Category Archives: Uncategorized

Are any criticisms of theism kosher? (Open Thread)

by Grania Spingies In the wake of complaints such as this one and angry reviews of Jerry’s new book Faith vs. Fact, one has to wonder whether any criticism of theism is acceptable or valid to a believer. One of the complaints that irks Jerry the most is the charge that he – or indeed we […]

D-Day anniversary

by Grania Spingies June 6th is the anniversary of D-Day, the Normandy Landings in 1944 when the Allies invaded German-occupies Western Europe and perhaps can be said to be the turning point in the war. Reader Randy alerted Jerry to this quiz which tests your knowledge of the Operation in some detail.  The quiz is fairly […]

I talk about free will and blame with The Thinking Atheist

On Sunday, Seth Andrews, aka “The Thinking Atheist” emailed me that he was doing a show on “Blame,” and that he wanted to include my take on free will and its relationship to blame and responsibility.  He said that he needed my participation that day, and so I responded, “Let’s just do it now.” So […]

Brother Tayler’s Sunday Sermon in Salon, and lagniappe

I trust that many of you are following Atlantic correspondent Jeffrey Tayler’s continuing series of antitheist articles in Salon, which appear every Sunday. The latest involves the Chief Justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court, the odious and hyperreligious Roy Moore. We’ve encountered this clown before (see here and here, for instance), a man who once installed […]

My New Republic piece on philosophical exemptions from vaccination

After some editing, the New Republic put up the post I wrote yesterday about the double standard of Vermont’s new law, a law that eliminates philosophical exemptions from vaccination for schoolchildren but leaves the religious exemptions in place. That makes no sense except in view of America’s overweening respect for religion. Clearly there is more […]

Morality proves God, take #197

I’ve written before about National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins’s claim that “the Moral Law”—that is, the instinctive feelings of right and wrong we experience when, say, we see a drowning child or a cheater—are evidence for God. For, claims Collins, there’s no way to explain such instinctive feelings by evolution or other naturalistic processes. […]

Now it’s the Jews who ban women from driving

How are Jews like Muslims? Answer: in both cases some sects ban women from driving. We know about that ban in Wahhabi Saudi Arabia, but now one group of Jews—British Jews—have done the same thing. According to the Jewish Chronicle, a group of Orthodox Hasidic Jews has issued a Jewish fatwa against women driving. And […]

In London on June 11? Come and hear The Story of Life at the Royal Institution.

by Matthew Cobb Professor Ceiling Cat is travelling, so I am using the opportunity to indulge in some shameless self-promotion. As regular readers will know, my book Life’s Greatest Secret: The Race to Crack the Genetic Code is out in June in the UK (Profile Books) and in July in the USA (Basic Books). To launch […]

On the swift’s scuttly wingless fly friend

by Matthew Cobb Earlier today I posted a video of a pair of swifts that met up for the first time in 9 months. In the comments, Mark Sturtevant pointed out that on the male (the front bird) you can see an ectoparasite scuttling about: Here’s the video again. Go to 50 seconds, which is […]

Cooperative hunting in groupers and moray eels

Here’s a short video from Nature that isn’t based on a single research paper, but on the continuing work of Redouan Bshary, a biologist in Switzerland who studies interspecific communication and behavior in fish.  The article itself, a summary of Bshary’s work written by Alison Abbott, is called “Animal behaviour: Inside the cunning, caring and greedy minds […]

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