Sunday, June 26, 2016

Radio Islam Show Features Steve Downs, Coleen Rowley & Marcy Wheeler to Discuss War on Terror & Orlando Shooting

Here are the show notes:

In this Radio Islam segment we'll explore what FBI entrapment cases entail and loop it back to the Orlando shooting. See more at: Host: Gerald Hankerson Guest: Steve Downs, Founding Member of Project SALAM Guest: Coleen Rowley, Former FBI Agent Guest: Marcy Wheeler, Blogger/Journalist on the Empty Wheel

Friday, June 10, 2016

Mohammad Fadel "The Challenge of ISIS to Sunni Islam"

University of Toronto Law Professor Mohammad Fadel gave the Third Annual Sharjah Chair in Global Islam Lecture on September 29, 2015. You can follow him on Twitter and read some of his papers.

Parts of his talk focusing on the relationship of the dismal political conditions in predominantly-Arab countries leading to the heresies of ISIS reminded me of Umberto Eco's novel In the Name of the Rose.

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?