A defense of Dawkins by Andrew Sullivan

by Greg Mayer Jerry has written a number of times about Richard Dawkins’s deplatforming by radio station KPFA, and others (here, here, here, here) have come to Dawkins’s defense as well. In his weekly diary in New York magazine, Andrew Sullivan has also come to Dawkins’s defense. This might surprise some, since Sullivan is a […]

Kerri Miller’s journalistic double standard

Kerri Miller is either a dreadful journalist or an uneven one, and here’s the evidence: her interviews with Karen Armstrong and Richard Dawkins. The former is saccharine and uncritical, the latter hypercritical and unfair. Yesterday I mentioned Kerri Miller’s interview of Karen Armstrong on Minnesota Public Radio (MPR). I didn’t hear the whole thing, but […]

Caturday felid: “Methinks it is like a catcerto”

Today we have a rare guest Caturday felid; I can’t remember one since I started this site five years ago (has it really been that long?). So here’s Greg’s contribution, which shows a concerto (“Catcerto”) composed by Mindaugas Piecaitis to embellish and complement the playing of Nora the famous piano-playing cat. (The score for “Catcerto” can […]

Richard Dawkins on the Daily Show– in about 5 minutes!

by Greg Mayer Sorry for the late notice, but Richard Dawkins is scheduled to be interviewed by Jon Stewart in about five minutes on the Daily Show. In many TV markets, it will be reshown at 7:30 PM Eastern Time tomorrow (Wednesday). He’ll be discussing his new book.

Wallace statue to be erected at the Natural History Museum– and you can help! (Upcoming UK events with Dawkins et al.)

by Greg Mayer As Wallace Year continues, events are coming fast and furious. One to look forward to on November 7 is the unveiling of a life-sized bronze statue of Wallace in the garden outside the Darwin Centre 2 at the Natural History Museum in London. The statue, by sculptor Anthony Smith, will be unveiled […]

Development is epigenetic

by Greg Mayer One of the points I stress to students in my evolution class is that development is epigenetic: organisms develop from a less differentiated state to a more differentiated state. In modern terms, genes, the intraembryonic environment, and the extraembryonic environment interact to produce the organism through a sequence of stages going from […]

No theists at 30,000 feet

by Greg Mayer I mentioned to Jerry a while back that I’d heard somewhere the phrase “there are no atheists at 30,000 feet” (i.e. in an airplane), but that it’s actually just the opposite: anyone in a plane off the ground is fervently attached to Bernoulli’s principle, Newton’s laws, fluid dynamics, etc. At 30,000 ft., […]

Dawkins’s book out; reviews appear

Richard Dawkins’s latest book, The Greatest Show on Earth, was released Thursday in the UK (it shows up in the US September 22).  The title, of course, refers to evolution, and the book, like mine, is a summary and discussion of the massive evidence that has turned evolution from a hypothesis into a fact. I’ll […]

How the tapir got his spots III

by Greg Mayer The two great classes of phenomena that Darwin set out to explain were those of adaptation– the fit between an organism’s features (structure, behavior, etc.) and its conditions of existence; and unity of type — the similarities of basic structure among organisms in diverse conditions of existence (e.g., the one bone-two bones-many […]

Faitheist t.v.: Historian of science joins young-earth creationist in an old fashioned Coyne-and-Dawkins roast

This morning an alert reader called my attention to a Bloggingheads discussion between Ronald Numbers, a historian of science at the University of Wisconsin/Madison and self-described agnostic, and Paul Nelson, Discovery Institute young-earth creationist.  I watched the debate with an increasing sense of unease in my lower mesentery.  Nelson and Numbers engaged in an oh-so-civil […]