Richard Dawkins

Ex-Pope Benedict says the Selfish Gene is science fiction. He’s half right

The Selfish Gene is a brilliant phrase. It’s also accurate, so long as you realise that “selfish” doesn’t mean selfish, “gene” doesn’t mean gene, and the definite article is a bit of an abstraction. But taken as the literal truth, it’s about as much use as “In the beginning was the word”. Given Dawkins’s hostility to everyone else’s metaphysics, this is an unfortunate weakness. “Science fiction” may not be the…

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Most Christians don’t actually care about Starbucks cups. Here’s what we do know.

No Christians in my social media feed care about the design of that cup. Lots of people in my social media feed have reposted stories critical of the silly Christians who get all worked up about the design of the cup. Full disclosure: I don’t drink coffee. [C]ontrary to a few breathless media reports, most Christians don’t actually care what kind of cup their latte is served in, so long as…

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Two Cheers for the Middle Ages! by Eric Christiansen

I love good writing. “Even those who doubt that hot air is the best way of defeating hot air will be impressed by the main body of the work…” Prejudice against the medieval runs deep…. Remember those angels dancing on a pinpoint? They still dance for those who believe that the medieval schools were engaged in a wasted intellectual effort. | Unfair! the medievalists have shouted, from the days when…

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BWW Reviews: Prepare Ye for GODSPELL in Fox Chapel

  I’d like to say a few words in defense of community theatre: why are we so hard on it? I’ve done it. You’ve done it. Sure, sometime it can be rough around the edges, but more often than not, like this production, it produces something genuine and authentic and beautiful. A quick glance at the program showed that the cast is made up of nurses, producers, government workers, students…

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Creationism dismissed as ‘a kind of paganism’ by Vatican’s astronomer

Brother Consolmagno, who works in a Vatican observatory in Arizona and as curator of the Vatican meteorite collection in Italy, said a “destructive myth” had developed in modern society that religion and science were competing ideologies. He described creationism, whose supporters want it taught in schools alongside evolution, as a “kind of paganism” because it harked back to the days of “nature gods” who were responsible for natural events. —The Scotsman…

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Reflections on Flannery O’Connor’s “The River”

I’m teaching “The River” today in an “Introduction to Literary Study” course. Demonstrating that we know what to do if we ever encounter such a little boy in real life won’t help us to understand O’Connor’s literary accomplishment. From a Catholic perspective, the mysteries of God are beyond anyone’s understanding. Anyone who prays for God to help them win the ball game (“listen to my prayers, not the prayers of…