Genes – the language of God 2: Other popular gene myths and metaphors

Genes – the language of God 0: Preface Genes – the language of God 1: Genes as Language Genes – the language of God 2: Other popular gene myths and metaphors Genes – the language of God 3: Why genes aren’t information Genes – the language of God 4: Why genes aren’t a language Genes Read More…

Genes – the language of God 0: Preface

This will be a series of posts for a secondary school seminar run at St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne during the ‘National Science Week’ This is the fifth such event at St.Paul’s.  It is led the Rev. Dr Stephen Ames and Associate Prof. Lachlan Thompson from RMIT University, Ms Anne Brumfitt, Science Educator, and Emeritus Read More…

Book review: Understanding Evolution

I posted this on Panda’s Thumb, but I thought I would repeat it here. I occasionally get books for review unsolicited, and many of them are not worth noticing. However, Kostas Kampourakis’ Understanding Evolution is a wonderful resource for students of all kinds, including biology students. Kampourakis, a philosopher at Geneva, has compiled and discussed sensibly a Read More…

Accommodating Science overview

I have done quite a lot of blogging under this heading lately so I thought it might be useful to get all the posts used in order: On beliefs Why do believers believe silly things? The function of denialism Why do believers believe THOSE silly things? The “developmental hypothesis” of belief acquisition How to argue Read More…

Accommodating Science: What is the problem?

[As I write the first draft of my accommodationism book, I will post chapters here under the Category “Accommodationism”. Here is the latest – which comes before Undefining Religion] The religion-versus-science debate took a special turn in the West because of the existence not only of doctrinal religion but of a monopolistic doctrinal religion that Read More…

Science outreach: A conversation

From the Freethinkers Blog Con: With PZ Myzer and Aron Ra.

Why do believers believe silly things? The function of denialism

Bishop Butler wrote in a sermon in 1729: Things and actions are what they are, and the consequences of them will be what they will be: why, then, should we desire to be deceived? [Sermon 7] It’s an interesting question. Why should we seek to be deceived about the consequences of our actions and the Read More…

Why anti science?

Over the past few decades there has been an increasingly negative attitude by governments, pundits, religiosi and faux philosophers against science. We have seen an increase in denialism about climate change (one of the most well supported scientific models of the day), vaccination, evolution, medical research in general, and the ancillary aspects of science like Read More…

Education, Journalism and Science

My last rant was perhaps somewhat intemperate. Carl Zimmer, who along with Ed Yong I really respect as a science journalist, tweeted it with the line: @carlzimmer: Man, @john_s_wilkins does not like newspapers.  This is not quite true. I like some newspapers. I do not like the newspaper industry. I worked in various media positions Read More…

Drama, journalism and science

Recently the Jonah Lehrer scandal was raised again when he was paid $20,000 to speak on his journalistic dishonesty by the Knight Foundation. I cynically noted on Twitter that being honest and as accurate as I could be netted me exactly nothing in the way of honoraria (I think I got a bottle of scotch Read More…