About Rationally Speaking

Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Michael’s Picks

By Michael De Dora
* Philosopher Russell Blackford has written an excellent and relevant essay on science, philosophy, and scientism, on his blog Metamagician and the Hellfire Club
* The lawmaker who might chair the U.S. House Energy Committee says we need not worry about climate change, because God promised Noah he would never destroy the Earth again.  
* A coalition of religious leaders and veterans is calling on the U.S. military to revise its rules on conscientious objection to war, to allow soldiers to object for moral reasons. 
* New Scientist has released a special report on science and morality, featuring essays from Peter Singer, Sam Harris, Patricia Churchland, Paul Bloom, and more. 
* In the same vein, NPR Science Friday recently hosted Harris, Lawrence Krauss, Steven Pinker, and Simon Blackburn, for a discussion on science and morality. 
* I just finished an engaging, educational, and concise (159 pages) book on moral relativism called, well, Moral Relativism, written by political and social theorist Steven Lukes. Highly recommend it. 
* Ever notice athletes wearing unusual-looking garb around their necks and wrists? The necklaces and bracelets are said to better athletic performance. But Power Balance bracelets, among those commonly worn, were recently put to the scientific test, and guess what? They failed. 

* A fascinating video documentary about the construction of the Empire State Building. 

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