Author Archives: whyevolutionistrue

Americans’ knowledge of science is in the dumper

Several websites have already posted about this, so I’ll be brief.  The Associated Press, in collaboration with GfK, conducted a poll on the state of American science knowledge, and the results were truly dispiriting. You can get the pdf of the results here. 1,012 adults were interviewed about their degree of confidence in what scientists regard as […]

Moar Joni

This half-hour video of Joni Mitchell is from a BBC special in 1970, when she was only 27, yet already a hugely accomplished singer/songwriter. Why is she the best? It’s the combination of skills, one that not even Bob Dylan had. She could write fantastically complex and inventive songs (often about her loves ["My Old […]

Wednesday: Hili dialogue

A: Hili, why are you sitting under the stairs? Hili: Because of the lack of a new, attractive cardboard box. In Polish: Ja: Hili, czemu siedzisz pod schodami?Hili: Z powodu braku nowego atrakcyjnego kartonu.

My New Republic piece on “atheism of the gaps”

The New Republic has published a revised version of my “atheism of the gaps” post from yesterday. In the magazine it’s now called “Atheists could learn a lot from religious people about how to win debates”. Give ‘em a click to keep the love and secularism flowing.  I’ve added a few references and a couple […]

A gorgeous 100 million year-old robber

by Matthew Cobb Anyone who’s watched Jurassic Park knows that back in the time of the dinosaurs, flies would get stuck in amber and then hove up, millions of years later, for the delectation of scientists. A paper has just come out from Torsten Dikow and David Grimaldi, describing a new species of robber fly […]

David Bentley Hart: Last installment

I’m sure you’re relieved to see the title of this post, as most of you haven’t taken kindly to the quotes I’ve put up from Hart’s new book, The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss.  But you don’t seem to realize that I’m doing you a two-fold favor here: not only saving you from having to read […]

The ninth pitch drop fell

What I’m about to describe is supposedly the world’s longest-running scientific experiment, and, although we already know the result, it gets demonstrated repeatedly: once every decade on average. In 1927, Professor Thomas Parnell of the University of Queensland set up an experiment to demonstrate that some substances that appear to be solid, like pitch, are […]

The dangers of quantum theology

Over at his website Evolving Perspectives, reader and cartoonist Pliny the In Between shows one of the pitfalls of theologians’ propensity for finding God in quantum mechanics:  

When good skeptics go bad: Isaac Chotiner interviews Barbara Ehrenreich about her mystical experiences

Barbara Ehrenreich has written 14 books, many of them on the economic difficulties of average Americans or the role of women in history, and I’ve read (and enjoyed) two of them: Nickled and Dimed and (especially) Bright Sided: How Positive Thinking is Undermining America. She’s always seemed to me rational and level-headed, but that was until […]

Spring footwear

When you’re teaching, having the proper footwear gives you that extra soupçon of authority. Here’s a fine pair of boots from Rodney Ammons of El Paso. Guess the hide: need the proper species, with the right Latin binomial:  


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