The Vatican has an economist

Here's a nice lead paragraph to a story:Bankers are not the cause of the global economic crisis, according to the president of the Institute for the Works of Religion. Rather, the cause is ordinary people who do not "believe in the future" and have few or no children.We owe this insight to Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, a "Vatican economist."OK, I'll admit I'm already prejudiced against economists. Usually, what goes under the name of economics is a little too tangled with ideology for my liking, and my … [Read more...]

Minister who converted to Islam

It's easy to run into conversion and deconversion narratives: atheist becomes Christian, Christian loses faith, so on and so forth. Where nonbelief is involved, however, I'm probably too partisan. Maybe looking at conversions between different religions is a better way to get a handle on what is going on.Here's an interesting example: Jerald F. Dirks, a Minister of the United Methodist Church who converted to Islam. It seems he became very impressed with what he perceived as the moral integrity … [Read more...]

Cardiologists losing it

There is a very popular form of apologetic literature among Muslims, based on the notion that modern science and technology is congruent with, or even foreshadowed in, the sacred sources of Islam. It's bad enough that this species of pseudoscience has a large following among the general public. What is worse is that significant numbers of devout Muslim professionals, particularly in the applied sciences, believe and promote this dreck. (See An Illusion of Harmony.)One consequence of this, … [Read more...]

The Real Adam and Eve story

A reader pointed me to this video. (Thanks!) It was fun, so here it is: … [Read more...]

Is the Universe Rational?

Is the Universe Rational? … [Read more...]

New Age bullshit

Bruce Lipton and Steve Bhaerman are a pair of names I'm running across more frequently on the New Age bullshit circuit. They're a couple of seriously ignorant people. Here, for example, is an example from an interview on a "progressive" political site. (Leftish politics has a soft spot for New Age religion.)In the current vision of scientific materialism, belief in matter is primary. The Newtonian belief that the universe is a physical machine takes our attention away from the invisible realm. … [Read more...]

Obama: almost as bad as a Republican

The ACLU has just issued a one-year assessment of the Obama administration's actions on civil liberties, called "America Unrestored." As the title indicates, Obama has not been all that good for abolishing Bush-era disgraces. There have been some symbolic acts, yes, but by and large, having centrist Democrats in power seems to mean a halting or slowing down of deterioration, not substantial improvement.Before the 2008 elections, I expressed distrust of Democrats in general, and Obama in … [Read more...]

Parrot Fatwa

You sometimes have to admire the comprehensive ambitions of Muslim scholars. They have to have a ruling for everything. Hence my favorite fatwa of the week. Some guy asks if he is religiously obligated to return an "al-salaamu ‘alaykum” greeting spoken by a parrot. The scholar duly answers, comparing the parrot situation to tape recordings.Too bad casuistic reasoning has fallen out of fashion in popular Christian circles. It can be so entertaining. … [Read more...]


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