Let’s talk it out

I can understand why some people don’t want to have public and detailed discussion about community standards about the appropriateness of an incident, rather than just gossip about it. They wind up looking like total assholes.

When your nemesis falls…

My theory, based on research in social psychology, is that the infighting surrounding Atheism & Skepticism is a clear indication that intelligent design/creationism is no longer a serious threat. Continue reading “When your nemesis falls…”

New Atheists Punks

The lovely and talented Greg Laden makes an admirable effort to make the “so-called New Atheists”[1] out to be totally punk:

The new atheist response to being told to quiet down is to point out that being told to quiet down (or be more civil or follow certain rules) is step one (or two) in a series of steps that the established religio-normative culture routinely uses to end the argument and let things get back to what they think is normal.

No one likes to be told to shut up. And, to be fair to Greg, he is primarily describing the way “so-called New Atheists” feel, not saying that this represents some objective reality. The rest of the post includes an excellent discussion of the beneficial diversity of opinions and approaches. Continue reading “New Atheists Punks”

In which I agree with PZ. . .

This doesn’t happen much on non-biological issues, but I think I can say, without reservation, that I agree entirely and wholeheartedly with PZ Myers’ take on the events that inspired my post “Community”.


I regularly have a problem when trying to fix problems with physical objects that do mechanically things[1]. In attempting to solve the problem, I learn that the problem I thought was the problem is not the problem and discover what the actual the problem is. Not that I then necessarily have any idea how to solve the new the problem, but at least I know what the problem is now.

Its like an episode of House, without the erroneous suggestion that it might be lupus[2].

Or, maybe its like Atheism[3].

One of Atheism’s major problems is that not enough girls are showing up to their parties. Recently, there was a great deal of attention focused on the issue of sexism in Atheism after a dust-up erupted around the reporting of events during a predominantly male “women in atheism” panel. Briefly, a female audience member took vocal issue with some of the panel’s statements and left in some distress feeling that the panel’s responses to her concerns were condescending and mocking.

I’m not sure there is much to learn from this event. There is a lot to learn from the response.

Continue reading “Community”

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