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.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Massimo's picks

* I know, it's old news, but here is the best summary of the Sotomayor hearings.

* No, wait! This is the best summary of the Sotomayor hearings!

* Bill Maher on what's wrong with America.

* Why the space program has been dead for 40 years: NASA didn't think of hiring philosophers!

* Rachel Maddow exposes Pat Buchanan's ugly racism. Not a surprise, really.

* I don't particularly care for Chris Matthews, but this is a splendid example of a Republican (interviewed by Matthews) who simply refuses to accepts facts when he is staring right at them. Simply unbelievable.

* More Bill Maher, this time on why too much capitalism is really, really bad for America.

* Delightful little animated movie on the health care system.

* Texas fundamentalists are not content with challenging evolution, now they want to rewrite history.

* Cuckoo skeptical news: organization calls for boycott of horror movie about orphan.

* What it really means to have "fetal memories."

* Why former President Carter quit the Southern Baptists.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. "I have my sincerest doubts that he is in fact a Christian."

    I bet he's an atheist. And maybe a wearwolf.

  3. I've seen several cases as of late where people are doing things that were clearly not of GOD and were calling themselves Christian.
    Just like anything else in life, doesn't mean much if there's not the proper evidence to back the claim.

    Drug cartels - Reuters
    "La Familia, whose leaders say they are proud natives of the state, has become one of Calderon's most formidable challenges as it goes beyond smuggling to seek political influence and social standing.

    Led by evangelical Christian Nazario Moreno who calls himself "The Craziest One" and who has a $2 million bounty on his head in Mexico, the group preaches scripture mixed with self-help slogans to its members."


    The other situation was a guy who shot and killed a sheriff (someone who we were distantly acquainted with) last week up in the mountains here. He had killed several couples (70S) up in Canada and possibly elsewhere who were camping. He belonged to a cult, but the press is referring to him as a christian. ??? "Burgess eventually made it out to the U.S. West Coast, where he lived in a religious commune run by the Children of God and called himself Job, in reference to the biblical figure, Creally said. He reportedly was kicked out of the commune's boarding house after his rifle made other residents uncomfortable."

    Well, yeah, I guess so. Probably at least "Werewolf" would be about right.

  4. Massimo,

    Speaking of Bill Maher, I wonder what your opinion is regarding the whole mini-"scandal" of him being awarded the Richard Dawkins Award, as expressed by Orac over at Respectful Insolence? http://tinyurl.com/nptc75

  5. skepfeeds,

    yeah, I don't think Maher was a good candidate for the Dawkins award. His strength is in politics and as a social commentator, his understanding of science is much more dubious, unfortunately.

    Then again, the award was given by the AA, and I assume it had to do with Maher's movie, Religulous. That's the problem when one mixes atheism (a metaphysical position) with science: often they go together, but not always. In that, as you might know from some of my other writings, I think even Dawkins has failed the test.

  6. Maher also is close to kook territory when it comes to medicine and what not.

  7. Oops, commented before I read Orac's link about Maher's medical kookiness.

  8. Maher vid has been removed. Can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f85Z63JB0_8&feature=player_embedded

  9. Clarification: my last comment refers to the first Maher video - New Rules about Michael Jackson/the US.

  10. Bill Maher IS what is wrong with America. His disregard for science, reason, and critical thinking is worthy of Oprah.


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