Category «SCIENCE»

When We Cease to Understand the World

A review of Benjamin Labatut’s award-nominated collection. They are well-worn clichés: the scientist as tortured genius; the idiot savant who peers unblinkingly into the secrets of the universe while forgetting to eat or bathe; or, at the most superficial, scientists as hopeless nerds, whip-smart but clueless when it comes to “regular” people and their quotidian …

Don’t Look Up

[A review of writer/director Adam McKay’s new sci-fi farce, now streaming on Netflix.] We may very well be in the last days of the American Republic. America has been dysfunctional and divided before (see: the Civil War; the Civil Rights Movement), but our current era of partisan rancor seems unprecedented. The internet promised to bring …

The Kentucky-Darwin Connection

Step just inside the front entrance of the University of Kentucky’s historic Miller Hall and you might notice a brass plaque on the righthand side titled Freedom of Inquiry, the Teaching of Evolution, and the “Monkey Trial”. The plaque reads, in full: In March 1922, the Kentucky House of Representatives debated a bill to prohibit the teaching …

Five Questions with Sam Harris

[This interview was conducted via email in May 2005 and published in a local (metro Atlanta) freethought newsletter. Sam Harris earned his PhD in cognitive neuroscience, has authored several bestselling books, and currently hosts the popular podcast Making Sense. –JCS 12/24/2021] Sam Harris is a Stanford-based philosopher, doctoral candidate in neuroscience, and author of The End …

Five Questions with Nathaniel Branden

[This interview was conducted via email in April 2005 and published in a local (metro Atlanta) freethought newsletter. Dr. Branden died in 2014. –JCS 12/24/2021] Nathaniel Branden is a psychotherapist and a pioneering expert in the psychology of self-esteem. He’s also one of the founders of Objectivism, the philosophy originated by the late novelist Ayn Rand …