Category Archives: books

How to read authors of earlier times who expressed views or created characters that we find repugnant today

There has been a lot of debate about how—or whether—to read authors whose views (or language) may not comport with today’s mores. Morality evolves, usually for the better, leaving older books bearing attitudes or characters that we find repugnant. The usual result is to either denigrate or ban these books, and such opprobrium has involved […]

Catholics claim they know the whole truth about everything

Have a gander at this quote that came from Franciscan University. The backstory appears at the site Church Militant and Inside Higher Ed (IHE). Franciscan University [FU] is a Catholic school in Steubenville, Ohio; it’s sufficiently hard-line to include homosexuality in a course on “deviant behavior” along with rape and robbery. Here’s the quote, which would be hilarious […]

A reader recommends a book that unites science and religion

The publication of my article at The Conversation about the incompatibility of science and religion has flushed many termites out of the woodwork. Below is an isopteran email I got yesterday. Have a gander (the name has been redacted to protect the benighted). In the email I’ve put a link to the Wikipedia entry about the […]

The strange case of Alice Walker: the dilemma of black anti-Semitism and its promotion by the New York Times

Here we have one more example of “intersectionalism” that, instead of dealing with combined oppressions, pits one marginalized group against another. This, of course, has fractured the Left in the last few years. There are two notable examples of how liberal values have collided. The first involves the collision between Muslims on the one hand, and […]

Arabic edition of WEIT now out

Or should I say, as the kids do, that “my book has just dropped”? My Egyptian colleague, who saw the book through from inception until today, tells me that the Arabic edition of Why Evolution is True has now been printed, and next week will be on sale in a bookshop in Cairo, and perhaps […]

Why Evolution is True now in Arabic!

Of all the 19 foreign translations of WEIT, this is the one about which I’m most excited. That’s for two reasons. First, in many Middle Eastern countries evolution simply isn’t taught, as it contravenes a literal interpretation of the Qur’an. Second, as far as I know there is no book in Arabic that comprehensively summarizes […]

A critical review of Prum’s “The Evolution of Beauty” in Evolution

Richard Prum’s 2017 book on sexual selection, The Evolution of Beauty: How Darwin’s Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World—and Us, has gotten a lot of popular press, and a fair number of positive reviews, but it hasn’t fared very well in the scientific community.  Prum’s thesis, which is that the “runaway” model […]

Short review: Lukianoff and Haidt’s new book, and request for book suggestions

I’ve just finished reading a book that’s closely connected with many of our interests: Greg Lukianoff and Jon Haidt’s new volume, The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure. Click on the screenshot to go to the Amazon site: The issue is why so many students […]

Three Maine clergymen try to ban a library display of banned books

Reader Ken called my attention to an article in the Lewiston (Maine) Sun Journal about a group of three clergymen who tried to ban not books, but worse: they tried to ban a display of banned books at the local library. It turns out that National Banned Books Week is from September 23-29, when libraries […]

Book claiming that Israel deliberately maims Palestinian civilians as a form of punishment wins award in women’s studies

According to the Algemeiner (yes, a Jewish site), a book by Jasbir Puar, Professor and Graduate Director of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University, has won one of the two 2018 Alison Piepmeier Book Prizes awarded by the National Womens Studes Association (NWSA).  According to the Association, the prize is “for a groundbreaking monograph […]