Category Archives: scientism

A reader’s letter to NPR

We have yet more reader activism:  JBillie didn’t like what he heard on NPR (National Public Radio) on a show about the Armenian genocide (yes, President Obama, it was a genocide, even though you cowardly refuse to use that word), and so he sent a testy letter to the station (published with permission). Their response was […]

Is reason “larger than science”? A lame attempt to diss science

The Big Think’s “Errors we live by” site has a post called “Reason is larger than science,” which makes a number of statements intending to do down science. Some of them are fine, and others are wonky, but the ones that are fine are bloody obvious.  The piece is illustrated, though, with this figure, so you […]

E. O. Wilson: Only science (and not philosophy or religion) can tell us the meaning of human existence

From The Big Think we have famed biologist E. O. Wilson talking about “the meaning of meaning,” and telling us that the answer to the question, “What is the meaning of life?” must come from science alone, with no input from religion or, especially, philosophy. Massimo Pigliucci will be incensed! Wilson is talking about some material from his new […]

Ways of knowing

Unlike the false religious mantra, “There are many religions, but at bottom they all worship the same god,” I have a similar saying, but one that I see as true: “There are many areas that claim to be ‘ways of knowing,’ but at bottom the ‘knowing’ must always be based on science.” But ex-pastor (and now atheist) […]

NPR attacks “Spockian” atheists

Krista Tippett, the Martha Stewart of Spirituality, must be influencing her National Public Radio (NPR) colleagues, because they seem abnormally soft on religion. Rarely on that station do I hear anything critical of religion, or anything about atheism at all. So now we have someone who seems to be an atheist, Alva Noë (a professor of philosophy at […]

Quote of the day redux

I published this quotation (and its larger context) over two years ago, but it bears repeating. It’s part of an essay by ex-liberal-Protestant pastor Mike Aus, “Conversion on Mount Improbable,” that was published on the old Richard Dawkins website. The part I’ve put in bold should be tattooed on the arm of every person who promotes “other […]

My New Republic piece on woo and consciousness

Just a note: I’ve extensively rewritten my post on Jeffrey Kripal’s execrable defense of woo in The Chronicles of Higher Education (thanks to my secular pals who gave extensive feedback), and it’s just been published in The New Republic as “The latest anti-science argument comes down to ESP.” You’ll see that it’s largely a new […]

Theologian gets pwned by physicist in The Guardian

Reader Adrian sent me the following two links from the Guardian, which comprise a critical but humorous exchange between a theologian and a physicist (the humor is all on the physicist’s part). You already know who is going to win. The first “Comment is Free” piece is by Giles Fraser, described this way: Dr Giles Fraser […]

What is “science”?

I’m not sure who writes the website The Barefoot Bum (he appears to be named “Larry” in his website cartoon), but I’m sorry I didn’t run across it a while back, for he’s written two great posts in a row (the other one, which I may discuss later, is on the dreadful dialogue between Gary Gutting […]

Big fail: Humanities curriculum goes all anti-scientistic

Reader Veronica Abbass, who’s heavily involved with the Canadian Atheist website, called my attention to her new post, “The Medium is the message?” She displays a poster sent her by a colleague, and asks the question, “What is the message?” (Her title comes, of course, from Marshall McLuhan’s famous book.) A colleague tweeted this poster, […]

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