Category Archives: Accommodationism

My take on NOMA: an old book review

Several readers called my attention to a nice essay by biologist David Barash in today’s New York Times, an essay whose theme is the incompatibility of science and religion. In it, Barash takes out after Steve Gould’s accommodationist stance of Non-overlapping Magisteria, or NOMA, adumbrated in detail in Gould’s 1999 book Rocks of Ages. When that […]

Accommodatheism I: Salon proposes that we all stop criticizing the low-hanging believers

I decided to Coyne a new world to replace “faitheism,” and it’s in the title. “Accommodatheism.” It’s the tendency of some nonbelievers to try to make common cause with believers, or at least to stop criticizing them. (Watch Chris Stedman steal this word for the title of his next book!) A prime example of accomodatheism is […]

My interview with the Polish Rationalists

When I was chilling in Poland a while back, I was interviewed by two members of the Polish Rationalist Society (PSR). Kaja Bryx, who helped organized my “lecture tour” a year ago, did the interviewing, while the filming was done by her partner Jacek Tabisz, the president of the PSR. It’s an 18.5-minute interview, and in […]

David Brooks and his weakness for the sacred

David Brooks, a conservative columnist for the New York Times, is one of the less noxious conservatives on their staff (think of Ross Douthat, for instance). Although he was in favor of our invasion of Iraq, and supported John McCain, he’s also not nearly as anti-Obama as are other right-wing columnists.  I still think, however, […]

Readers’ beefs and insults

Yesterday we had the encomiums; today we have the opprobrium. It’s that time again, although most of the unposted comments that have arrived the past two weeks have been full of invective, lacking the unintended humor that makes me chuckle. The third one below is one example.  But again I’ll give banned readers a chance to air […]

Accommodationism from a physicist

On his Scientific American website Cross-Check, John Horgan interviews Carlo Rovelli, a physicist well known for his work on quantum gravity. They cover a number of topics, including whether there will soon be a “theory of everything” (Rovelli says no), the role of philosophy in physics, and the compatibility of science and religion.  You can […]

Obama characterizes ISIS as “nihilistic” and “speaking for no religion”

You surely know of the brutal murder of captive American journalist James Foley by the Muslim extremist group ISIS (I’ll call them that, though it’s also known as IS as well as ISIL, as Obama calls it below).  Foley was kidnapped in November of 2012 and was held hostage until his murder a few days ago. Apparently his family received a […]

Templeton, heaven, and the media

In August of 2012 I wrote about the Templeton Foundation’s funding of an “Immortality Project,” in which a philosopher at the University of California at Riverside was given 5.1 million dollars to head a consortium of academics studying the afterlife, its ramifications, its possible existence, and its influence on people’s behavior. The studies also included Near Death Experiences […]

Weekly emails

Besides the usual rants from believers, I’ve received a number of rude or nasty personal emails this week, including a couple from Michael Robbins, who (after I criticized his Slate piece on the evils of New Atheism), continued to email me despite my asking him to stop. He needs to be treated for Maru’s Syndrome stat: the usual […]

Facebook on science vs. religion

I didn’t realize that there was a site called “Lamebook,” which publishes funny things people put on Facebook. (I’m assuming it’s real, since they redact the names.)  And by “funny,” I mean unintentionally funny. Given the fact that this is America, and people are constantly spewing their merest thoughts into the ether, there’s bound to […]


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