I was prepared. It’s just baffling to me how people can believe something… Read more

February 4, 2006

When it comes to the science of evolution, PZ Myers and I are in almost complete agreement; when it comes to other issues, it’s scarcely possible that we could be further apart. The latest example of this is his essay on the Muhammed caricatures and the attending controversy. PZ appears to believe that because Muslims are a “poor minority”, they are insulated from satire. I could not disagree more with his assessment of the caricatures: I’ve seen the cartoons, and… Read more

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