Category Archives: scientism

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, […]

The final round: Pinker vs. Wieseltier on scientism

Hello, I must be going. I cannot stay; I came to say I must be going. Tonight is l’affaire Dawkins, so posting today will be light. One item for your delectation: the final exchange (the third) between Steven Pinker and Leon Wieseltier.  Pinker, as you recall, wrote an article in The New Republic about the […]

The New York Times touts alternative medicine, disses science

The New York Times is strange: it’s one of the few papers left that has a weekly science section (and a good one), but over on the opinion pages you can read endless paeans to religion and the beneficial effects of faith, as well as criticisms of atheism and science itself. Two days ago, the […]


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