Late Sunday Cephalopod

by Greg Mayer As a general rule, we here at WEIT eschew involvement with the more cerebral Mollusca, leaving such matters to PZ.  But the cephalopodous creations below adorn the Kohl Center at the University of Wisconsin, so PZ is not likely to see them, especially on the evening when Jon Losos took the photo, […]

Giant squid!! (Sort of!!)

by Greg Mayer According to the AP, giant squid have invaded California! Except that, according to the article, they’re not actually giant squid, but Humboldt squid, which don’t get nearly as large (up to about 2 meters) as real giant squid (up to about 14 meters). Fishermen in California have been reeling in the large […]

That’s not ratfish genitalia. That’s ratfish genitalia.

by Greg Mayer Over at Pharyngula, PZ has linked to a story at Deep Sea News about the description of a new species of ratfish with “forehead genitals”. While it’s a great concept, the tentaculum, or cephalic claspers, of ratfish are not genitals. Fig. 1. That’s not ratfish genitalia. A male ratfish (family Chimaeridae) showing […]

What am I supposed to do with Unscientific America?

At the request of Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum, several of us were sent pre-publication copies of their new book, Unscientific America, a discussion of America’s scientific illiteracy and a prescription for fixing it. One of the recipients was P. Z. Myers of Pharyngula fame, who is strongly criticized in the book for his atheism […]

Mooney and Kirshenbaum: Atheists turn Americans from science, strangle puppies

Over at Butterflies and Wheels, Ophelia Benson has begun reading and posting on Mooney and Kirshenbaum’s new book, Unscientific America, an analysis of why the American public is so scientifically illiterate (I’m going by the blurbs; I haven’t read it yet). According to Mooney and Kirshenbaum, one of the main reasons for this illiteracy is […]

Accommodationism: onward and downward

Well, God may have rested on Sundays, but atheists don’t. A mini-kerfuffle has begun with yesterday’s posting of science postdoc John Wilkins at his website Evolving Thoughts.  Wilkins listed six “points” for discussion, these being reasons why accommodationism is the proper strategy for addressing the faith/science dichotomy.  They are the usual mix of I-am-a-nice-guyness, religion-and-science-both-find-truth-ness, […]

Andrew Brown makes another dumb argument for accommodationism

Apparently, accommodationist-in-chief Andrew Brown has his own blog, and is now using it to make arguments even dumber than those appearing in his recent Guardian piece. To wit: we athiests should be very careful about our tactics. According to Brown, if we persist in equating acceptance of evolution with atheism, then we’ll create a situation […]

Brown + Ruse vs. Myers: Are atheists responsible for creationism?

I swear, sometimes I think that pro-evolution accommodationists see evolutionists as a bigger enemy than are creationists.  This became clear to me earlier this week, when I received a nasty, chest-thumping email from philosopher Michael Ruse, accusing me of two things: 1.  Since I was not a philosopher, I had no credentials to pronounce on […]

Science and “the transcendent world”

Over at Metamagician and the Hellfire Club, Russell Blackford takes on the idea that only faith can tell us what’s true about the transcendent world. . . There is no good reason for scientists or advocates of science to suggest that a so-called “transcendent world” exists, that there are spooky beings such as gods, spirits, […]

A defense of accommodationism and a misunderstanding

Over at the Guardian website, James Hannam has appeared from the woodwork to argue that by critiquing the philosophical accommodation of faith with science, I am explicitly rejecting an alliance with the enlightened faithful to go after creationism: It’s popularly imagined that the history of science and religion is one of violent conflict, but the […]