On capital punishment

Capital punishment yet remains a contentious topic, even while we’ve found comfortable positions on many of the moral issues we struggled with for centuries – slavery and racism, women’s rights, legal adulthood, and so on. Perhaps the biggest reason behind this is, there are too many factors that motivate a response, most of them […]

You animal!

You know, there are a lot of misconceptions about animal psychology and behavior out there, and they’re all over the map. I’m going to address a few of the more prevalent ones here, with the hopes of at least promoting a little more perspective and forethought among the topics.

Let’s get one thing out […]

But how? Part 18: A vague creative force

I would be remiss if I did not talk about this particular aspect of religion, the belief in a vague, indeterminate source of creation – and, honestly, I have, numerous times in the past, but always while dealing with something more specific. It deserves its own dedicated post, which will be many times more […]

Dogpile

A few days back, in the comments to an article regarding the really piss-poor showing of Americans in their acceptance of evolution, someone argued about the poll question which delivered these results by pointing out that the concepts of god and evolution “are not mutually exclusive.” For instance, god could have created the Universe […]

But how? Part 17: god’s plan

[EDIT 4:30 PM: This post went through numerous drafts over a period of days, which means it was in process long before this little squirt of utter bullshit came out, and I managed to post it before Jerry Coyne posted his commentary – once again, I hate looking like I’m copying or springboarding from […]

On the horizon

From time to time, and surprisingly in some rather serious media sources, we hear about the technological singularity, the fast-approaching (so we’re told) point where artificial intelligence will surpass human intelligence, and quite often right alongside we have speculations about the “machines taking over.” As over-dramatic as that sounds, some quite intelligent humans have […]

But how? Part 16: Revelation

The topic of this one has occurred to me several times before, and I think I avoided it because I consider it a cakewalk, a facet that’s all too easy to explain. And yet, there are a lot of people who put great stock in it, never seeming to view it with any form […]

Hello? I’m sorry, the connection is weak…

Let’s start off with the correction, or at least the admission that a statement that I’ve made numerous times in the past was not supported by facts. The statement, in various forms, was essentially that before various empirical proofs came along, people generally believed that religious scripture was literal and factual; this was largely […]

How not to be a conspiracist

While this post was sparked by some recent discussions (it’s that time of year, or at least, it was a little over a month ago,) what I talk about here is quite common, and I’ve seen it all over and over again. So, I figured it was time to address it again.

“Conspiracist” is […]

Grading on a curve

There are a lot of accusations of “islamophobia” in the media right now, springing up every time someone comments about ISIS and religiously-motivated violence, and it’s actually a good example of a frequent lament among all faiths; it is the inveterate defense of the religious whenever incontrovertible examples of bad religious influence are mentioned. […]