Reading Time: 4 minutes On March 17, while on the way to Africa, Joseph Ratzinger (a.k.a. Pope Benedict XVI) said that HIV/AIDS was “a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which can even increase the problem.” The first two clauses are sensible. The third was a dumb and […]
Exploring the big questions—life, death, morality, consciousness, meaning—from a secular point of view.
Reading Time: 3 minutes I’ve had several parents ask how best to deal with arrogance — especially in pre-teens, it seems — toward religious folks, especially extended family. “How do I keep my 13-year-old from sneering at other people for their beliefs when I frankly think they’re pretty darn sneerable myself?” That sort of thing. It’s become such a […]
Best Practices 5: Encourage religious literacy
Reading Time: 5 minutes hortly after the release of Parenting Beyond Belief, I mentioned on the PBB Discussion Forum that I think religious literacy is an important thing for our kids (and ourselves) to have. Many agreed, as did most of the contributors to the book, but I received an email from one parent who asked, Why should I […]
Isn’t this enough?
Reading Time: < 1 minute An homage to the unconditional love of reality. One of the wittiest and best-done bits I’ve seen in ages and ages. (Caution: Rated R for language. Deep breath, you’ll be okay.)
Our show of shows
Reading Time: 2 minutes Six months ago, our family got cable TV for the first time. In addition to learning that it actually wasn’t always snowing on every channel, my kids quickly discovered a favorite show. The show is Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel. Just in case you aren’t familiar, in each episode, two former special effects guys named […]
Blue me away
Reading Time: < 1 minute Just an embedded video today — three years old and no doubt known to everyone else already, but new to me yesterday. I’m a sucker for this kind of combination of wit, originality, and message: Share with the kids. Mine loved it.
Evolution for breakfast
Reading Time: 2 minutes One of the tropes in my seminars is the suggestion that big ideas are best consumed in little bites over many years. The old “how-do-you-eat-an-elephant” joke is right on the money. Religious education works best this way. No big lectures, no Bible marathons required. A toe-dip a day for 18 years will get you wetter […]
Mama don’t take my heike crabs awaaaay
Reading Time: 4 minutes Ohhh, the pain. The pain. One of my cherished beliefs is under attack, and I’m doing what we monkeys do when that’s the case. Resisting. Bargaining. Denying. There are two illustrations of selection — one natural, the other artificial — that I’ve always adored for their explanatory power and elegance. One is the peppered moth. […]
This Is Only a Test
Reading Time: < 1 minute ERIN (10): Dad, I’ve been thinking. DAD: I’m telling Mom. ERIN: Dad, seriously. Okay — If God is real, I think I figured out why he would mix really bad things in with good things in the Bible. DAD: And why is that? ERIN: It’s to see if we can use our brains and figure […]
Reading Time: 3 minutes Give me the fruitful error any time, full of seeds, bursting with its own corrections. You can keep your sterile truth for yourself. Economist VILFREDO PARETO, referring to the errors of Kepler _______________________________ In 1847, around the time Pareto was conceived, an obstetrician by the name of Ignaz Semmelweis noticed that pregnant women in his […]