Friday, December 19, 2008

Salvo 7: Just released edition features batty bioethicists, suckered scientists, senseless psychologists ...

Oh yes, and illiterate illusionists, "expert elitists," and home-grown humanists. Hey, what's not to like about this cast?

No seriously, it focuses on the New Atheism - new and unimproved, according to the contributors, many of whom you can read here.

Here, for example, Marcia Segelstsein interviews Dinesh D'Souza:
The first thing you notice about Dinesh D'Souza is an intellectual swagger that borders on cockiness without crossing over. Such confidence could be attributed to his Dartmouth education, to his position as policy advisor in the Reagan administration, to his near ubiquitous presence on television news shows, or to the library of critically acclaimed books that he has published on everything from racism to economic prosperity. But you get the feeling that it actually stems from the knowledge that, at any given moment, he is probably the smartest person in the room. Don't get me wrong; he's not arrogant in the least. It's just that he knows, deep down, that he's smarter than you; he's smarter than me; and perhaps most importantly, he's smarter than the New Atheists whom he routinely debates at universities across the nation.
Well, D'Souza might be the smartest person in the room or not, but the consistent problem with the New Atheism is that only the hostility is new, not the arguments. They are godless jihadis, for the most part, but they prefer press clippings and royalties to Afghan training camps and flying shards of bone. That preference I entirely understand but their efforts to advance their religious claims in the name of science are really getting to be quite the bore. My own quick guide to the new atheist movement is here.

My own regular Deprogram column in that isssue isn't about the New Atheism, actually. It's about the Flores man flap: DEPROGRAM with Denyse O'Leary The Hobbit That Wasn’t: A New Human Species Is Discovered, Doubted, and Debunked. Unfortunately, it won't be on line for months. Rot.

Meanwhile, here's an interesting piece from Salvo 6: Tom's Cruise-ade: Dunno Much Scientology by Regis Nicoll - on the growth of scientology among American celebs

One of my earlier Deprogram columns: Livin' on a Prayer At Least That's What One Much-Maligned Scientific Study Would Seem to Show

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