Category Archives: books

John Loftus’s recent book on the Outsider Test for Faith

I’ve finally finished reading theology, though I suspect I’ll dip into it now and again when my stomach feels strong enough. Now I can cleanse my brain by reading some heathen literature, and have just finished John Loftus’s book, The Outsider Test for Faith: How to Know Which Religion is Really True (Prometheus, published March, 2013).  I […]

The Advice Goddess schools college students in manners

One of the few non-science, non-heathen websites that I follow is Amy Alkon’s “The Advice Goddess Blog.” Described as “Miss Manners with fangs,” Amy has a no-nonsense and hardnosed approach to manners. She pulls no punches, as in her relentless campaign to get people to stop talking loudly on their cellphones in public places (a stand […]

UK survey: the Bible noses out Darwin as the book most valuable to humanity, but not by much

Well, it could have been worse: the Bible could have beaten The Origin decisively. As it is, in a Folio Society poll of books voted “most valuable to humanity” (see the Guardian’s report here), Darwin came second to the Bible by only 2%.  Of course, this poll was taken in the UK (2,044 British adults […]

Bill Nye talks about creationism, evolution, and his new book

I’ll get creamed for this, but Bill Nye really does rub me the wrong way. Yes, I know he’s turned lots of kids onto science, and good for him! But his demeanor just gives me the creeps. And he seems ravenously hungry for the limelight, a form of naked ambition that always puts me off. […]

Should WEIT be a “videobook”?

I’m flattered by this, but also a tad dubious, so I told the creators of this video—the brothers Treat Metcalf and Matthew Metcalf, who run the Youtube Channel, MassComprehension—that I’d put it on the website and see what people think. The video came with a note: I have read through Why Evolution is True several times, and recommend […]

Jonas Salk’s 100th birthday and the conquest of polio

I was still young when polio was a scourge of the world, and I well remember being terrified of getting the disease and having to spend my life in an iron lung, or walking with braces. The disease peaked in the summer, and we were always told to avoid public swimming pools, where you were supposed to […]

Paradise enow

Greg Mayer sent me this photo with a note: “I like this room. Lots of books and a cat.” (Click to make real big.)  

Reader’s book

Today Reader Don Bredes published a new book, which falls in the category”Young adult fantasy” (a fast-growing genre!). You can find it on either Amazon or the publisher’s website, Green Writers Press. Here’s the Amazon blurb: Set in a much-diminished America called the Christian Protectorates, a poor country ravaged by coastal flooding, drought, and catastrophic social upheaval, the […]

The Albatross revealed!

I discovered—from Matthew Cobb!—that the Albatross, under its real name, has now appeared on Amazon. Here it is (note that the publication date of May 19 is provisional): You will note that the name “Richard Dawson” is in the blurb on the site; it will be changed to “Richard Dawkins” ASAP. I like the cover (that […]

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 […]

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