The Weekly Link Roundup is a collection of all the cool articles I read in the past week and feel like passing onto others. The links are also ordered so that the ones I like most are at the top, for those who don’t have time for all the links… but for those who do have time, I think all of them are worthwhile.
We’ve finally made it to the ninth weekly link roundup, which also happens to be the first as part of the new posting schedule. To recap, I post an essay on every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and then post this Weekly Link Roundup also on Friday.
Now that we have all of that out of the way, let the links begin!
- The Evangelical Conspiracy Theory: “Craig’s position requires him to believe that everyone – everyone – in the world who’s not an evangelical Christian – every atheist, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, Baha’i, Sikh and Shintoist, every pagan past and present, every member of every indigenous tribe – is fully aware of the truth of evangelical Christianity and refuses to admit this out of a stubborn desire to sin. It forces him to believe in a worldwide conspiracy involving sustained, lifelong deception practiced on a daily basis by billions of people throughout history.”
- Why isn’t this an example of the falsification of the power of prayer?: “It’s like Texas is getting blasted almost specifically — with a bit of collateral damage to Oklahoma, but then, God has always had lousy aim. But shouldn’t this be a good strong datum that prayer doesn’t work?”
- Rational Home Buying: “A new house is one of the most important purchases most people will make. Because of the sums involved, the usual pitfalls of decision-making gain new importance, and it becomes especially important to make sure you’re thinking rationally. Research in a couple of fields, most importantly positive psychology, offers some potentially helpful tips.”
- Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Time: Time is the most used noun in the English language, yet it remains a mystery. We’ve just completed an amazingly intense and rewarding multidisciplinary conference on the nature of time, and my brain is swimming with ideas and new questions. Rather than trying a summary (the talks will be online soon), here’s my stab at a top ten list partly inspired by our discussions: the things everyone should know about time.”
- Academic Debate, Real Consequences: “With all eyes on Jackson Hole, it may be worth talking a bit about the intellectual history that lies behind some of the policy debate.”
- On the Inadequacy of the Stimulus: “Hmm. I don’t think I’ve ever put up a simple explanation of why the stimulus was so clearly inadequate to the task. By the way, my point here is not what Obama shoulda-coulda done; I just want to look at the straight economics.”
- Diplomacy and Accomodationism Are Not The Same Thing: “Our problem is not with being civil and friendly to believers, or with trying to make alliances with them. Our problem is with bowing to religion. Our problem is with accepting religion’s assessment of itself as a special case, an idea that ought to be above criticism.”
- Somalia famine – GiveWell update: “Over the past month, we’ve worked to understand the situation in Somalia and make a recommendation to donors about where they should give. At this point we’re wrapping up our work with the following conclusions”
- Why Do I Doubt Detractors of Biblical Archaeology?: “So, if the Bible is historically accurate the accuracy is irrelevant, but if the Bible is historically inaccurate the inaccuracy is relevant. Thus, under these views the archaeological record is not important as long as it supports the Bible, but when the archaeological record seems contrary to the Bible, atheists and Bible doubters want to jump all over the archaeological record as critical to the Biblical claims. No offense, but you cannot have it both ways. “
- Little-Known Bible Verses: The Holy Kiss: “As silly as it is, there’s an important point here. The next time you encounter someone who claims to interpret the Bible “literally”, ask them if they do this at their church. If the answer is no, as it most probably will be, you’ll have made your point: even supposedly ‘literal’ interpretations are driven and shaped by the believer’s culture and by their own ideas and prejudices, and not simply by doing whatever the text says.”
- Millions of taxpayer dollars used to convert soldiers and their children to Christianity: “Chris Rodda wrote an extensive exposé on the amount of your taxpayer money being spent on converting soldiers and their children to Christianity. Your money.”
- Astrophysicists report first simulation to create a Milky Way-like galaxy: “After nine months of number-crunching on a powerful supercomputer, a beautiful spiral galaxy matching our own Milky Way emerged from a computer simulation of the physics involved in galaxy formation and evolution. The simulation by researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Zurich solves a longstanding problem that had led some to question the prevailing cosmological model of the universe.”
- Republicans Against Science: “Now, we don’t know who will win next year’s presidential election. But the odds are that one of these years the world’s greatest nation will find itself ruled by a party that is aggressively anti-science, indeed anti-knowledge. And, in a time of severe challenges — environmental, economic, and more — that’s a terrifying prospect.”
- The Ten Limerick Principles of Economics: “A generation of undergraduates has mastered the Ten Principles of Economics through the agency of Prof. Mankiw’s famous textbooks and courses. Now, in the interest of the general public, Dr. Goose shines a light on these Principles to reveal their provocative yet oddly rational sexual subtext.”
- Subnormality #186: “We assume of others what we know of ourselves”
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