Friday, March 28, 2008

<i>Fitna</i> Update

The outfit hosting the movie Fitna received serious threats and decided to remove the video. It can, however, be seen here.


Amateur Atheists

Theologian John Haught makes the New Atheists like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens look like the gang that couldn't shoot straight in an essay which appears in the February 26th issue of The Christian Century.

Haught writes:

For many years I taught an introductory theology course for undergraduates titled "The Problem of God." My fellow instructors and I were convinced that our students should be exposed to the most erudite of the unbelievers. Our rationale was that any mature commitment that intelligent young people might make to a religious faith should be critically tested by the very best opponents.

The recent books by Richard Dawkins, Samuel Harris and Christopher Hitchens would never have made the required-reading list. Their tirades would simply reinforce students' ignorance not only of religion but also of atheism. The new atheists do little more than provide a fresh catalogue of the evils wrought by members of the theistic faiths.

It's true that when reading their books one gets the feeling that the authors believe if they can just discredit religion in the eyes of their readers they will have disproven the existence of God. It's not very sophisticated polemics, but there you have it.

Anyway, Haught offers a number of reasons supporting his conclusion that the New Atheists are philosophical incompetents, and it makes for very entertaining reading.


Lyme Vaccine

One of the most insidious maladies afflicting those who live in the northeastern U.S. is Lyme disease. Approximately 20,000 cases a year. It's both puzzling and irritating that one hears during the summer months daily news reports about the number of cases of West Nile virus, but rarely is the far more prevalent, dangerous and debilitating Lyme disease ever mentioned.

Anyway, it looks now as if a vaccine for the spirochete that causes the disease is on the near horizon. Read about it here.