Great comment by James Watson on belief in evolution

18 Sep 2008

Pharyngula posts a fascinating video: a Charlie Rose interview on evolution with famed biologists E. O. Wilson and James Watson.

There's a great off-hand comment in there that places an important perspective on what we can take away from opinion polls. Wilson notes that 51% of American respondents in a CNN public opinion poll discount Darwinian evolution entirely; another 34% accept the idea, but believe the process was directed by God.

That's a total 85% of people rejecting non-supernatural evolution. A number which Watson sagely puts in its place: "85% haven't thought about it at all... It doesn't mean much." Readeth thou more

"Would you do it?": An open question to believers

15 Sep 2008

One of my favorite podcasts on secular issues is the Atheist Community of Austin's broadcast The Atheist Experience (also a cable access TV show). Good topics, live listener call-ins, and hosts who really know their stuff; I highly recommend that you listen in. (I wish more of those callers would regularly listen; they might learn to 1. Turn down the TV when calling!; and 2. Quit asking "So, you're atheist; that means you don't believe in anything, right?", again and again and again.)

I have a question about how one particularly loony Christian conceit fares in debates. I don't get much chance to talk to rabid believers, so thought I'd ask the debating pros at The Atheist Experience about their experience. The reply is an eye-opener. Here's my email first: Readeth thou more

Partially Clips comics

12 Sep 2008

I'm not a big reader of web comics (because I'd do nothing else if I really got started on them), but found myself perusing the whole archive of the great Partially Clips.

The links below are to a small double-handful of strips that touch on themes of religion, faith, and reason, even just a little. In no particular order:

http://www.partiallyclips.com/index.php?id=1158&c=1

http://www.partiallyclips.com/index.php?id=1279&b=1&c=1

http://www.partiallyclips.com/index.php?id=1012

http://www.partiallyclips.com/index.php?id=1124&c=1#strip

http://www.partiallyclips.com/index.php?id=1083

http://www.partiallyclips.com/index.php?id=1004

http://www.partiallyclips.com/index.php?id=1319&c=1

http://www.partiallyclips.com/index.php?id=1517&b=1&c=1

http://www.partiallyclips.com/index.php?id=1349&c=1

http://www.partiallyclips.com/index.php?id=1341&c=1

The faithful, of course, will refuse to see themselves skillfully parodied in those panels.

Readeth thou more

SPORE game for Creationists

10 Sep 2008

Heh. You know the new Electronic Arts game SPORE, which has Creationists screeching "foul" because its digital creations - gasp! - evolve throughout the levels of the game?

Among the Customer Reviews for the game at Apple's iPhone/iPod App Store, someone named Lost in Iceland asks:

Will they offer a Creationist version that only has one level, already finished??

: ) Readeth thou more

Pac Zach Man

1 Sep 2008
PZ Myers communion wafer incident

Okay. The "wafer wars" – the "desecration" of a cheap communion wafer by a Florida student and later PZ Myers, followed by a righteous uproar among Catholics and demagogues – is past its peak, so I'm late with this. But still:

The hubbub put a picture in my mind of an atheist "Pac Man" gobbling up wafers, pursued by outraged fundie "ghosts". Drawing up the cheap gag, the image got bigger until it reached what I'm attaching here. Readeth thou more

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