Category Archives: scientism

E. O. Wilson: Only science (and not philosophy or religion) can tell us the meaning of human existence

From The Big Think we have famed biologist E. O. Wilson talking about “the meaning of meaning,” and telling us that the answer to the question, “What is the meaning of life?” must come from science alone, with no input from religion or, especially, philosophy. Massimo Pigliucci will be incensed! Wilson is talking about some material from his new […]

Ways of knowing

Unlike the false religious mantra, “There are many religions, but at bottom they all worship the same god,” I have a similar saying, but one that I see as true: “There are many areas that claim to be ‘ways of knowing,’ but at bottom the ‘knowing’ must always be based on science.” But ex-pastor (and now atheist) […]

NPR attacks “Spockian” atheists

Krista Tippett, the Martha Stewart of Spirituality, must be influencing her National Public Radio (NPR) colleagues, because they seem abnormally soft on religion. Rarely on that station do I hear anything critical of religion, or anything about atheism at all. So now we have someone who seems to be an atheist, Alva Noë (a professor of philosophy at […]

Quote of the day redux

I published this quotation (and its larger context) over two years ago, but it bears repeating. It’s part of an essay by ex-liberal-Protestant pastor Mike Aus, “Conversion on Mount Improbable,” that was published on the old Richard Dawkins website. The part I’ve put in bold should be tattooed on the arm of every person who promotes “other […]

My New Republic piece on woo and consciousness

Just a note: I’ve extensively rewritten my post on Jeffrey Kripal’s execrable defense of woo in The Chronicles of Higher Education (thanks to my secular pals who gave extensive feedback), and it’s just been published in The New Republic as “The latest anti-science argument comes down to ESP.” You’ll see that it’s largely a new […]

Theologian gets pwned by physicist in The Guardian

Reader Adrian sent me the following two links from the Guardian, which comprise a critical but humorous exchange between a theologian and a physicist (the humor is all on the physicist’s part). You already know who is going to win. The first “Comment is Free” piece is by Giles Fraser, described this way: Dr Giles Fraser […]

What is “science”?

I’m not sure who writes the website The Barefoot Bum (he appears to be named “Larry” in his website cartoon), but I’m sorry I didn’t run across it a while back, for he’s written two great posts in a row (the other one, which I may discuss later, is on the dreadful dialogue between Gary Gutting […]

Big fail: Humanities curriculum goes all anti-scientistic

Reader Veronica Abbass, who’s heavily involved with the Canadian Atheist website, called my attention to her new post, “The Medium is the message?“ She displays a poster sent her by a colleague, and asks the question, “What is the message?” (Her title comes, of course, from Marshall McLuhan’s famous book.) A colleague tweeted this poster, […]

Pigliucci to all New Atheists: we’re doing it wrong

I haven’t paid a lot of attention to Massimo Pigluicci lately, and for several reasons. I’ve been busy writing, and haven’t had time to read many websites. And when I have read Massimo’s site, Rationally Speaking, I’ve been put off by his arrogance, attack-dogishness (if you want a strident atheist, look no further than Massimo), […]

Does reading literary fiction make us empathic?

UPDATE:  I had forgotten that Steve Pinker talked about the link between reading fiction and becoming empathic in his book The Better Angels of our Nature (one commenter mentioned this below), but hey, the book is 800 pages long and I can’t remember everything! Pinker mentions his discussion, and his agreement that the Science paper is dicey, […]

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