Okay, I’m suddenly convinced the skeptics’ movement should get involved on recreational drugs

Greta and Natalie have written arguing that the skeptics’ movement should get involved on the issue of recreational drugs. I’ve been sort of ambivalent about that, but no longer: [Read more...]

Plausible-sounding criticism of Randi’s One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge?

I’m currently working on a chapter for the book on how supernatural claims can be scientifically investigated. I’m including a few paragraphs on James Randi and his One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge (link is to Wikipedia). For obvious reasons, it would be nice to include a brief response to some criticisms of the challenge, but [Read More...]

LessWrong and cryonics

Since I occasionally mention LessWrong and Eliezer Yudkowsky in favorable ways, I get questions about them from people who are suspicious. One thing that makes people suspicious is apparent high levels of enthusiasm for cryonics, which Quackwatch has labeled quackery, in part reasoning that we know brain cells deteriorate within minutes after death. [Read more...]

Looking for examples of people blaming creationism on Richard Dawkins

PZ Myers recently did a post ridiculing the notion–promoted by Robert Wright–that it’s his fault and Richard Dawkins’ fault that the evolution-creation debate has become more politically charged “more politically charged, more acrimonious.” PZ’s smackdown is great, comparing Gallup’s timeline of belief in evolution in the US, along with dates of major court cases over [Read More...]

Angry Atheists chapter 6: Why Philosophy Doesn’t Save Religion

Feel uneasy about this chapter. It weighs in on some big philosophical debates (namely Plantinga’s free will defense and the problem of induction), but at the end it feels like a lot of work for a little payoff. Partly, I was trying to take on things that are often claimed as the end result of [Read More...]

From the archives: Plantinga’s inexcusable faults (review of Where The Conflict Really Lies)

I’m reposting this post, from December of last year, in large part because I’m planning on incorporating it into my upcoming book. I need to figure out how to shorten it, though, so feel free to tell me about any bits you thought were unnecessary. I don’t expect Plantinga’s fans to ever totally agree with [Read More...]

Jason Rosenhouse on philosophical turf guarding

Much of the silliness of philosophers is confined to the ivory tower, but Jason Rosenhouse has a very good summary of one of the main ways philosophers manage to be annoying when trying to bring their “philosophical expertise” to public debates: [Read more...]

Why is South Korea taking evolution out of textbooks?

I was initially puzzled when I read from PZ that South Korea is taking evolution out of its textbooks. Sure there are some pretty hardcore Christians here, but on the whole my impression of South Korea has been of a pretty secular country. [Read more...]

A beautiful first paragraph

Will Wilkinson reviews the often-unhinged John Gray’s book review of Jonathan Haidt. First paragraph below the fold (includes an amusing note on humanities scholars and “scientism”): [Read more...]