Where does this confidence come from?

Some years ago I became interested in criticizing the latest mutation of creationism, intelligent design. In 2004, this culminated in the publication of Why Intelligent Design Fails, one of the leading books critical of ID, which I co-edited with Matt Young.Lately I've eased off on ID, because I decided that I had said what I could about the subject. ID just wasn't intellectually interesting anymore: having figured out exactly why ID fails, we could learn what we could from that and move on. And … [Read more...]

ID proponent denied tenure

Guillermo Gonzalez, an astronomer at Iowa State University who is best known as an Intelligent Design proponent, has just been denied tenure. So far it seems unclear what role ID played in this denial, though it's a real possibility since Gonzalez has been active and reasonably productive in mainstream astronomical research.In the fall of 2005 I invited Gonzalez over to give a straight astronomy talk to my physics department and an ID talk for my interdisciplinary "Weird Science" class. Now, I'm … [Read more...]

Secularism vs. Democracy

Among those who care, it should be reasonably well-known by now that secularism is in deep trouble within the Muslim world. The Muslim experience with secularism has typically followed what I have called "military secularism," where reforming constituencies such as military elites have pushed Westernization in order to force their societies to catch up to the advanced West. Typically this has involved suppression of religiously-inspired cultural reactions; military secularism has not given … [Read more...]

New podcast

Another podcast about An Illusion of Harmony; this time associated with The Scientist. … [Read more...]

Karl Rove an Atheist?

I'm not sure what to make of this blog post over at TPM. Neoconservative writer Christopher Hitchens says that White House political advisor Karl Rove is an atheist. Hitchens (an atheist himself) told the New Yorker that Rove "is not a believer, and he doesn’t shout it from the rooftops, but when asked, he answers quite honestly." I wonder if James Dobson ever asked? If not, he'll be picking up the phone now. If true it explains a lot. I could never quite see Rove as a fellow religious warrior, a … [Read more...]

Jack Chick strikes again

Jack Chick just came out with a new tract, "Fairy Tales?". (And there was much rejoicing. At least among those of us who consider Chick to be great entertainment.)This one is fairly bizarre even by Chick standards. One of the morals of the story seems to be that you should not tell kids about Santa Claus, because when they inevitably find out that it's a fairy tale, they willbecome violent sociopaths;renounce religion and risk their eternal soul.Interestingly, Chick seems to present his precious … [Read more...]

If only the Tillmans had faith

Check out this week's This Modern World, "If only the Tillmans had faith."This sort of nonsense shouldn't be surprising, given increasing evangelical influence within the US military. I can see that there'd be a mutual attraction between military culture and authoritarian religion, but the combination scares me... … [Read more...]

Interview on Point of Inquiry

A prominent skeptics' podcast I regularly listen to, Point of Inquiry, just had me on today for an interview about my latest book, An Illusion of Harmony: Science and Religion in Islam.It went well, and the result is interesting to listen to. (I hope.) … [Read more...]


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