Tuesday, August 31, 2010

P.Z. Myers: Speaking truth to absurdity

This is a fascinating presentation about the value of education as a provocative, challenging experience. If science education is to flourish, it requires an unwavering commitment to rational discourse and principle; social and religious mores have no place in this environment and P.Z. illustrates how avoiding theological offense leads to institutional paralysis and fails the teacher as well as the student.
Speaking truth to absurdity: Why science education needs vocal atheists.

PZ Myers is a biologist and
associate professor at
University of Minnesota
P.Z. Myers has been told many times that atheists are scary, and that they frighten moderate god-believers away from science ... and that it would be better to mute the expression of their views on religion in order to promote science, rather than godlessness. However, that atheism is a product of an honest appreciation of the evidence, of the logic of science, and of the folly of magical and superstitious thinking. 
The reason that atheists need to speak out even more loudly is that it is the only view that is true to the science, and that serves an even greater mission than science education: the encouragement of critical thinking in all matters in the populace. Besides, religion is just plain goofy.

          Part 1/4

          Part 2/4

          Part 3/4

          Part 4/4

Why I'm starting a blog

Many people have noted that I post frequently on my Facebook page about various news articles, controversies, and other material I find interesting or relevant.  In some ways, I have been using Facebook solely for this reason (and, you know, to play games of Scrabble and make crass, self-important remarks on other people's posts).

To this end, it has become increasingly obvious to me that starting a blog is a more effective, publicly accessible way to share these posts.  After a novel suggestion from a good friend today, I decided creating a blog is better late than never - especially if the world is coming to an end in 2012!

Readers will find that I am openly vocal with my views, yet I champion Artistotle's sentiments when he wrote, "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."  So in this sense, I want to make sure divergent perspectives cross my path, as well.

Reviewing my areas of interest, I post most frequently on American culture - particularly in areas of science, religion, and politics.  Occasionally I will wade a bit further outside my comfort zone.  Please enjoy.  For the time being, we are all stuck on this Pale Blue Dot with the opportunity to learn and grow together - or at the very least leave one another free to live their own lives as they see fit.  And that's where I would like to start this off: