Jan 182013

I’ve just read a super article by Valerie Tarico about the challenges that the Internet (and especially the Web) poses for religion: Religion may not survive the Internet. It reminded me of an article (that Valerie Tarico won’t have seen or known about) that I wrote on my website some time ago: Religions in future. One of my themes was similar. Global communication undermines a number of the methods that religions rely on to sustain the ignorance and delusions of their existing and (more importantly) their future followers. Here are some quotes from my article (there is a lot more . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Aug 122012

The two links below provide the background to this post. I’ll just quote enough to lead into what I want to say. I believe the sources below show that I haven’t significantly distorted the original statements by taking them out of context. Peter Kirkwood (article) & Chris Mulherin (video): Why atheists are wrong about science and religion Eric MacDonald’s response: Science and Religion Again! Chris Mulherin [is] an Anglican clergyman with a substantial academic background studying and lecturing in science and the philosophy of science. He is now doing his doctorate on the relationship between scientific and theological ways of . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Sep 262011

I recently posted Silly review by Colin Tudge of “The Magic of Reality”. In there I quoted from an older article of his: Microscopes have no morals (Guardian, 2003): It is often said that science answers “how” questions while religion asks “why”, but that is simplistic. The greater point lies in their scope. Religion, properly conceived, attempts to provide an account of all there is: the most complete narrative that human beings are capable of. Science, by contrast, is – as the British zoologist Sir Peter Medawar put the matter – “the art of the soluble”. It addresses only those . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Sep 232011

The Independent has a review by Colin Tudge of “The Magic of Reality” by Richard Dawkins, illustrated by Dave McKean. (This review is also discussed at RichardDawkins.net and Butterflies and Wheels). Virtually every one of the very many comments, both in The Independent and at RichardDawkins.net, criticises, and in fact generally condemns, this review. (I use the word “review” because it is in the “Reviews” section of The Independent, not because it is a genuine book review in any plausible sense). Quite right! It is a bizarre polemic, a rant against some aspect of either the book, or perhaps of . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Sep 232011

This article was prompted by a recent NewsScientist editorial: “Stamp out anti-science in US politics“. But after starting to write it, I was delayed by two new books I’ve bought: “The Magic of Reality” by Richard Dawkins and Dave McKean, and “Lying” by Sam Harris. How very appropriate! The fine line between ignorance and lying When do you stop giving the benefit of the doubt to people who keep making claims in defiance of science? The first time someone makes such a claim, they may simply be ignorant of the relevant science. Many scientists will be ignorant of science away . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Aug 302011
Alcohol consumption - discussion

This is the 3rd of a 3-part discussion on alcohol drinking guidelines: Part 1: Alcohol consumption at the Royal College of Psychiatrists Part 2: Alcohol consumption – science and politics Part 3: This article Preamble I started this 3-part discussion because of the recommendations in the report “Our invisible addicts” by the Royal College of Psychiatrists about alcohol guidelines in the over-64s. They were wrong on a number of levels. Much of the literature on alcohol consumption suffers from one of the errors made by that report: there is a failure to see the issue from the individual drinker’s perspective. . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Aug 292011
Alcohol consumption - science and politics

This is the 2nd of a 3-part discussion on alcohol drinking guidelines: Part 1: Alcohol consumption at the Royal College of Psychiatrists Part 2: This article Part 3: Alcohol consumption – discussion Via Twitter, 2020Health say they will publish a report ‘Risky drinking’ in October. The Daily Mail and Telegraph have written about it, perhaps from a press release. I’m confident that it won’t say anything significant that I don’t already know, but if it does I’ll comment eventually. Lack of information Are the following questions reasonable? “If my alcohol drinking pattern and quantity is X, what is my increased . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Aug 242011

This is the 1st of a 3-part discussion on alcohol drinking guidelines: Part 1: This article Part 2: Alcohol consumption – science and politics Part 3: Alcohol consumption – discussion In June 2011, the Royal College of Psychiatrists published a report “Our invisible addicts” which contained some sloppy analysis that was rightly ridiculed in the media. The Daily Mail has re-opened the discussion, perhaps to fill up spare column-inches: Why an extra glass of wine (or three) does more harm to older drinkers. This gives me an excuse to post some analysis I did before I started this blog. Sloppy . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]