An insider’s guide by a former young-Earth creationist [more inside]
Social Evolution - The Ritual Animal
"Praying, fighting, dancing, chanting — human rituals could illuminate the growth of community and the origins of civilization." [more inside]
is a veteran American cartoonist best known for his delightful comic-book guides to science and history, many of which have previews online. Chief among them is his long-running Cartoon History of the Universe
(later The Cartoon History of the Modern World
), a sprawling multi-volume opus documenting everything from the Big Bang to the Bush administration. Published over the course of three decades, it takes a truly global view -- its time-traveling Professor thoroughly explores not only familiar topics like Rome and World War II but the oft-neglected stories of Asia and Africa, blending caricature and myth with careful scholarship (cited by fun illustrated bibliographies
) and tackling even the most obscure events with intelligence and wit
. This savvy satire carried over to Gonick's Zinn
chronicle The Cartoon History of the United States
, along with a bevy of Cartoon Guides
to other topics, including Genetics, Computer Science, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, The Environment
, and (yes!) Sex
. Gonick has also maintained a few sideprojects, such as a webcomic look at Chinese invention
, assorted math comics
), the Muse magazine
mainstay Kokopelli & Co.
(featuring the shenanigans of his "New Muses"
), and more
. See also these lengthy interview snippets
, linked previously
. Want more? Amazon links to the complete oeuvre inside! [more inside]
Dare 2 Share Ministries offers profiles and tips
on how to "share your faith" with fourteen different types of friends a teen Christian might have, such as Andy the Atheist
, Marty the Mormon
, Jenna the Jew
, Sid the Satanist
, Mo the Muslim
and Willow the Wiccan
. If none of those strategies work, they also offer articles
on how to "use the buzz in current teen culture to initiate God-talk with your friends" by "sharing your faith" through Indiana Jones
, Halo 3
, Brokeback Mountain
, Kung Fu Panda
and The X Files
Affirmed evolution (and anti-intelligent design) biologist Francisco Ayala has won
the 2010 Templeton Prize
. In 1981, Ayala was a pivotal expert in overturning an Arkansas law
that required the side-by-side teaching of creationism
and evolution. Besides his nationally recognized work in evolution and genetics
, the former Catholic priest has sought to reconcile evolution with religious belief
, noting that science and religion are not mutually exclusive. [more inside]
Ilkka Pyysiäinen and Marc Hauser have a new paper in the journal "Trends in Cognitive Sciences". The origins of religion : evolved adaptation or by-product?
) [more inside]
The Producer Cites Religious Controversy.
The Director points to a recessionary trend against "serious" movies
. A new film about Charles Darwin's life ("Creation
") is reportedly having difficulty finding a US distributor. ( Creation: IMDB / Official Site / Trailer / Spoiler-laden review from Roger Ebert / LA Times review // Darwin: Previously on MeFi).
Charles Pierce, author of the 2005 essay "Greetings from Idiot America"
decrying the rise of faith-based anti-intellectualism, has expanded his rant into a full length book: Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free
. (via) [more inside]
AronRa has done some really nice YouTube vids on science (previously)
In this latest vlog An Archaeological Moment in Time
, he take(s) a look at how different societies are advancing at different rates on the same date in the distant past.
Bracing for Islamic Creationism
(PDF). "To avoid a vast rejection of evolution in the Muslim world, scientists can present the theory
as the bedrock of biology
and can stress its practical applications
"Charles Darwin: 200 years from your birth, the Church of England owes you an apology for misunderstanding you and, by getting our first reaction wrong, encouraging others to misunderstand you still.
" The comments are included on a Church of England website promoting the views of Charles Darwin to be launched on Monday.
The Cornell Evolution Project
, which polls prominent evolutionary scientists about their religious beliefs, is part of a PhD thesis by evolutionary paleontologist and UCLA lecturer Greg Graffin
. Mr. Graffin is also the lead singer of a band named Bad Religion
, whose influential album Suffer
turns 20 years old this week. [more inside]
16% of US science teachers believe human beings have been created by God within the last 10,000 years
. 25% of science teachers spend some time teaching about creationism or intelligent design. 12.5% teach it as a "valid, scientific alternative to Darwinian explanations for the origin of species". 2% say they do not cover evolution at all. Teachers who have taken more science courses themselves devote more time to evolution - "This may be because better-prepared teachers are more confident in dealing with students' questions about a sensitive subject."
The Inner Life of an Intelligently Designed Cell?
Remember The Inner Life of a Cell
animation (discussed here
)? Apparently the Discovery Institute
(recently discussed here
) is showing it in presentations
with a new title and narration, and without attribution.
"From a review of the anthropological and evolutionary literatures [Edge.org]
... there were three best candidates for being additional psychological foundations of morality [embedded video]
, beyond harm/care and fairness/justice
. These three we label as ingroup/loyalty
(which may have evolved from the long history of cross-group or sub-group competition...); authority/respect
(which may have evolved from the long history of primate hierarchy, modified by cultural limitations on power and bullying...), and purity/sanctity
, which may be a much more recent system, growing out of the uniquely human emotion of disgust
, which seems to give people feelings that some ways of living and acting are higher, more noble, and less carnal than others. [more inside]
Darwin's God. "A scientific exploration of how we have come to believe in God."
This article tracks the possibility that belief in a higher power is the product of evolution.
"Who's afraid of evolutionary biology?"
