Category Archives: books

More fragile student feelings: Christian students refuse to read Duke’s summer-assignment novel because (horrors) it deals with lesbians and other touchy subjects

Well, here we have another ludicrous reaction of college students to their academic assignments, refusing to engage because the assignment might bruise their tender feelings. It so happens that Duke University assigns first-year students a book to read in the summer before they begin college. It’s a common practice in U.S. universities, and a good […]

Is the autism pandemic real?: a new book

What’s clear in the U.S. is that diagnoses of autism have increased tenfold over the last three decades; what’s unclear is why. Possible answers are many, including (of course) vaccination, which has been exculpated; a better ability of doctors and psychologists to diagnose autism, a change in the criteria for diagnosis (the DSM, for instance, expanded […]

Alex Rosenberg has a novel

Duke philosophy professor Alex Rosenberg, best known to us for The Atheist’s Guide to Reality, an uncompromising and “strident” book about nonbelief, now has a new book: a historical novel! It’s called The Girl from Krakow, and here’s the summary from Amazon: It’s 1935. Rita Feuerstahl comes to the university in Krakow intent on enjoying her freedom. […]

A new book for secular parents: how to tell your kids about God and religion

This book, which came out in March, may be useful for secular parents. It’s by author and journalist Wendy Thomas Russell, and called  Relax, It’s Just God: How and Why to Talk To Your KidsWhen You’re Not Religious. If you click on the secreenshot below, you’ll go to an interview on PBS between Russell and Jeffrey Brown: […]

This week’s book-related interviews

I’ll be doing three radio interviews this week (actually four, but one will be broadcast later), and I’ve put the information below if you’re interested in listening. All are streamed lived on the internet. Monday, August 10, 8-9 a.m. Central (Chicago) time: The Joy Cardin show on Wisconsin Public Radio (listen live at this site; programs archived here). Tuesday, August 11, […]

A book review claims that there is no conflict between science and religion, but for dumb reasons

I’m not going to dissect every critical review of Faith versus Fact, for that way lies madness. But I will address a few critical reviews when they make points worth discussing. This one, in fact, says very little about my book, which I consider a bonus. The review, “Two-way monologue: How to get past science vs. religion” is actually […]

Life’s Greatest Secret shortlisted for book prize!

JAC: I am so pleased that Matthew’s book has gotten this honor. It’s a terrific read, especially if you have any interest in genetics or biology in general (and, if you visit here, you should). As I said in my cover blub on Life’s Greatest Secret, I see it as the logical successor to Jim Watson’s The […]

The secrets of life – two videos

by Matthew Cobb In June, the Royal Institution in London hosted two talks about the origins of life, one by myself, the other by Nick Lane of UCL. The talks were partly a way of publicising our books (my Life’s Greatest Secret: The Race to Crack the Genetic Code, and Nick’s The Vital Question: Why […]

Austin part deux: buying custom boots

As I’ve mentioned several times, one of the reasons I went through Austin was to get measured for a pair of custom cowboy boots by Lee Miller, in my view the finest bootmaker in the U.S. His shop is called “Texas Traditions,” and Matt Dillahunty accompanied me there a few days ago for my Big Measurement. […]

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 […]

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