Month: February 2012

Turkish news photo Muslim women

Above is a Turkish news photo I include completely without any sort of context. Out of curiosity, how do readers interpret something like this? An illustration of Muslim women’s docility? An image of Muslim women remaining devout and yet claiming a place in the public sphere? That it’s annoying that people behave like religious sheep Turkish news photo Muslim women

The Brain and the Meaning of Life

The Brain and the Meaning of Life, by Paul Thagard (one of my favorite philosophers of science), is worth a look. It’s intended for a more popular audience, so it doesn’t have citations in the text or detailed arguments for his positions that could convince critics. It’s a book that is, however, nicely expressive of The Brain and the Meaning of Life

“False science”

Liberal religious figures baffle me when they make true but irrelevant pronouncements concerning how science does not strictly imply that their God is a fiction. But credit where it’s due—at least they don’t shit all over science like conservative God-botherers are wont to do. Take, for example, David Barton, the “historian” much favored by the “False science”

Scandinavian secularity

Next week I’ll be traveling to give a couple of talks in Norway and Sweden. As always, I expect the conversations aside from the public presentations will be interesting. I want to ask my hosts about the Scandinavian reputation for deep secularity, the way that for example a sociologist such as Phil Zuckerman portrays Nordic Scandinavian secularity

Cheap consistency

The literature on science and religion is dominated, on the religious side, by a desire for establishing consistency between science and (possibly reinterpreted) religious beliefs. I suspect that this whole literature is fatally shot through with a kind of intellectual pathology, assuming that mere compatibility achieves something, while not attempting to make the claims at Cheap consistency

Strange debate experience

Yesterday I was at REASONFEST 2012 at Lawrence, Kansas, where the organizers had set me up to debate whether Islam and science can coexist. It was a strange experience. My opponent, a Muslim social scientist called Leila Chahine, turned out to be more of an illustration of my thesis than anything else. From creationism to Strange debate experience