Sunday 3 May 2009

Burnee links for Sunday

Truckling to the Faithful: A Spoonful of Jesus Helps Darwin Go Down « Jerry Coyne

The Skeptics’ Book of Pooh-Pooh » Anti-vaxers “hysterical” over accurate and positive report on vaccination

Terry Eagleton: The liberal supremacists | Comment is free | The Guardian

Catholic adoption agency throws in the towel over discrimination appeal | National Secular Society

The Skeptics’ Book of Pooh-Pooh » A brief report from today’s debate.

Pharyngula: High school teacher guilty of telling the truth…oh, and Chad Farnan is an idiot

Should Blasphemous Atheists Be Fined? | AnAtheist.Net

Andrew Brown: Richard Dawkins and the culture of contempt | Comment is free |

Ed Balls puts the squeeze on faith schools | Francis Davis | Comment is free |

Kenneth R Miller: Seals, evolution, and the real 'missing link' | Comment is free |

Lies, damned lies - and blatant statistical lies | David Aaronovitch - Times Online
This article is several weeks old but contains useful illustrations of unreliable statistics.

Credo: Motivated belief and the stringent search for truth - John Polkinghorne - Times Online
I don't know if Polkinghorne chose to put "stringent search for truth" in the title of his piece for The Times a few weeks ago or whether it was done by a sub-editor. Because stringent it isn't. He considers evidence for the resurrection of Christ:
The New Testament offers two lines of evidence. One line is the appearance stories, strangely varied, yet with a surprisingly persistent theme, that initially it was hard to recognise the risen Christ. I believe that this is a genuine historical reminiscence, indicating that these are not just a bunch of made-up tales constructed by a variety of early Christians.
Hardly stringent. Perhaps the reason that the risen Christ was hard to identify was that it wasn't him.
Then there are the empty-tomb stories. If these were just concocted, why make women the discoverers when they were regarded as unreliable witnesses in the ancient world?
This, as any confidence trickster will tell you, is known as a double bluff. If you want to concoct an incredible story, this kind of obfuscation is precisely what you need to second-guess the naysayers.

Sorry, not impressed.

Christians: this is how your taxes are being spent in the middle of a recession :: Damian Thompson

Diet and health. What can you believe: or does bacon kill you?

For God's sake, why have blasphemous libel? - The Irish Times - Thu, Apr 30, 2009

For the love of God - Features - TES