Author Archives: whyevolutionistrue

“Last Dance”

I’m feeling disco-ish today, so let’s have one of the great disco songs of all time, here in a terrific live performance by Donna Summer, who of course made it famous. Her real name was LaDonna Adrian Gaines, and she died in 2012 of lung cancer. She was only 63. “Last Dance” nabbed both a Grammy […]

Gender-neutral pronouns come to campus

As Steve Pinker discusses in his new book, The Sense of Style, the use of “his” or “her” when writing about general situations can be tricky. For example, using only the masculine form in sentences like “A scientist shouldn’t invariably put his name on papers that come from his lab,” does marginalize women, and I can […]

Esquire’s debunking of the “Proof of Heaven” doctor is again available for free

This is just a note to let readers know that Luke Dittrich’s critique of Eben Alexander’s “proof of heaven” experience (and book) is back online at Esquire, and is no longer behind a paywall. For a while you had to pay to see it, which, given its importance, was annoying. You may recall that Dittrich wrote a […]

Readers’ wildlife photographs

We start today with a bird that Stephen Barnard photographed in his hand. The explanation: Immature male Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas). He stunned himself by flying into a window. After I snapped the photo he seemed OK. And Joe McClain from Williamsburg, Virginia, sent some animal “selfies” as well as a picture of his son […]

Oliver Sacks died

I needn’t explain to the readers who Oliver Sacks was. And I say “was” because The New York Times announced that Sacks died this morning in New York. He was 82. As I’ve written on this site, he documented his diagnosis of terminal cancer (a melanoma in his eye that eventually metastasized to his brain) and his thoughts on mortality […]

Sunday: Hili dialogue

It’s a Sunday morning full of languor, or, as Wallace Stevens put it in his eponymous poem Complacencies of the peignoir, and late Coffee and oranges in a sunny chair, And the green freedom of a cockatoo Upon a rug mingle to dissipate The holy hush of ancient sacrifice. Alas, there are neither oranges nor […]

Neil Young live at the BBC

The BBC concerts are some of the best live performances I’ve seen, and here’s a wonderful half hour with Neil Young, the dark man in the plaid shirt. This was in 1971, when Young was only 26. (Did you know that his middle name is “Percival”?) My three favorites in this performance are “Out on the Weekend,” (the […]

Neil deGrasse Tyson: a strident atheist?

It would seem so if you take at face value this statement that I found on Facebook: To most of us, I bet, this statement means that all religions are crazy, as they all make unwarranted truth claims, and the story of Xenu isn’t any loonier than the stories of talking donkeys, smited fig trees, […]

HuffPo to students: Even if you’re not religious, go hang out with your college chaplain

Paul Brandeis Raushenbush is an ordained Baptist minister who also serves as the Huffington Post’s “Executive Editor Of Global Spirituality and Religion”. (He was previously Dean of Religious Life at Princeton University). In a new piece at PuffHo, “7 Reasons to hang out with your college chaplain (even if you’re not religious)“, he lays out […]

An atheist comes out in Milwaukee Magazine

Most large cities in the U.S. have a magazine named after that city, highlighting the local events, restaurants, concerts, and so on. Milwaukee, about 1.5 hours north of Chicago, is no exception (Chicago has its magazine, too). Milwaukee is known as a conservative, hard-working and largely blue collar town, which makes it even more surprising that, […]


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