Quack Like Evangelicals
November 14, 2018


The New York Times publishes an editorial calling for the repeal of blasphemy laws: Sacrilege is painful to religious believers everywhere. But broad and subjective legal proscriptions not only contradict the fundamental right to freedom of expression; they also open the door to persecution of minority faiths, as in Ms. Bibi’s case, or of political …

Energy Psychology: An APA-Endorsed Pseudoscience
November 14, 2018


Photo: Energy Psychology and the Brain – © [vege] / Adobe Stock As I wrote about in my last column on the best approach for evidence-based practice, when it comes to psychological interventions (and assessment methods), the best option to use are what we call evidence-based practices (EBPs). These are those medications and therapies that have …

A Critical Mass of Physicists
November 13, 2018


I’m not a fan of the angle taken by this article in Crux about religious liberty, where the bias is immediately obvious by the reporter’s characterization of “the quiet removal of crosses from the public arena” as “subtle persecution.” However, the subject of the article is worth considering: Treating religious freedom as a “luxury good,” …

We Had All Sorts of Hats
November 12, 2018


Before we get into the news, I want to encourage everyone, especially parents of young kids, to check out the Netflix series Brainchild. Think of it as a kind of Bill Nye the Science Guy meets The Electric Company meets Adam Ruins Everything. It’s so good. The host, Sahana Srinivasan, is excellent, and it has …

Wolf-like Mystery Creature in Montana
November 12, 2018


In mid-2018 a strange-looking critter was shot and killed in Central Montana. Armchair monster hunters rushed to opine as to its true nature: possibly a jackal, wolf/dog, coydog, coyote, German Shepherd hybrid, Scottish Deerhound, or even a surviving dire wolf (that became extinct over 10,000 years ago) or a “dogman” (a supposed upright-walking cryptid, at …

Islam and the Liberation of Women in the Middle East
November 10, 2018


The following was adapted from a speech by Azam Kamguian delivered at the Council for Secular Humanism’s three-day conference, “One Nation without God?” April 11–13, 2003 in Washington, D.C. I intend to contribute to the debate about Islam and the liberation of women in the Middle East as an activist and writer engaged in issues …

‘Why Isn’t the Media Covering This Story?’—or Are They?
November 9, 2018


Distrust of the news media is, or at least seems to be, at an all time high. A recent report by Gallup and the Knight Foundation found that 42 percent of Democrats, 75 percent of independents, and 94 percent of Republicans say they have lost some trust in the media. Some, perhaps much, of the …

Bears Pose a Hazard to Health
November 9, 2018


Oooooooooh crap. The new Acting Attorney General, Matthew Whitaker, seems to think that the Bible supersedes the law: Natural law often times is used from the eye of the beholder and what I would like to see — I’d like to see things like their world view, what informs them. Are they people of faith? …

Round Electrons and Dust Moons
November 8, 2018


Okay, I understand that there is a lot going on in the news right now, all of which is deeply consequential, but, people, wake up: Earth has two additional dust-cloud moons!!! And they’re huge! I mean…I mean…come on!!! Dust moons!!! Jeff Sessions gets the boot. No word on whether the Religious Liberty Task Force laid …

Mr. Rogers God, Pascal’s Lost Wager, The Sneaky Principle…
November 7, 2018


Don’t think just because the odds are long that there is a creator/designer behind a rare event. If a gust of wind blows a can of paint off your roof and it happens to explode all over the new patio furniture your wife just bought at the OSH going-out-of-business sale, the spatter pattern it would (theoretically) generate would be unique… gazillions to one to ever re-create the exact same pattern. Did this rare and singular event have a creator or designer that fine-tuned that spill? No. It just happened. An accident. Nobody’s fault. Nobody at all…