Recent Articles

We can’t even sing anymore

We can’t even sing anymore

| January 5, 2007 | 13 Replies

I’m in the middle of reading This is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession, a delightful work by Daniel J. Levitin.   I plan to write about this book when I’m finished reading it, but one thing he wrote in his introduction especially intrigued me. Levitin writes that our culture makes a […]

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Republican Dan Burton votes to allow lobbyists to give elected officials gifts, vacations and fancy meals.

Republican Dan Burton votes to allow lobbyists to give elected officials gifts, vacations and fancy meals.

| January 4, 2007 | 1 Reply

I didn’t know much about Dan Burton until I read today’s story with this headline:  “House Bans Lobbyist Gifts, Business-Sponsored Travel.” Now I know that he’s morally obtuse.  Here’s the gist of the article: The U.S. House of Representatives, after installing its new Democratic leadership, voted to ban lawmakers from flying on corporate jets and accepting […]

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Raising a Wall Can Open a View

Raising a Wall Can Open a View

| January 3, 2007 | Reply

I visited 2 very different construction sites today, on a whim. Two sons of one of my clients each were working a different site, and we just went by to see what was going on. The first site is a new 9-story office building in Clayton, MO, a financial center near the center of the […]

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Learn by ignoring

Learn by ignoring

| January 2, 2007 | 7 Replies

About ten years ago, when I first started auditing graduate-level classes in cognitive science, I felt overwhelmed by the amount of information I needed to learn (I still do). The topics included such things as connectionism, evolutionary theory, artificial intelligence, psychology, philosophy, neuroscience and education theory.  It felt like I was learning less and less about […]

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How does one explain the stubborn resistance to Darwinism?

How does one explain the stubborn resistance to Darwinism?

| January 2, 2007 | 8 Replies

In this recent interview, published by Salon.com, Ronald Numbers (a former Seventh-day Adventist and author of the definitive history of creationism) discusses “his break with the church, whether creationists are less intelligent and why Galileo wasn’t really a martyr.” Here’s a sampling.  Aren’t anti-evolutionists anti-scientific?  It’s not that easy, according to Numbers: [M]ost people who […]

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Me, a millionaire!

Me, a millionaire!

| January 1, 2007 | 5 Replies

I’m honored to learn that I can be trusted with millions in suspicious dollars.   This, according to this email I just received: From: “capt brian” Subject: Hello SINCIRE Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2006 22:30:45 +0000 Dear Friend, I am Captain Brian  James .of the US Marine Force on Monitoring and Peace –keeping mission in Baghdad-Iraq. […]

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Faith of a Heretic: Walter Kaufmann’s views on morality

Faith of a Heretic: Walter Kaufmann’s views on morality

| January 1, 2007 | 2 Replies

Back in the late 1970s, I found a copy of a book called The Faith of a Heretic, by Walter Kaufmann.  The book is currently out of print, though I have retained my copy.  Walter Kaufmann is well-known as a translator of virtually all of Nietzsche’s works. Back in the 1970’s, I found the Faith of […]

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The Edge annual question — 2007: “What Are You Optimistic About? Why?”

The Edge annual question — 2007: “What Are You Optimistic About? Why?”

| December 31, 2006 | 1 Reply

I have already read about 15 of these short essays published by Edge.  It’s hard to stop, because the answers are especially thoughtful and well-articulated. Daniel Dennett’s response is representative of the quality of these responses.  Here is an excerpt from Dennett’s response, entitled: “The Evaporation of the Powerful Mystique of Religion.” I’m so optimistic […]

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The risk of failing to put pursuit of truth first

The risk of failing to put pursuit of truth first

| December 31, 2006 | 9 Replies

“He who begins by loving Christianity more than Truth, will proceed by loving his sect or church better than Christianity, and end in loving himself better than all.” Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Aids to Reflection, “Moral and Religious Aphorisms,” no. 25 (1825)

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