Interesting Links This Weekend

There’s *another* great science show running [in addition to “Cosmos”], “Your Inner Fish”, based on the book by Neil Shubin, which explores the physiological resemblances among animals, from fishies to humans, that are of course one of the many lines of evidence that support biological evolution. Shubin’s story is especially interesting since he not only *predicted* that a certain type of fossil would be found, and where it would be found, but that fossil, dubbed Tiktaalik by the local Inuits, is one of the key ‘missing links’ of all time — the amphibian with legs that crawled up out of the sea.

Chris Mooney at Slate has a nice write-up about the show, with obligatory notice of reactions of creationists, who simply shrug and dismiss any evidence that doesn’t conform to biblical worldviews.

(Episodes are available online: Your Inner Fish.)


There seem to be a handful of articles every week about science and religion and how the right-wing of American culture is trying to undercut scientific understanding that threatens religious worldviews. Am I just more sensitive to these lately, given the development of my thematic interests in the past year, or do these articles signify a true cultural shift that reflects the fracturing of American culture into echo-chamber tribes?

In any case, here is Andrew O’Hehir at Salon on America: Stupidly stuck between religion and science.

This is an overview of many current issues, worth reading; here is a passage the struck me:

William Jennings Bryan, although revered as a forefather by today’s creationists, would have had nothing in common with them politically and very little theologically. (Bryan would have told you that the Bible was “true,” but he didn’t mean that God created the universe in six literal 24-hour days.) Islamic fundamentalism, the particular bugaboo of Dawkins and Harris, is more recent still, a metaphysical uprising against late modernism and the global force of Western consumer culture.


Next, this very reasonable article at Salon about how science isn’t a matter of “authority” of one or any number of scientists; it’s about what the evidence actually says. With a particular target about those who misrepresent such evidence.

Fox News hates science: How the media misrepresents “authority”


And finally for today, another book excerpt at Salon, Stop twisting the Bible: There is no message against same-sex marriage

Which Salon subtitles: “Moses and Paul are being misinterpreted: They were against gang rape and pederasty, not loving relationships”.

A subject visited by many writers, among them John Corvino. But there are so many who don’t want to hear it. Or, to take an entirely different angle — how generations throughout history pick and choose and interpret those passages of holy books that conform to their ways of life, or conform to their ideas of the ‘others’ they want to condemn. It’s a human tradition.

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