Category Archives: book reviews

Steve Pinker reviews Faith versus Fact

In the latest issue of Current Biology, Steve Pinker has written a longish review (2 pages) of Faith versus Fact, and it’s free online (pdf at the link).  His review is called “The untenability of faitheism,” a title I like a lot. You can read it for yourself, but I’ll give two brief excerpts. The first […]

Michael Shermer’s “review” of Faith versus Fact

I put “review” in quotes above, because Michael Shermer’s precis of Faith versus Fact in the latest Scientific American isn’t really a review at all, but a further plumping for his claim that—as Sam Harris also espouses—science can hand us objective moral truths. (See Shermer’s new book, The Moral Arc, for a fuller exposition.) The full Sci Am piece is behind […]

Two critical reviews of Faith versus Fact

With the good reviews come the bad, and although I had predicted that Faith versus Fact would be uniformly panned by believers, a science journalist—John Horgan—has gone after it in both the Wall Street Journal (sadly, the article, “Preaching to the converted,” is behind a paywall) as well as in in his Scientific American blog, where he […]

Brother Tayler reviews Faith versus Fact

I am collecting reviews of Faith versus Fact (sadly, there haven’t been many so far), and will eventually call attention to both the good ones and bad ones. I won’t try to refute the bad ones—I learned from Nick Cohen not to answer critics), but I think that if I highlight good ones, it’s only fair to […]

David Barash disses group selection as an explanation for altruism

David Barash is a professor of psychology at the University of Washington at Seattle, and has written many articles on evolution as well as several “trade” (i.e., popular) books on science for the public. In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal (link here, but you’ll hit a paywall), he’s reviewed two books on altruism in a piece called […]

H is for Hawk

I can’t recommend highly enough the new book by Helen Macdonald: H is for Hawk.  It is up there with J. A. Baker’s The Peregrine as one of my favorite books about nature, but Macdonald’s book is very different. While Baker’s is about observing wild peregrines near his home, and is entirely lyrical writing about […]

Some reviews of FvF

So far Faith versus Fact hasn’t been widely reviewed, which I find a bit puzzling (and hope it will be remedied); but here are three reviews that appeared recently. 1. The Chronicle of Higher Education: The review, by the religious scholar Timothy Beal, is called “Fundamentally atheist,” so you know what it’s going to say. It is, of […]

One-day special from the TLS: access to a long (and favorable) review of Steve Weinberg’s new book

In February I announced the publication of physicist Steven Weinberg’s new book on the history of science, To Explain the World: The Discovery of Modern Science, and included two excerpts he sent us to give an idea of the contents. Now, for one day only, the Times Literary Supplement is offering a free look at its long (and […]

More nonsense at NPR about God

I am frankly amazed that National Public Radio (NPR) would publish this mushy reconception of religion, for it’s worse than that purveyed by apophatists like Karen Armstrong. In fact, Nancy Ellen Abrams, who is flogging her new book A God that Could Be Real: Sprirituality, Science, and the Future of our Planet, was given two mini-essays in […]

Five Books: Selina O’Grady on the role of religion, and where New Atheists supposedly go wrong

Selina O’Grady is an author who had a strict religious upbringing but left it behind to become an atheist. She’s the author of And Man Created God: A History of the World at the Time of Jesus, a book about the growth of religions in general, and of Christianity in particular, as well as the connection between […]

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