Category Archives: osculation of faith

National Geographic’s “The Story of God”: back for another season

As I’ve documented repeatedly, since Rupert Murdoch took over National Geographic, the magazine and its spinoffs have become increasingly oriented toward religion—and in a friendly way. Last summer Morgan Freeman hosted a National Geographic series called “The Story of God”; here are its six episodes.  Now, according to PuffHo, there’s a second season in the offing, with the first episode […]

Reza Aslan produces a t.v. series osculating Islam

The unctuous Reza Aslan, who is making a fine living whitewashing Islam while lying about his credentials and the nature of his faith (see at 2:10 in the video below), has made a video promoting a new television series of which he’s co-producer, “The Secret Life of Muslims”. The show was announced on the Vox Facebook Page like […]

Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ acculturation

Today’s Jesus and Mo strip, called “maths”, came with a note: This week’s comic was provoked by an article written by the Rev Giles Fraser. If you can bear it, here it is. It’s a piece by Fraser in the Guardian, “Assimilation threatens the existence of other cultures,” that begins this way and then goes […]

A Young Turk tries to show that suicide bombings have nothing (nothing!) to do with Islam

I was going to post the third part of my piece on sexual dimorphism in human traits (other parts here and here), explaining why that physical dimorphism suggests that current behavioral differences between the sexes also reflect evolution in our ancestors (and why those who oppose a sexual-selection explanation are ideologically motivated)—but I have a few more papers to read. Look […]

The TLS osculates Christianity

I used to write a lot of reviews for the Times Literary Supplement (TLS), but I do that no longer. But as far as I’m aware, the TLS is turning into an organ of religious-osculation, with piece after piece making nice to faith. Now I may be wrong, as I don’t subscribe and have to […]

From the Big Think: more confirmation bias about the benefits of religion

I’m starting to really suspect that The Big Think is a misnomer; perhaps it should be called The Big Thunk, for it often produces a lot of sound without much thought. Case in point: Derek Beres’s new piece at that site called “Did religion help our brains evolve?” His implicit answer is “yes.” First, though, here’s […]

Robert Wright in the NYT: Evolution could have a “higher purpose”

The article I’m writing about today at length—and I apologize to the “TL; DR” crowd—was brought to my attention by more than a dozen readers, which shows how eagerly they wanted a response—and a refutation. But the article is so muddled and philosophically weak that it basically refutes itself. Nevertheless, because it’s a big piece […]

David Sloan Wilson: There is a god, and it’s the “superorganism” of insect colonies and group-selected humans

David Sloan Wilson is known as an ardent promoter of group selection, the evolutionary idea that the unit of selection is not the gene or individual, but groups of individuals whose differential extinction and reproduction (group “splitting”) can give rise to traits that are maladaptive within groups, like purely altruistic behavior. (E. O. Wilson, not […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Okay, I’m running dangerously low, so send in your photos. Today we’re featuring more insect photos from reader Mark Sturtevant, whose comments are indented: This set of pictures marks an important milestone for me, since these are from my first outing last summer where I began to use my newly bought Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS […]

Government-funded hotline in the Netherlands says it’s okay for Muslims to threaten gays with death

This tale comes from today’s Sunday Express as well as Jihad Watch (which took the story from the Express), and it’s a bit confusing. Apparently a government-funded hotline in the Netherlands has said it’s basically okay for callers (or posters) to call for the death of gays if they’re Muslims; after all, that’s what the Qur’an […]