Education

Curse of Knowledge

Regarding my previous post on the lack of accessibility of critical thinking information, even Carl Sagan’s Cosmos has this problem. Despite being hailed as supremely understandable for general audiences (both the book and the series), I found that it also posed too many challenges in its basic linguistic accessibility to …

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Education

An Aspect of Accessibility

Since “accessibility” has so many different meanings in education, let me start by clarifying that I am referring to students (and general audiences) being able to access the meaning of information they encounter. This seems to be a weak point in the skeptic, atheist, and critical thinking movements, and something …

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The Atheist Academic

The Introspection Illusion

We’re great at spotting biases in others, but absolutely incompetent at finding them in ourselves. Even if we know exactly what to look for and we’ve got a ton of intellectual humility, noticing the effects of our own biases on our own thoughts is like looking for colored glasses while …

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Critical ThinkingEducationPedagogySecondary Education

Is Bill Nye teaching creationism? Should debates on origins be forbidden in science classrooms?

Brandon Pettenger is (was?) an Arroyo Grande High School science teacher in the Lucia Mar Unified School District of California.  Apparently he had students watch a recording of the recent Bill Nye/Ken Ham debate as to whether or not creationism is a legitimate scientific alternative theory to evolution by Natural …

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Captain Picard covering face
AtheismCritical ThinkingCultureReligion

I’ve Got Your “Intellectual Snobbery” Right Here

I generally love The Atlantic, but they really shit the bed with me today with this nonsense about “conspicuous atheism.” The problem is, the “culture war” is a false construct created by politicians and public intellectuals, left and right. The state of faith in the world is much grayer, much …

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Education

The Good News Club: Coming to a Public School Near You!

In 2002 I spent 48 hours at a Buddhist monastery on an island off the coast of South Korea. The stay was pleasant, mainly spent sipping tea and talking to a monk about the world. I was not looking for any sort of religious experience at the monastery, rather it …

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17th c. painting of a woman by a linen closet
Higher EducationPop QuizReligion

Pop Quiz: Are you “out”?

Happy Monday, Doubt Scholars! Last night at dinner I got involved in a long and interesting conversation about “coming out” as atheist in academia, what doing so actually entails, and under what circumstances it is appropriate to do so. (A propos of this, some of you may remember that annoying …

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A shelf full of books.
Required Readings

Required Readings, 12 November 2013

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Here are some interesting articles for you to peruse:   -President of the student body at a Christian university in Oregon declares that he’s an atheist. -A school in Wisconsin rejects teaching evolution in its science curriculum. -State finances are improving, but more public universities are capping …

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A shelf full of books.
Required Readings

Required Readings, 5 November 2013

Good morning, everyone! Here are your Tuesday Required Readings: -Atheist group banned from volunteering at soup kitchen hands out care packages instead. -Supreme Court will hear on Wednesday arguments against Greece, New York having prayer at its town board meetings. -Advanced degrees do not guarantee exemption from financial hardship. -The …

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A shelf full of books.
Required Readings

Required Readings, 29 October 2013

Hello, all! Good morning, and welcome to the Tuesday Required Readings post:   -Hemant Mehta asks for help for pastor who was attacked by “militant atheist.” -Texas rules parts of controversial abortion law unconstitutional. -Atheist volunteers turned away from volunteering at soup kitchen. -U.S. schools need to teach their students …

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