Archives for April 2012

“People Make Poor Monitors for Computers”

That’s the title of a new book that I intend to try to read, time permitting. There’s sort of an encouraging thought in there: we’ve gotten so good at designing computers, that giving humans too much control over them may no longer be a good idea. [Read more…]

From the archives: Ignorance: Comparing Dawkins and Plantinga

Here’s a post from back in December 2010, just after I had left graduate school. It’s another one that I’m likely to refer back to in the future, and will satisfy people who’ve been hoping to see me talk more about Plantinga. A good chunk of my blogging over the next few weeks will be [Read More…]

From the archives: Is studying philosophy beneficial?

This is another post that generated a long discussion when I first posted it in July 2011. It’s also one I’m likely to refer back to in the future, so I really should give you all a chance to discuss it. From xkcd: Guy: I used to think correlation implied causation. Then I took a [Read More…]

Way to go Daniel Fincke!

On Sunday (in a not-April-Fool’s post) Daniel Fincke posted a long defense of Richard Dawkins’ Reason Rally speech. In a comment thread at, Dawkins commented to say, “I am extremely pleased by Daniel Fincke’s article, which says exactly what I SHOULD have said and, to my regret, didn’t make sufficiently clear in my Reason [Read More…]

From the archives: Atheism is just thinking there aren’t any gods

Yet another post originally published in June 2011. Good month. Andyman writes: Also, if there is one criticism of atheism I see too often its that naturalism is, apparently incoherent. It would be great if you could explore this a little bit more, as I’ve seen far more theists attack naturalism than actually defend their [Read More…]

From the archives: Why the retina is cool

I’m taking a page out of Natalie’s book and giving myself a week off, where I re-post posts from my old blog every day. This doesn’t mean I won’t post other stuff (see previous post), but I’m giving myself permission to do only that if other things get in the way. Today, I’m re-posting another [Read More…]

Five books for a high-school dropout?

Here’s an interesting question a friend of mine posted to Facebook: If you could only choose five books to give to a high school drop-out to get them through the rest of their life, what books would they be and why? [Read more…]

Chris Rodda leaving Freethought Blogs

Okay. Wow. I’m really not sure what to make of Chis Rodda’s announcement that she’s leaving Freethought Blogs. I guess these things can happen very suddenly, but in this case I got no hints at all that this was going to happen. [Read more…]