Americans – Prepare for Nonsense

Did you see the above advertisement in today’s USA Today? This quote from an article by Quassim Cassam on conspiracy theory thinking: It is in the nature of many intellectual character traits that you don’t realise you have them, and so aren’t aware of the true extent to which your thinking is influenced by them. [Read More...]

CIC Information Fluency Workshop

I am currently in Baltimore with some colleagues, at a workshop focused on information fluency in the disciplines of religion, philosophy, and the history of ideas. It started yesterday, and has already offered a lot of fascinating perspectives from faculty and librarians, including practical examples and specific online tools that can be used for teaching [Read More...]

EasyBib

I asked my students directly about the strange citations and citation formatting in their work, and one volunteered a possible explanation – the website Easybib.com. Now, I tried it out and it did a pretty OK job creating a citation for a post on my blog. And so the issue seems to still be what [Read More...]

Wikipistemology

The blog Only a Game had a wonderful post recently about the issue with Wikipedia, which is not about the information that is in many of the articles, but about what can be known to be behind them, and thus the confidence that one should or should not place in them. Here is a quote: The [Read More...]

Quote for the Start of Semester

The quote from Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, comes from an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, “Wikipedia Founder Discourages Academic Use of His Creation.” The same can be said of the dictionary – I find it hard to believe that I get students starting essays with “Webster’s Dictionary defines…” – or worse still, [Read More...]

Viva La Library Remix

I feel quite honored – my parody of “Viva La Vida,” “Viva La Library (The Information Literacy Song),” has been covered by the librarians at Ivy Tech Community College. I think they did a great job, and needless to say the video itself is much more impressive than my still slides with the words. They made a [Read More...]

Just Another Kind of Gullibility

“Conspiracy believers are the ultimate motivated skeptics. Their curse is that they apply this selective scrutiny not to the left or right, but to the mainstream. They tell themselves that they’re the ones who see the lies, and the rest of us are sheep. But believing that everybody’s lying is just another kind of gullibility.” [Read More...]

Can University Walls Keep Out The Internet?

This is my conference paper for the Metacriticism of Biblical Studies section at SBL: ______ Can University Walls Keep Out The Internet? James F. McGrath, Butler University   ABSTRACT Statements can be found on the websites of many sectarian educational institutions, indicating that faculty and students are required to subscribe to a particular doctrinal statement. [Read More...]

Mythconceptions

IO9 shared an infographic about widespread misconceptions. Those relating to religion and to science intersect with the focuses of this blog, and so I thought I should share it in a post of its own (I mentioned it in a post previously). [Read more...]

Bible Weirdness Competition

In order to illustrate some points related to information literacy in my class on the Bible, I asked students to find the wackiest claims made about the Bible online. The two top contenders were (1) that the oil in the Middle East is essentially the luscious Garden of Eden, turned into oil by Noah’s flood, and [Read More...]

Round It Goes Again

In an assignment, I had students set forth in search of reliable online sources on a given subject. Some of what they found was so helpful, that I blogged about it. Later students sometimes found my blog post. Something similar has happened again. A student this semester found LaMar Adams’ work on the unity of [Read More...]


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