Category Archives: awards and honors

The TLS on Plantinga and me

I recently published my take on the award of the Templeton Prize to Alvin Plantinga, a “religious philosopher” (read: “theologian”) whose work consists of untenable arguments couched in unreadable prose.  Rupert Shortt, religion editor of the Times Literary Supplement (TLS), writes about it in a short piece, “Alvin Plantinga and the Templeton Prize“. Google adds that Shortt […]

Templeton abandons pretense of rationality, awards Templeton Prize to Alvin Plantinga, intelligent-design advocate

Reader Mark called my attention to the fact that John Templeton Foundation (JTF) has bestowed its annual Templeton Prize on someone who’s not only a deeply misguided religious philosopher, but also has promoted intelligent design and criticized naturalism. Yes, it’s Alvin Plantinga, an 84-year-old emeritus professor of philosophy at Notre Dame and also a professor at Calvin College […]

U.S. State Department deletes congratulatory tweet for Oscar-winning director who opposed Trump’s immigration order

Well, compared to the damage our new President is likely to do to the country, this incident doesn’t count as much. But it’s a sign of how mean-spirited the administration is. As you may know, Asghar Farhadi, an Iranian director, won the Oscar this year for Best Foreign-Language film for “The Salesman.” (I haven’t yet […]

Damn! I didn’t win Censor of the Year again

Three years ago the “Center for Science and Culture”(CSC) of the creationist no-think tank Discovery Institute (DI) named me “Censor of the Year,” an award they now confer every Darwin Day, but which started with me. And I was so happy to get it! The reason for my award? I helped stop the teaching of Intelligent […]

Why is life the way it is? A talk by Nick Lane

by Matthew Cobb Nick Lane of University College London has just been awarded the Royal Society’s 2016 Michael Faraday Prize and Lecture, which “is awarded annually to the scientist or engineer whose expertise in communicating scientific ideas in lay terms is exemplary”. Nick is a brilliant writer of several books, including Life Ascending and, most recently […]

A monument to lab mice

This photo, from a site apparently called 9gag, is labeled as “In Novosibirsk there is a monument to all the lab mice who lost their lives in DNA research”.   h/t: Arno M.

Biden gets the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Now tell me that this video from yesterday (longer 17-minute version here) doesn’t bring a tear to your eye—it sure did to Biden’s—or at least a glow in your heart. Here Vice-President Joe Biden, a good man, is surprised by President Obama awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor. God, I’ll miss […]

Paul Beatty wins Man Booker Prize, a first for an American writer

Although I haven’t read Paul Beatty’s novel The Sellout, I will now, for it’s just won the Man Booker Prize, Britain’s most prestigious literary award. I’ve found the Booker Prize a reliable source for good literature: that’s the way I originally came upon Paul Scott’s The Raj Quartet (its sequel, Staying On, won the Booker in […]

Bob Dylan gets Nobel Prize for literature!!!!

Well knock me over with a feather: this is something that NOBODY expected, and of course no reader guessed in the contest. My CNN Newsfeed reports this: Bob Dylan is awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature, the Swedish Academy says. The Wall Street Journal adds this: The 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to musician […]

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine awarded—and a contest

It’s that time of year again. . . and the lucky recipient for the Physiology or Medicine Prize is (envelope, please). . . .Yoshinori Ohsumi, a professor in Tokyo Institute of Technology’s Frontier Research Center. The Nobel citation begins like this: This year’s Nobel Laureate discovered and elucidated mechanisms underlying autophagy, a fundamental process for degrading and recycling […]