Fact Checking Politics and History

I constantly tell my students that the skills they learn in my classes are transferable, and so even if they are not especially interested in the subject matter, the things they learn to do are applicable to other areas of life. As we near the end of this election season, I am struck by how [Read More…]

How Mythicism can Lead to Trump Support

Before anyone suggests otherwise, let me emphasize that I am not claiming that mythicism always or even regularly leads to support of Trump. Most people manage to keep their problematic reasoning compartmentalized. But as William Clifford warned long ago, once one believes something on insufficient evidence in one area, one is setting oneself up to [Read More…]

Science-Denier Bingo

See also Ted Herrlich’s post specifically on the Discovery Institute’s climate change denial.   [Read more…]

Venturing Outside One’s Area of Expertise

Everyone is talking about Neil de Grasse Tyson’s problematic tweets – see the recent blog posts by Jerry Coyne, Hemant Mehta, and P. Z. Myers. But I think the most important post on the topic is that by Jonathan Bernier. He points out that, once someone moves outside of their field of expertise, no matter how [Read More…]

Six Elements of Denialism

John Loftus summarized a list provided by Sean Carroll of six arguments that are used by science denialists: The six arguments used by science denialists aim to:1) Cast doubt on science.2) Question the motives and integrity of scientists.3) Magnify disagreements between scientists, especially to cite gadflies as authorities.4) Exaggerate the potential harm coming from science.5) Appeal [Read More…]

Further History-Denialism from Jerry Coyne

It boggles my mind and frustrates me when anyone engages in denialism, whether in science, history, or any other area. But when someone who has worked hard to combat denialism does it, it can seem downright baffling. But Jerry Coyne has done precisely that in the past, and continues to do so. In a recent blog post [Read More…]

Blogging Temples (and Jim Davila the Prophet)

Jim Davila has been highlighting how the New York Times has been backtracking on and correcting an article which engaged in the common denialist tactic of treating diverse scholarly views about specific details as though it were evidence that the existence of the very thing under investigation were in doubt – in this case, in [Read More…]

Mythicism, Creationism, and other Conspiracy Theories

I was made aware of a post by John Anthony Dunne, asking whether there is any parallel in Judaism for what Richard Carrier and other mythicists claim that Paul believed, namely that a celestial being died in the celestial realm. Presumably the closest Carrier can offer is his claim that Adam was buried in the third [Read More…]

The Pope, the God, and the GOP

The cartoon above by Mike Lukovich offers an amusing take on a famous painting. It nicely situates Big Oil as thinking of itself as God. One way of understanding it is that Big Oil as God is taking a bribe from the GOP (the Republican Party) to ignore the Pope. But that would represent a reversal of what [Read More…]

Evolution and the Environment

Josh Rosenau took the Pew data on churches’ acceptance of evolutionary biology and of climate science, and made a chart. The correlation is clear and striking. Jim Kidder also shared it, together with some thoughts of his own. [Read more…]