There are skeptics, and then there are skeptics

Reading an old post, it occurred to me that there’s a lot of misunderstanding about skepticism, enough so that perhaps it could stand a bit of clarification as to where it comes from, and why at least some people find it to be useful. In many circles – circles that spend a lot of [...]

But how? Part 15: Benefit

In earlier posts I have tackled, I think, all of the aspects about to appear within this one, but I think it’s worth having them here in one collection, under a heading which makes it easier to find. On top of that, the argument is a common one, and probably cannot be answered often [...]

Repost: You don’t look a day over eighty

This is cheating, I know, and especially lazy when the posts have been so thin lately. I could have just linked to it while providing new content, but I find the original from last year to be pretty complete. Plus I’m not sure who actually follows links…

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Other ways of getting the results you want

Every once in a while, you will get to hear the phrase, “other ways of knowing” – almost invariably, it will be in defense of some topic that is sorely lacking in demonstrable evidence or repeatable results. But this doesn’t matter, because science isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, since there are other [...]

But how? Part 14: Atheology

It’s funny, because there really are too few instances of exactly what this post is, and I’m not sure why – it can’t possibly be because atheists are too nice about it. But considering that the last ‘But how?‘ post was about the feeble attempts at rendering a god existent by logic, it’s time [...]

Mucking out the stall

Anyone who’s ever dealt with livestock housed in a barn knows about the wicked unbalance of energy involved: it takes a lot more effort to remove the shit than it did to deposit it. This is an apt analogy for addressing theology.

Jerry Coyne and the various commenters at Why Evolution Is True had [...]

Blame it on the environment

This is partially an extension of a previous post about the amount of lying that is found within religion, and partially thoughts sparked by a post elsewhere on cults. While a lot of people feel there is a distinctive dividing line between religion and cult (most especially, no one feels they are a member [...]

Thanks for the guidance

I was about thirteen or fourteen, I believe, when an uber-religious friend talked me into attending the summer camp his church recommended, with assurances of countless activities including water-skiing and nature hikes, the kind of stuff all summer camps promise. There was almost none of this, even less than most camps produce, and instead [...]

The fine line

Out in some states in the western US, places where sparse plants compete with rock and Star Trek villains for attention, there can be found a thin grey line between sedimentary layers. This line, an abrupt change in the composition of the sandwiching rock above and below, is a visible remnant of one of [...]

Amateur naturalism, part six (again)

I admit to not applying myself to finding a new topic for the long-quiet category of amateur naturalism – if you could see me now, you’d know by my face how contrite I am. But baby critter season approaches, and so I am reposting this one from last year regarding injured and orphaned wildlife [...]