Archive for December, 2012

What is anti-religious 'fundamentalism' ?

Monday, December 31st, 2012

The Guardian has  jumped on one particular response from Peter Higgs during an interview with a Spanish newspaper in which Higgs criticises Richard Dawkins over anti-religious 'fundamentalism' "And exactly what kind of 'fundamentalism' is that?" asks Jerry Coyne. Well actually there are at least three kinds that it could be. It might be the claim that religion and […]

The Folly of "Scientism"

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

In a recent article in The New Atlantis,  Austin L Hughes addresses a number of instances of scientific hubris, tags them with the popular label "scientism", and asks: Is scientism defensible? Is it really true that natural science provides a satisfying and reasonably complete account of everything we see, experience, and seek to understand — of […]

Invented Language Finds Russian Fans

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

This story by Joshua Foer about John Quijada, his invented language, Ithkuil, and it's adoption by a cult-like group in Russia is fascinating on many levels.  Quijada seems much more realistic and modest regarding the significance of his work than others who work at the fringes of "academic respectability" and is charmingly torn between pride and puzzlement […]

Breaking The Taboo (on talk of legalizing drugs)

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

Watch this and sign the petition. It has been obvious for decades (and given the history of alcohol prohibition it was obvious before the whole thing started) that the insane war on drugs was causing more harm than the use of those drugs ever could. But while Nixon and Reagan were clearly the primary villains […]

Harris & Craig on Foundations of Moral Values'

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

For once I find myself agreeing with Briggs! His post on the debate between Sam Harris and William Lane Craig (neither of whom I really cared to hear more from) prompted me to actually watch it - and I did find it more interesting than I had expected. The debate question was: Are the foundations […]

Harley Lappin is an Evil Man

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

Dying Federal Prisoners Rarely Granted ‘Compassionate Release,’ Study Finds | ThinkProgress. The overall statistics may or may not be justified and in any case may not be attributable to one person, but to overrule both the regional director and the plea of the sentencing judge in that Mahoney case was beyond the pale.