commentaries

Fundamentalism and Tolerance

Fundamentalism and Tolerance

Nothing could be less rational or humane than self-righteously taking the lives of innocent people in the name of unknowable, imaginary gods. But the problem of religious extremism goes much deeper than that. We worry way too much about religious terrorism and way too...

read more
Celebrate Evolution!

Celebrate Evolution!

Last year we celebrated two extraordinary and intimately connected anniversaries. Charles Darwin was born on February 12, 1809 in Shrewsbury, England. Fifty years later the great naturalist published what many consider to be the most profound book ever written, The...

read more
Pay to Pray?

Pay to Pray?

I've been a big fan of the New Orleans Hornets' shooting guard Marco Belinelli since he first arrived in the United States to play in the National Basketball Association (NBA). I cheer him on in person several times a year in various cities. That gives me a chance to...

read more
Childfree Evolution

Childfree Evolution

If we take a "gene's eye view" of evolution, the basic principles of "survive and reproduce" should drive human behavior in a predictable direction: we should produce as many children as possible. The instinct to reproduce isn't contained solely within the convention...

read more
Middle of the World?

Middle of the World?

Imagine what it feels like to straddle the equator—one foot planted in the northern hemisphere, the other foot set firmly in the south. You can do just that by visiting La Mitad del Mundo (The Middle of the World) just outside Quito, Ecuador. Problem is, you’ll have...

read more
America’s Best Idea

America’s Best Idea

Ken Burns' superb PBS documentary film is titled “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.” The six-part series traces the political and cultural history of the birth and growth of the unique national park system in the United States. For many reasons, every American...

read more