Sam Harris: the strange case of Francis Collins

Over at The Reason Project, Sam Harris has continued his engagement with the Francis Collins NIH appointment by producing a sizeable critique of Collins’s views and an explanation of why some of us are worried about them. NOTE:  There was some problem with the article’s website, but it appears to be fixed.

Steven Pinker on Francis Collins

Some newspapers and science journals have called atheist-scientists this week, asking for opinions on Francis Collins’s appointment as head of the National Institutes of Health.  In lieu of a phone interview,  Steve Pinker wrote the following to a reporter from one such journal  (copy slightly edited for web publication).  Thanks to Steve for permission to […]

Mooney and Kirshenbaum: Atheists turn Americans from science, strangle puppies

Over at Butterflies and Wheels, Ophelia Benson has begun reading and posting on Mooney and Kirshenbaum’s new book, Unscientific America, an analysis of why the American public is so scientifically illiterate (I’m going by the blurbs; I haven’t read it yet). According to Mooney and Kirshenbaum, one of the main reasons for this illiteracy is […]

Mano a mano, Sam Harris vs. Phillip Ball

In this corner, representing reason, is Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith and #1 militant fundamentalist atheist; in the other corner, representing faith, is science writer and accommodationist Philip Ball.  See them battle it out at the Reason Project website.

Quote of the day

“Many well-educated, secular people have learned to fear the suffering of their less educated, less socially advantaged neighbors. It seems to me that such fear is often confused with compassion. The conviction that there are no easy remedies for social inequality has led many of us to conclude that it may be best for the […]

Collins may be NIH director

Well, we thought we’d seen the last of the theocracy of George W. Bush, but it apparently ain’t so.  The Scientist reports (and this has been the buzz for weeks), that born-again Christian and BioLogos Foundation director Francis Collins is likely to be named as head of the National Institutes of Health: Francis Collins, the […]

Join the Reason Project

Under the inspiration of Sam Harris, a nonprofit organization called The Reason Project has been formed under the trusteeship of Sam, his wife Annaka, and Jai Lakshman.  The website can be accessed here, and the aims are these: The Reason Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in […]

NYT shows that atheists are not agents of Satan

Surprisingly, today’s New York Times has a good article on the growth of atheism in America.  As I’ve said, I think that this is the best way to rid the country of creationism, though it will take time.  And the best way to effect this change is to be vociferous –or at least not reticent– […]

The science/religion compatibility debate continues. . . .

Over on Edge, scientists continue to weigh in on my New Republic piece on the compatibility of science and faith. Steve Pinker and Sam Harris have just contributed, both taking the “non-accommodationist” stance.  Sam’s article,  a brilliant piece of sarcasm, has been widely misunderstood on the web, with many thinking he has seen the light […]

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