Category Archives: Thinking

Recent Links and Comments: Do You Believe in Blue?

Catching up on three weeks of content, having been preoccupied by personal projects and various life changes. Divided into groups. Science Fascinating speculation by Steve Pinker on the evolutionary significance of music Pinker argues that in fact that music is not an … Continue reading

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Today’s Odds and Ends: Conservative rejection of science; Christians’ perceived persecution; Dinesh D’Souza’s paranoia

There have been several articles in recent days about how people [conservatives] who don’t accept evolution or climate science don’t necessarily know less about those subjects than others… they do so because their “community” rejects such conclusions, by instinct. New … Continue reading

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Another Apologetic

Slate has an article today, Know Nothing: The true history of atheism, that is an attack on the “new atheists” and a defense, i.e. an “apologetic”, for traditional Christian faith. My fascination about such pieces is that they *invariably* assume … Continue reading

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Grayling on Ehrenreich

Yet another review of a review. There has been discussion on various sites in recent weeks, including Andrew Sullivan’s The Dish, of a recent book by staunch unbeliever Barbara Ehrenreich, Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever’s Search for the … Continue reading

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Two Books to Look Forward to

From reviews a couple days ago in Publishers Weekly. Coming in October: E.O. Wilson’s The Meaning of Human Existence. Wilson, Harvard biologist, is one of the most intelligent people on the planet, author of On Human Nature, Consilience and many, … Continue reading

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Unafraid of the Dark: Highlights from the last episode of Cosmos

Passages from the last episode of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s “Cosmos”. Early in the episode, he describes a thought experiment: Pick a star, any one of the hundreds of billions of stars in our Milky Way galaxy, which is just one … Continue reading

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Salon on Cosmos, Neil deGrasse Tyson, science, and conservative denialism

Several posts at Salon lately about “Cosmos”, Neil deGrasse Tyson, science, and conservative denialism. 5 Most Important Lessons from “Cosmos” Which are: It’s OK to not know all the answers Climate change is happening, and it’s made-made. Evolution: How did … Continue reading

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Mathematics and Reality

A new book called How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking, by University of Wisconsin professor Jordan Ellenberg, is getting some attention. Here’s an NPR interview. And Slate has been posted several excerpts of the book by … Continue reading

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No One Can Be An Expert on Everything

This post by Andrew Sullivan, about GOP denialism of climate change, raises fundamental epistemological questions about how we know *anything*. I’m not a scientist either. I have no expertise in measuring carbon levels back thousands of years; I have no … Continue reading

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What Would Make Someone Change Their Mind

Fascinating essay in The New Yorker by Maria Konnikova, I Don’t Want to Be Right, which addresses the various results that show you just can’t change people’s minds with evidence. Could various pro-vaccination campaigns change parental attitudes toward vaccines? They … Continue reading

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