Monthly Archives: September 2011

Yucef Nadarkhani Execution Watch: The White House Press Secretary’s Press Release

The White House’s Press Secretary has written a forceful statement surrounding pastor Youcef Nadarkhani (who was recently sentenced to execution for being an apostate from Islam).  Now it’s time for President Barack Obama to speak publicly to this. Here’s the Press Secretary’s statement (for what … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Youcef Nadarkhani Execution Watch: Where’s President Obama on This?

In a recent Washington Post opinion piece on Youcef Nadarkhani, a Christian pastor under a death sentence for apostasy in Iran, Jordan Sekulow describes Nadarkhani’s attorney as: . . . a brave Muslim who has been sentenced to nine years in prison and banned from … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Youcef Nadarkhani: Christian Pastor Sentenced to Death for His Apostasy from Islam

If normative Islam is, indeed, a religion of tolerance and peace, I would like to hear from American and other Muslims on a recent death sentence handed down, by an Iranian court, on a Christian pastor who refuses to recant his … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Hair Cosmos: Ancient Greece Had a String Theory

The Greek word cosmos is related to the Greek word for comb. I stumbled on this curious little piece of etymology in a book on art appreciation from 1965 titled, The Book of Art: How to Look at Art (vol. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Antichrist Elimination Watch: President Obama Agrees That Jesus Christ is the Lord

The recent AP video clip embedded below seems to strike President Barack Obama off the potential list of people living today who might be the Antichrist. In the clip, a heckler does a righteous prophet freak-out on President Obama, calling him “Antichrist.” President Obama handles … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Ayn Rand Against Religion in Conservative Politics

In thinking about Emile Durkheim’s three Ps of sociology (power, prestige, and property), it occurred to me that the contemporary Republican Party has its own three Ps that it’s committed to advancing: plutocracy (rule by the rich); Pentacostal-style revivalism; and … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The New Flat Earthers: Catholic Geocentrists May Shadow the Republican Presidential Primary

There’s a budding movement among Catholics to assert that Galileo was, indeed, wrong about the earth going around the sun, and you can read a whole article in the Los Angeles Times about this movement here. In my view, the Catholic … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let My People Go: Reconsidering the Tea Party

I have of late been rethinking the meaning of the Tea Party to American politics. My first take was dismissive: this movement is the same type of Herderian nationalism that, last century, brought Hitler and his merry band of crazed … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Neutrino Speed-of-Light Watch: Physicist Dave Goldberg Says Special Relativity Could Be Wrong. All Wrong.

The Los Angeles Times today quotes physicist Dave Goldberg as saying that, if neutrinos can indeed go faster than the speed of light (as some Italian researchers appear to have discovered), then Einstein’s famed theory of special relativity is wrong. All wrong. “Basically, all … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Neutrino Speed-of-Light Watch: Stephen Hawking Refuses to Comment Yet

Concerning the Italian researchers’ discovery that neutrinos may be exceeding the speed of light, this is at Reuters today: “It is premature to comment on this,” Professor Stephen Hawking, the world’s most well-known physicist, told Reuters. “Further experiments and clarifications … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Dr. Shaul Chorev is Worried that the Arab Spring Could Turn into a Nuclear Fall

Dr. Shaul Chorev is head of Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission, and the Jerusalem Post, reporting on a speech he gave this week in Vienna, had a couple of paragraphs toward the end of the article that are quite unnerving: Chorev also called … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Neutrinos Faster than the Speed of Light: Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence

Or, as the New York Times put it today, “Incredible claims require incredible evidence.” The reference is to the mind-blowing (apparent) discovery that there are neutrinos that can outpace the speed of light. Here’s more from the New York Times: According … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lucretius: Atheism’s John the Baptist and the Progenitor of a Hell Realm

Below is a great (and very contemporary sounding) atheist quote from Lucretius’s On the Nature of Things. Atomism and evolution have always been the poison pills at God’s bedside (or, at least, the religious believer’s). Have you swallowed their implications yet? As an … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Saw Contagion and Got My Flu Shot

But not in that order. I actually got my flu shot on Monday and saw Contagion on Tuesday. My wife and kids also got their flu shots this week. As to the movie, it’s a must-see that is well informed … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Religion Tree

Using the metaphor of a tree, in the following poem I try to boil down the essence of the human predicament (which I take to be suffering, change, and death) and the response of each major religion to it (including the atheist … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Listen to Reason? The Laws of God vs. the Laws of Man

Below are some public mug shots of Amish men serving brief sentences in a Kentucky jail. Their crime? They refused to put yellow reflectors on their horse-driven buggies when using public roads. Their religion does not permit them to display … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

My Meal with a Muslim 2011

Well, I had my lunch with a Muslim yesterday (I’ve decided to leave his name out of this post). And I must say that, despite getting on famously in conversation, there are enormous ideological gaps between the two of us. I came … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Rhetoric Watch: How Rick Perry Parries

This blogger nails it: Perry’s rules of rhetorical engagement boil down to 1) constantly impugn your opponents’ motives by insinuation; 2) shamelessly misrepresent their policies; 3) tag existing federal programs and functions with inflammatory and manifestly inaccurate labels; 4) eschew … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jonathan Wells on Whale Evolution

Some thought-provoking observations on whale evolution by biochemist Jonathan Wells (a Berkeley graduate and vocal skeptic of strict philosophical naturalism): In the case of the Durrett and Schmidt (2008) paper, evolutionary biologist Richard von Sternberg has applied the equations employed in that … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Let the 30-Year-Old Die!: The Christianist Party Shouts for Crucifixion

This is a must-see. It’s the Republican audience’s reaction to a debate question directed last night to Ron Paul by Wolf Blitzer. The gist of the question was the following: Should society let an employed 30-year-old experiencing a catastrophic health crisis, but lacking insurance, die? … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments