Month: August 2010

A Scientific Question? Part 7

Some thoughts on the relationship between “scientific questions” and “historical questions”… Is the question “Was Bradley Bowen born on a Wednesday?” a scientific question? Could the answer to this question be discovered and confirmed (in principle if not in practice) purely by the use of scientific methods? I believe the answer to this question is A Scientific Question? Part 7

Idiot America

John Loftus has published my review of Charles P. Pierce’s Idiot America on Debunking Christianity: It has quite a bit of political comment, rather more than I judged would be appropriate here. I think this is an important book and a very enjoyable one. Pierce pulls no punches and I don’t either. Sometimes it Idiot America

SEP: Baron d’Holbach

Michael LeBuffe has just revised his Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on Paul-Henri Thiry (Baron) d’Holbach. The article focuses on Holbach’s positive metaphysics and ethics, rather than his arguments for atheism, which LeBuffe dismisses as neither “original” nor “especially well presented.”

CFI needs help

The Center for Inquiry, one of the leading US organizations supporting skepticism about the paranormal and the supernatural, plus secularism and humanism, is in serious financial trouble due to a large donor not being able to contribute as much as usual. Please consider donating a small amount to help. CFI is the organization behind magazines CFI needs help

A Scientific Question? Part 6

In Rocks of Ages, Stephen Gould places a heavy emphasis on the fact vs. value distinction. According to Gould, science is concerned with facts, and religion is concerned with values. Values don’t imply facts, and facts don’t imply values, so there can be no conflict between a given set of facts (scientific teachings at a A Scientific Question? Part 6

“Ground Zero” Islamophobia

Surprising though that may be, I still run into people who think that “Islamophobia” is an illegitimate term. I don’t see how anyone observing right wing politics in the US can seriously say that deep-seated irrational hatred of Islam is not a widespread problem. Mind you, Islamophobia does get used by Muslim groups and Muslim-majority “Ground Zero” Islamophobia

A Scientific Question? Part 5

More hints about the concept of a “scientific question” from the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science … In The God Delusion, Dawkins gives a couple of hints about what constitutes a scientific hypothesis. A scientific hypothesis is an idea that is either true or false.Dawkins is more favorable towards TAP style A Scientific Question? Part 5