So You Want To Have a Discussion…

A Facebook friend shared both the image above and the one below. It is one of the things I love about this blog that most commenters approach discussion here according to these guidelines. I am not so strict as to make rules of this sort, but there is an ideal standard that most here share [Read More...]

Quote of the Day (Andrew Brown)

Myths have a power that should never be ignored and no one is more helpless against them than the man who supposes he has overcome them with reason. — Andrew Brown, “Sam Harris's dangerous faith in guns” in The Guardian.   [Read more...]

Fringe: Are Emotions Our Strength Or Our Weakness?

The episode of Fringe “The Human Kind,” which aired this past Friday, involves a lot of discussion that intersects with faith, doubt, reason, intuition, emotion, and even God and providence. Before getting into the spoiler-containing part of the post, let me say something that I think could already be said based on previous episodes. Joshua [Read More...]

Literally the Reason for the Season

This year’s version of an image and message that circulated this time last year, too. [Read more...]

Faith, Doubt, Sanity, and Don Quixote

Last week in my class “Faith, Doubt, and Reason” we began discussing Don Quixote, which the students had begun reading not long before. It was something of a puzzle to them what the connection was between the novel and the theme of the class. But the connections are there, and there are many of them. [Read More...]

Martin Luther King and the Quest for a Just Society

This semester, my freshman seminar course “Faith, Doubt and Reason” focuses on utopias, dystopias, and the quest for community and a just society. Since we start tomorrow, the day after Martin Luther King Day, I moved the readings – in fact, viewings – up to the very first day of class. Most people are familiar [Read More...]

Intelligently-Designed Snowflakes?

The blog Irtiqa got to a topic that I was hoping to mention. It already seemed to me that the snowflake (which in many parts of the Northern hemisphere is readily available for observation at the moment) provides a great illustration of what is wrong with Intelligent Design. Looking at a snowflake, it would be [Read More...]

The Reason for the Season (A Scientific Perspective)

HT Joe Hoffmann [Read more...]

Religion, Science, and Deduction

I find it bizarre that critics of evolution who claim that science is simply guessing, and that one cannot draw conclusions about past biological evolution based in present evidences, do not see how this undercuts their own claims every bit as much, if not more so. Religious fundamentalists, of the sort that offer pseudoscientific critiques [Read More...]

Why the Scientifically Literate Can Believe Silly Things

Jim Kidder pointed to and quoted from a piece in Discover Magazine by Chris Mooney, and this quote from it is worth circulating widely: If you understand motivated reasoning, then you understand that high levels of knowledge, education, and sophistication are no defense against wrongheaded views like climate change denial and anti-evolutionism.  What I’ll call “sophistication” may [Read More...]

Intelligent Design Criminology

Since the issue of science and naturalism was brought up in connection with a recent post on intelligent design, I thought I would repost something I wrote a few years ago on the subject: The question to ask proponents of intelligent design is this: At what point the police should stop investigating an unsolved murder [Read More...]