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  • Must we always cater to the faithful when teaching science? «
    As long as I have been a scientist, I have lived with my colleagues’ view that one cannot promote the acceptance of evolution in this country without catering to the faithful. This comes from the idea that many religious people who would otherwise accept evolution won’t do so if they think it undermines their faith, promoting atheism or immoral behavior. Thus various organizations promoting the teaching of evolution, including the National Academy of Sciences and the National Center for Science Education, have published booklets or websites that explicitly say that faith and science are compatible. In other words, that is their official position. In contrast, the view of many other scientists that faith and science (or reason) are incompatible is ignored or disparaged. As evidence for the compatibility, these organizations incessantly repeat that many scientists are religious and that many of the faithful accept evolution. While this proves compatibility in the trivial sense, it doesn’t show, as I’ve pointed out elsewhere, that the two views are philosophically compatible. . .

  • Review: Chaplin by Simon Louvish | Books | The Guardian
    Simon Callow is bowled over by a witty analysis of Charlie Chaplin's greatest stunt: making us care

  • Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog: Inside the Mind of Religiously-Inspired Bigots

  • Americans United: Americans United Praises Arizona Supreme Court Ruling Against School Vouchers

  • Good Math, Bad Math : Two-Three Trees: a different approach to balance

  • The Odds Against a Terrorist Attack | John Baker's Blog

  • Higher Education Gone Wrong: Universities Are Turning into Corporate Drone Factories | Corporate Accountability and WorkPlace | AlterNet
    We live in an age of moral nihilism. We have trashed our universities, turning them into vocational factories that produce corporate drones and chase after defense-related grants and funding. The humanities, the discipline that forces us to stand back and ask the broad moral questions of meaning and purpose, that challenges the validity of structures, that trains us to be self-reflective and critical of all cultural assumptions, have withered. Our press, which should promote such intellectual and moral questioning, confuses bread and circus with news and refuses to give a voice to critics who challenge not this bonus payment or that bailout but the pernicious superstructure of the corporate state itself. We kneel before a cult of the self, elaborately constructed by the architects of our consumer society, which dismisses compassion, sacrifice for the less fortunate, and honesty. The methods used to attain what we want, we are told by reality television programs, business schools and self-help gurus, are irrelevant. Success, always defined in terms of money and power, is its own justification. The capacity for manipulation is what is most highly prized. And our moral collapse is as terrifying, and as dangerous, as our economic collapse.


 

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