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Monthly Archives: November 2009
And favorably! Shermer thought I had offered an amusing blog post retort to Jerry Coyne’s charge that he (Shermer) had gone soft on theism and now deserved the label “faitheist”. See Shermer’s Huffington Post piece here, and my blog post that Shermer quotes from here.
Slate recently reviewed the film version of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, and reported that watching it is—how shall I put this politiely?—emotionally problematic: The Boy and Man on the road, nameless in the long-dead world. Their cart and tarp and tins … Continue reading
I love Bryan Appleyard’s eloquent retorts to the blistering rhetoric coming out of New Atheistland. Here’s Appleyard today on PZ Myers’s scientism: [M]ention intelligent design and the likes of Myers will be hurling abuse. But I gather from reading John … Continue reading
At first glance, one thing that atheism clearly seems to have going for it is this: it doesn’t have any holy books with violence advocating passages in it. Indeed, it doesn’t have any holy books at all. So score one for atheism? Not so … Continue reading
Adventures in New Atheistland: Jerry Coyne Calls Out Robert Wright for Being a “Blame America First” Muddle-Head in the War on Terror!
University of Chicago atheist biologist Jerry Coyne, at his blog today, summed up Robert Wright’s recent piece in the New York Times this way: The title of Wright’s piece is “Who created Major Hasan?”, and of course the answer is “America!” Coyne then … Continue reading
In-Vitro Meat in 3-10 years? This prediction sounds absurdly early to me, but H+ is a respected Internet magazine devoted to thinking about the future, so I’ll quote a recent article that it had on the subject: In-Vitro Meat — aka tank … Continue reading
I took this picture at the Getty Museum in Westwood on Saturday. It is a photo of a painting (from the first decade of the 1700s) by Sebastiano Rici, and depicts Perseus holding the head of Medusa in combat against … Continue reading
At Jerry Coyne’s blog today, Coyne takes after Michael Shermer for being a little too cozy with religion: It always amuses me when an accommodationist tells the faithful that no, there is no conflict between science and religion, at least not if they … Continue reading
Yes. A very particular scientific observation, in fact. The author of the first chapter of Genesis clearly based his narrative on something that he had empirically observed: the world appears to be composed of two things: stage elements (light, darkness, … Continue reading
The film version: Notice, at the very beginning of the clip, the strategic placement of the tree, and Tommy Lee Jones crooking his neck ever so slightly, not blinking, as if his fate is to, as it were, be dangled by … Continue reading
This looks promising. Cormac McCarthy’s novel, The Road (2006), has been turned into a film, and a review in Salon suggests that the movie is actually better, on balance, than the book. That doesn’t happen every day. Here’s what Salon’s … Continue reading
In the 1970s, All in the Family had an episode (in season six) in which Thanksgiving dinner is disrupted over Michael Stivic’s atheism, and Michael and Gloria’s determination not to raise their baby with a religion:
America vs. Global Terrorism: What Happens When Ahab’s Pursuit of the White Whale Takes Place in Real Time?
Robert Wright, in the New York Times this weekend, articulated clearly his view of how the viral terrorism meme spreads, in an age of global communication, to psychologically susceptible people (like Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan): One reason killing terrorists can spread terrorism is that … Continue reading
This past week a group of Evangelicals came onto the UCLA campus in Westwood and gave away 2000 free copies of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species (1859). But, as usual, there is a catch to such things. The edition of … Continue reading
Glenn Beck’s got a one hundred year plan (oh, shit): “We need to start thinking like the Chinese.” In other words, Glenn Beck thinks that focused, insurgent, belligerent, fanatically committed mass movement Maoism—with its disciplined cell groups, ideological purity, and relentless propaganda—is the right … Continue reading
“I wonder if you wonder.” Great layers of inuendo and connotation in an exchange of wits between Barbara Stanwyck and Jimmy Stewart in the film noir classic, Double Indemnity (1944): And here’s another great example of insinuation in a different genre:
Until last night, I’d never seen Christmas in Connecticut (1945), but my wife got me to sit down and watch it with her—and what a great holiday movie! Barbara Stanwyck and Dennis Morgan have smoldering chemistry (it’s surprising that they don’t melt … Continue reading
Fruitfly research in France! Liberals are just so crazy!!!!
Two of my biggest problems with Sarah Palin are: her painful syntax; and her (ab)use of English generally I like to see philosophical conservatism in the mix of ideas circulating, but could Republicans get some William F. Buckleys into the arena again, … Continue reading
They see themselves as innocent and sincere, and she’s one of them, so they perceive her as innocent and sincere. Who’s in the family, who’s not? Politics is often less about formal platforms and policies and more about cultural signals and cultural style, isn’t it?