Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Well, I'm not sure, given the etymology of "tea-bagger" (this is a family blog so don't ask me if you don't know) that I agree with the tactic portrayed in the video, but I guess one way to defuse an insult is to co-opt the term. This is what police back in the sixties did with the pejorative "pig," and what homosexuals have done with "gay" and "queer," so I guess the thinking is that it's one way to blunt some of the derision directed at the tea-party movement:

Personally, I'd rather they not go this route. The more their opponents refer to them as "tea-baggers" the sleazier their opponents appear in the public eye. The epithet does more to diminish and discredit the people who use it than it does the people at whom it's directed.

HT: Hot Air


Antony Flew (1923-2010)

Philosopher Antony Flew was perhaps the most prominent and accomplished atheistic thinker of the latter half of the twentieth century. He subsequently went on to roil the academic world when in 2004 it became public that he had renounced atheism and embraced a sort of non-Christian theism. His 2007 book There is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed his Mind attributed his journey from atheism to theism to his being convinced that there was no naturalistic explanation for the origin of life. Throughout his career he insisted that one should always go where ever the evidence leads and it had led him to the existence of a Creator. His former colleagues among the atheist community reacted to his conversion with a mixture of astonishment and opprobrium, but Flew was not deterred.

In an interview given in October of 2007 he explained his move this way:

There were two factors in particular that were decisive. One was my growing empathy with the insight of Einstein and other noted scientists that there had to be an Intelligence behind the integrated complexity of the physical Universe. The second was my own insight that the integrated complexity of life itself - which is far more complex than the physical Universe - can only be explained in terms of an Intelligent Source. I believe that the origin of life and reproduction simply cannot be explained from a biological standpoint despite numerous efforts to do so. With every passing year, the more that was discovered about the richness and inherent intelligence of life, the less it seemed likely that a chemical soup could magically generate the genetic code. The difference between life and non-life, it became apparent to me, was ontological and not chemical. The best confirmation of this radical gulf is Richard Dawkins' comical effort to argue in The God Delusion that the origin of life can be attributed to a "lucky chance." If that's the best argument you have, then the game is over. No, I did not hear a Voice. It was the evidence itself that led me to this conclusion...

Antony Flew died April 8th at the age of 87. The Telegraph UK has an informative obituary, and Denise O'Leary at Uncommon Descent lists a number of links to pieces she's written on Flew over the last couple of years.