Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Review: Bad Faith: When Religious Belief Undermines Modern Medicine by Paul Offit

Bad Faith: When Religious Belief Undermines Modern Medicine by Paul A. Offit (Twitter)

Dr. Offit reviews a series of incidents in which children died of treatable illnesses due to the pursuit of their guardians or parents of spiritual healing through supplication in lieu of standard medical practice. He then gives an interpretation of Christianity which rejects spiritual healing as a substitute for medicine. Then he provides an overview of the historically recent development of state protection of children from abuse by their parents and guardians. Finally, he discusses efforts to proscribe and punish parents and guardians who fail to provide standard medical care to the children in their care and resistance by some religious groups which led to religious exemptions to these anti-neglect laws.

The organization of the book makes for a logical progression to Dr. Offit's call for an end to all religious exemptions to laws designed to protect minors.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Review: "Curiosity: How Science Became Interested in Everything" by Philip Ball

Curiosity: How Science Became Interested in Everything by Philip Ball
University of Chicago Press, Paperback, 9780226211695, 465pp. Publication Date: September 17, 2014

Today, citizens of the industrialized world almost universally consider curiosity to be a praiseworthy trait, and we consider it to be a fundamental attribute of the Scientist, the Jedi of Science, through which our place in the universe can be understood and our welfare enhanced. But humanity did not always consider curiosity to be praiseworthy.

It is certainly not evolutionary advantageous. How many curious hominids had their genetic lines snuffed out by eating unknown plants or entering dark caves or traveling to the next valley?

Monday, March 21, 2016

Review: "This Orient Isle: Elizabethan England and the Islamic World" by Jerry Brotton

This Orient Isle: Elizabethan England and the Islamic World by Jerry Brotton
I have not read the book.

Documentary - Kareem: Minority of One

In November 2015, HBO released a documentary, Kareem: A Minority of One, about the National Basketball Association star Kareem Abdul Jabbar. If you are a sports fan or interested in the biography of a prominent Muslim-American, you really should check this out. It even has footage of Bruce Lee, with whom Kareem had formed a friendship!

Many of Kareem's problems in his personal life, including estrangement from his parents, stemmed from his commitment to following a religious path set out for him by Hamaas Abdul Khaalis, leader of the self-described Hanafi Muslims. Only as he began to make decisions for himself did his spiritual life and relationships become as rich as his professional life.

You can follow Kareem on Twitter. He also has a website.