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

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

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

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

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

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

Yesterday’s story of the American Airlines pilot cajoling his passengers to use the time in the air to proselytize just gets funnier and funnier. First, in the interests of fairness, it should be said that other passengers on the flight, and the pilot himself, have said that he did not call non-Christians “crazy”, but used that term for the Christians on board in an affectionate manner. But here’s the part that I find even funnier… The pilot did an interview… Read more

First up, the airline pilot who doesn’t seem to understand where the boundaries of appropriate behavior lie in his job. Seems an American Airlines pilot asked the passengers aboard his flight from LA to New York to raise their hands if they’re Christian, announced that those who didn’t raise their hand were crazy, and suggested that they use the opportunity of having a heathen trapped in a seat next to them to do a little proselytizing. The behavior was so… Read more

Kudos to Steve Sanders for this article, entitled Federalists Do It Too: The False Debate Over “Activist” Judges. Sanders says what I’ve been saying for many years, that whenever you hear conservatives complain about judges “making law” as opposed to “interpreting the constitution”, you’re being fed a load of crap. Conservative judges are just as likely to be “activist” as liberal judges, and the complaints of judicial activism, on display so vividly during Bush’s recent State of the Union address,… Read more

A couple weeks ago I referred to an incident involving myself and Richard Dawkins and allegations of creationist dishonesty and I promised to write up the whole story soon. Let me preface this by saying two things. First, I am, as should be obvious to everyone who has read any of my writings on this page, a staunch advocate of evolutionary theory and a dogged opponent of the attacks that creationists of all types make against it. I have spent… Read more

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