Posted inGeneral

December 2013 Book Reviews

Reading Time: 4 minutes I’m a bit behind on my book reviews (again), so here’s a post reviewing the two most recent that’ve come my way. As per my usual book review policy, I accepted review copies of both books, but no other compensation. A Modern Christmas Carol by Bob Seidensticker My Patheos colleague Bob Seidensticker has written a […]

Posted inReligion

Joyce Meyer: Prosperity Gospel for Women (Is A Crock).

Reading Time: 17 minutes UPDATE: Hi! I get a lot of drive-by commenters on this particular piece so I wanted to say something to them before we get started. No, I’m not Christian, but respectful Christians are quite welcome here. Here’s my About Page and here’s why I blog. Here is my “biography” tag if you’re wondering why I’m […]

Posted inGeneral

SF/F Saturday: Anathem

Reading Time: 3 minutes I found out this week that my books have been getting ratings and reviews on Goodreads, without any prompting or even knowledge on my part, which is pretty cool. So, I now have an author page on Goodreads, which you can use to shower accolades upon my literary endeavors. (Or just add me as a […]

Posted inGeneral

Book Review: God and the Atom

Reading Time: 3 minutes (Author’s Note: The following review was solicited and is written in accordance with this site’s policy for such reviews.) Summary: Written at an expert level; ordinary readers won’t be able to keep up. Victor Stenger is a professor of physics and the author of many atheist books such as God: The Failed Hypothesis. His new […]

Posted inGeneral

Book Review: A Year of Biblical Womanhood

Reading Time: 4 minutes Summary: A personable, good-humored example of the liberal-theist cherry-picking ethic. I recently wrote about the evangelical writer Rachel Held Evans and whether her book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, can undo Christianity’s entrenched ideals of patriarchy. I still don’t think that’s likely, but I’ve read the book now, so I’d like to offer some more […]

Posted inGeneral

Blogging Better Angels: The Escalator of Reason

Reading Time: 5 minutes In my last post, I talked about some of the cultural factors Steven Pinker identifies that have led to a reduction in violence. There are two other major forces he discusses which are worthy of note. The Flynn Effect The first of these is a truly strange phenomenon. If you go by the results of […]

Posted inGeneral

Blogging Better Angels: Changing of the Norms

Reading Time: 4 minutes In my previous post, I discussed how the invention of government led to a major reduction in the level of violence in human civilization, as compared to the constant battles of tribal societies. But while democracy, laws and police forces can account for most of the decline, they can’t account for all of it. To […]

Posted inGeneral

Blogging Better Angels: Hobbes Was Right

Reading Time: 4 minutes The most famous human being of prehistoric times is probably Otzi the Iceman, a Neolithic human whose mummified body was discovered frozen in a glacier in the Alps in 1991. What’s less well known about Otzi is that he met his death violently: an arrowhead was lodged in his back, and he was carrying an […]

Posted inGeneral

Blogging Better Angels: The Bad Old Days

Reading Time: 5 minutes Back in May, I reviewed Steven Pinker’s hugely ambitious new book The Better Angels of Our Nature, about the decline of violence through history. I couldn’t do justice to all the ideas in this book with a single post, so I promised to return to it and write about Pinker’s argument in more detail. It’s […]

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