Author Archives: Mark R. Kelly

Cleaning Out the File Cabinet

Some months ago I went through various folders in my small (two-drawer) file cabinet to see if there were things I still needed or if there were things I could dispose of. I pulled out several folders tentatively identified for … Continue reading

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Dawkins v Wilson on Group Selection

A minor irritant in Dawkins’ book just discussed is that he several times describes claims by other scientists and then patiently explains why they are wrong. In one case it’s a recently published paper in a journal. In another he … Continue reading

Posted in Evolution, Science | Leave a comment


Opening paragraph, of a chapter called “Why are people?” Intelligent life on a planet comes of age when it first works out the reason for its own existence. If superior creatures from space ever visit earth, the first question they … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, Evolution, Science | Leave a comment


This 1959 novel is one of the most popular and celebrated science fiction novels of all time. It’s set in the years following an atomic war, it portrays religion in a relatively favorable way (in contrast to the skeptical or … Continue reading

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Today I spent a couple hours setting up a ‘Projects’ page that is linked in the menu at the top of the site. And I’ll be setting up bibliographic pages for SF and NF to organize links to my posts … Continue reading

Posted in Website Issues | Leave a comment

Links and Comments: Religious Morality; Natural Law

On the heels of yesterday’s post is this “Jesus ‘n’ Mo” comic, posted by Jerry Coyne, on exactly the subject of deciding what seems right to you first, and looking for scriptural authority to support it second. Jesus ‘n’ Mo … Continue reading

Posted in Morality, Religion | Leave a comment

Links and Comments: Suffering Death without Religion; Fox News; Fundamentalism

New York Times: Surviving the Death of My Son After the Death of My Faith, subtitled, I had lost the one thing that could have numbed my pain. By Amber Scorah. A woman leaves her religion, gets on with her … Continue reading

Posted in Conservative Resistance, Culture, Psychology, Religion, Ten Commandments | Leave a comment


This science fiction novel, from 1957, is by an author known for anthropologically informed works; (The edition I read, the only edition I have, is a 1975 Avon Equinox trade paperback, one of its “SF Rediscovery” series that ran … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, science fiction | Leave a comment


This short novel is from the late 1950s, and is the first of four novels for which Heinlein won the Hugo Award. It’s short and snappy, notable in part because it’s not essentially a science fiction novel. It’s about politics … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, Heinlein, science fiction | Leave a comment

Links and Comments: Fiction and Truth, Ignorance and Knowledge, Science Denial and the Scientific Attitude

Three interesting essays this week. In the New York Times Sunday Review section, an essay by Yuval Noah Harari: Why Fiction Trumps Truth, subtitled “We humans know more truths than any species on earth. Yet we also believe the most … Continue reading

Posted in Changing One's Mind, Lunacy, Religion, Science | Leave a comment