Category Archives: books

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 […]

Brother Tayler’s Sunday Secular Sermon: Colton Burpo, Sean Hannity, and the scam of “Heaven is For Real”

I’ve written several times about the trio of “I-almost-died-but-went-to-Heaven-and-it’s-real” books, including the discredited Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander, the discredited The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven by Kevin and Alex Malarkey (good names) and the not-yet-discredited Heaven is for Real, by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent, detailing Colton Burpo’s (Todd son’s) visit to Heaven (including […]

What are you reading now?

by Grania Spingies I am ashamed to say that I hadn’t heard of James Rhodes (I don’t own a TV, never have) until I saw a tweet from Stephen Fry. James Rhodes is a concert pianist, and when he tried to publish his autobiography his ex-wife sought an injunction to bar it on the grounds […]

Hiroko’s cat-shirt book

I have written before about Hiroko, who made my lovely embroidered Hili Shirt, and I recently noted that she has published a book about the shirts. That book, Neko Shirt, recently arrived in the mail, along with lagniappe of a bag of miniature Japanese green tea Oreo cookies (the cream filling is flavored with matcha tea, and the […]

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 […]

Publicity: I espouse nonbelief in National Geographic, and a podcast with Godless Spellchecker

The round of books and articles connected with Faith versus Fact continues, and I’ll highlight some reviews later as they come in. I recognize that readers may not want to look at all this book-related stuff, as some of it is repetitive, but I’m putting the links here for those who wish to know what is […]

Jason on me in D.C.

As Jason Rosenhouse promised, he has a report on my book talk in D.C., a report tersely called “Coyne in D.C.“. It’s a Coyne-ian report, complete with pictures of cats and noms! Jason is no sycophant, and has a few words of constructive criticism, which I’ll ponder, about answering questions by angry people. He may […]

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