Category Archives: book reviews

The New Yorker praises atheism (sort of)

UPDATE: James Wood has responded politely to this piece in a comment below, which you can find here. ************* The article below (click on screenshot), by New Yorker literary critic and Harvard English professor James Wood, is a review of Martin Hägglund’s new book, This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom, but also a paean […]

Nadine Strossen’s new book on hate speech, why such speech should not be censored or banned, and its relevance to recent campus events

I’ve just finished Nadine Strossen‘s 2018 book, HATE: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship, one of 16 volumes in the series “Inalienable Rights,” edited by University of Chicago constitutional law professor Geoffrey Stone.  Click on the screenshot to go to the book’s Amazon site: Strossen was president of the American Civil […]

A (relatively) new book on the irreconcilability of science and religion

We’ve met Yves Gingras before, when a Templeton-funded reviewer, having a severe pecuniary conflict of interest with Gingras’s views, heavily criticized Gingras’s book Science and Religion: An Impossible Dialogue.  At that time, at the end of 2017, I defended Gingras on the grounds that the reviewer, Peter Harrison, had an out-and-out bias, having been funded […]

Behe’s book sliced and diced again—by members of his own department

If you go to the website of the biology department of Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, where resides the ID creationist Michael Behe, you’ll find this disclaimer: To my knowledge, this is unique not only in science, but in any academic department, for here you see an entire department disowning the intellectual oeuvre of one of […]

Twitter mobs ruin young-adult fiction again

Jennifer Senior used to be a book-review editor for the New York Times, but now she’s an op-ed editor. Her history at the paper has served her well in her new op-ed about the social media mobs who now police young-adult fiction (YAF) for ideological purity. (Click on screenshot). What happened is that Kosoko Jackson, […]

My review of Behe’s book in the Washington Post

Well, I read Michael Behe’s new intelligent-design book Darwin Devolves a long time ago, as I was asked to review it for the Washington Post. But I couldn’t say that, of course, for it would reveal that I had a prepublication copy, and that means I was going to produce a review. One can’t say […]

Behe and his publisher distort his reviews, pretend that they praise his work

Blurbs on books are usually selected by the publisher, but they’re always, at least in my experience, vetted by the author. Here, sent in a comment by reader Michael, is a reproduction of the back cover of ID-creationist Michael Behe’s new book, Darwin Devolves: The New Science About DNA that Challenges Evolution (you can also […]

Rich Lenski takes down Michael Behe and his ID creationism: Part IV

Rich Lenski, an evolutionary biologist at Michigan State, has put up his fourth (and penultimate) post on his website (Telliamed Revisited) criticizing Michael Behe’s new Intelligent Design book, Darwin Devolves: The New Science About DNA That Challenges Evolution. You can see the post, which is his most thorough yet, by clicking on the website below. […]

Is there evidence for libertarian free will? Part 1.

I’ll try to put up two posts on this topic today as a single one would probably be too long, falling into the TL; DR category. About two weeks ago, kvetching about the Templeton Foundation’s incursion into and corruption of philosophy and biology, I wrote about Dan Dennett’s criticism of Templeton. This came up when […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Here’s the second batch of photos taken by Rachel Wilmoth on a trip to Kruger National Park last October (first batch of photos here). Her notes and IDs are indented; some creatures are unidentified and readers are invited to give their take. Here are bird pictures. I am not a birder and don’t know what […]