Category Archives: scientism

Templeton invades the World Science Festival (again)

Every year the World Science Festival, organized by physicist Brian Greene and CEO Tracy Day, gets a dollop of cash from Templeton (the sponsors are here), and every year it has a few “Big Ideas” Symposia directly sponsored by Templeton. Most of the ones for this year (program here) look fairly tame, but then there’s […]

Matthew Cobb battles with the faithful over my book

Denis Alexander wrote a review of Faith versus Fact in the January 22nd Times Literary Supplement (TLS), and, to say the least, it wasn’t kind. But given his position as an evangelical Christian and the emeritus head of the Templeton-founded-and-funded Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, given his criticism of evolution as an “atheistic theory,” and […]

A reader comments on the value of literature and “ways of knowing”

I received an email from reader Geoff Howe about yesterday’s post on the value of studying literature, and I thought it was good enough to merit its own post: I think the article [the piece in Commentary by Gary Saul Morson] does a good job of encapsulating a major problem in society, one that I see […]

A bishop in L.A. is fed up with scientism

Yesterday’s Los Angeles Times has an op-ed by Robert Barron called “The myth of the eternal war between science and religion.” Barron happens to be the Auxilary Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Los Angeles, and is somewhat of a religious media star, with a YouTube channel, his own ministry (Word on Fire), and lots […]

Stephen Law on scientism

On his eponymous website, writer/philosopher Stephen Law has a new post called “Scientism!“. I reproduce it in its entirety: SCIENTISM: here’s the final paragraph of the chapter I just finished which will appear in Massimo Pigliucci and Maarten Boudry’s forthcoming tome Science Unlimited. I have provided three illustrations of how the charge of scientism is […]

Marilynne Robinson embarrasses herself again with an anti-science rant

I used to like Marilynne Robinson, and much enjoyed the two books of hers I’ve read: Housekeeping and Gilead. The latter book won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, and Robinson’s also been awarded the National Humanities Medal. But she’s a theist, and her drinking the Kool-Aid of faith has not only produced a substantial degeneration of […]

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) […]


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