(I've linked Bede before, but this piece bears a much more important message to Christians who feel it their biblical duty to get hot and bothered over evolution and origin-of-life issues.) Also see a Christian response to "Young Earth" apologetics
, and the Young Earth Argument Index
, both from "Old Earth" Creationists who disagree with 6-Day biblical literalism. (Note that Old Earthers may still be Intelligent Design advocates. Heaping spoonsful of salt
all around.) If that's still too "Christian" for you, Talk.Origins
has a summary of other Genesis interpretations.
Did the discovery of evolution lead to Darwin's agnosticism, as claimed
? Carl Zimmer wonders
. More importantly, can evolution be reconciled
Bush comes out
in favor of teaching "intelligent design
" alongside evolution
in American schools. Is this the latest evidence of the White House willing to champion worthy but controversial ideas that have been sidelined by liberal bias
, or strictly from Paul Krugman's theoretical headline, "Shape of Earth: Views Differ"
? [Meanwhile, elsewhere in the Lone Star State, Texas educators ignite brouhaha by adding Bible study to the public-school curriculum].
Fig-leaf-eating Velociraptor Scandal!
Look, I've got nothing against religion but if you believe a word of it you are, in the words of Robert Burns, "a dumbass fuck".
Move Over Darwin!
Do you believe God belongs in government?
Do you believe President Bush is doing The Lord's Work?
If so, then show your love for God & the USA!
Are evolution's advocates giving fire to creationists?
So says Michael Ruse
, "philosopher of biology (especially Darwinism)", who claims that outspoken evolutionists (e.g. Richard Dawkins
) should do more to make evolution compatible with religion, rather than touting it as a worldview of its own.
Tell that to Nosson Slifkin
(NYTimes, login required), an Orthodox rabbi whose books were banned by a number of eminent rabbis for "seek[ing] to reconcile, rather than to contrast, sacred texts with modern knowledge of the natural world."
That said, will those like Slifkin and Rev. Dr. Arthur Peacocke
be able to make a difference, or will they be ignored and scorned?
Scientific American to stop reporting science, more creationism. There's no easy way to admit this. For years, helpful letter writers told us to stick to science. They pointed out that science and politics don't mix. They said we should be more balanced in our presentation of such issues as creationism, missile defense and global warming...But spring is in the air, and all of nature is turning over a new leaf, so there's no better time to say: you were right, and we were wrong.
"The purpose of the Fellowship Baptist Creation Science Fair
is to get kids excited about Creation and motivate them to discover the truth of our Lord on their own."
Winning exhibits this year include "My Uncle Is A Man Named Steve (Not A Monkey)", "Women Were Designed For Homemaking", and "Using Prayer To Microevolve Latent Antibiotic Resistance In Bacteria".Via
Richard Dawkins discusses religion with a Darwinian outlook.
RD: Could religion be a recent phenomenon, sprung up since our genes underwent most of their natural selection? Its ubiquity argues against any simple version of this idea. Nevertheless, there is a version of it that I want to advocate. The propensity that was naturally selected in our ancestors was not religion per se. It had some other benefit, and it only incidentally manifests itself today as religious behavior.
It is well known among the computer elite, who are mostly Atheists and Pagans, that Pokemon's pro-Darwinism propaganda
Don't believe in evolution? Don't get a recommendation.
The Justice Department has been asked to look into the case of a Texas Tech biology professor who has made it clear that you won't get a recommendation from him if you believe in creationism. In his online notes to students
, Dini writes "If you set up an appointment to discuss the writing of a letter of recommendation, I will ask you: 'How do you think the human species originated?' If you cannot truthfully and forthrightly affirm a scientific answer to this question, then you should not seek my recommendation for admittance to further education in the biomedical sciences." The Liberty Legal Institute
, calls the policy "open religious bigotry." Texas Tech supports Lini, saying the decision on whether to recommend someone is a personal one. Clearly, it should be a professor's call on whether to give a student a recommendation or not, but did Lini make himself a target by laying out this criteria this way?
"Religions potentially offer practical, social, and motivational benefits to their adherents.
But religions differ among themselves in the degree to which they motivate their adherents to have children, to rear those children to become productive members of society, and to convert or kill believers in competing religions. Those religions that are more successful in these respects will tend to spread, and gain and retain adherents, at the expense of other religions." So says Jared Diamond
in his review of David Sloan Wilson's book, Darwin's Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society
, which views religion from an evolutionary perspective. Another writer interested in the evolution of religions is Toby Lester, who examines how present-day religious movements are "mutating with Darwinian restlessness."
First there was the evolution in schools
thing. Now, people are complaining about history books
(in Texas no less), with such problems as "Margie Raborn said she wants all U.S. government books to describe the United States as a republic based on biblical beliefs."
Ohio school board considers adding "Intelligent Design Theory" to science curriculum.
I wish I could find better links than these. I've been hearing about this on NPR every morning this week, but have been unable to find any news links - I can't even find the Ohio State School Board site. They are debating whether or not to start teaching IDT, which seems to be Creationism with a pseudo-scientific background. Here
is a transcript of comments that were given to the board by John Calvert, J.D., a supporter of IDT. Anybody know any more about this theory?
XP demonstrates "Intelligent design."
You mean they didn't evolve it with genetic algorithms
? Boy, I could swear the past versions were composed of randomly generated code fragments. (Do read the original article