Friday, 3 August 2007

Science and Religion

To me, as to Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), and René Descartes (1596-1650), the most interesting and important project in philosophy is the reconciliation of science and religion. It’s a sad commentary on our times that so many intelligent people are trying to drive them apart or reduce one to the other. See here for Richard John Neuhaus’s commentary on Richard Dawkins.


The two greatest contrarians of our age are Christopher Hitchens (see here) and Newt Gingrich. Here is Newt’s latest provocation.


Did anybody notice that the four Yankee fans who wrote with suggestions about what I should have to do if the New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox did not answer my second question, about what they should have to do if the Yankees lose to the Red Sox? This is precisely what I and many others despise about Yankee fans. They can’t so much as entertain the possibility that their beloved team will lose to the Red Sox. It’s simply unimaginable to them, like being torn asunder by wolves. Those of us who have suffered so much and for so long with a team that wins the World Series every two decades or so are humble about the game. We know that winning it all is like hitting the lottery. Yankee fans expect to win, and, sadly, they often do. This would take 90% of the joy out of it for me, especially inasmuch as the winning is a direct result of outspending the other teams. I really believe that Yankee fans are mentally disturbed. This is why I could never support Rudy Giuliani for president. I don’t want a basket case with his finger on the red button.


If this keeps up, the Women’s Grievance Industry, a.k.a. feminism, will be out of business. Perhaps that will give rise to a new movement: masculism. Speaking of feminism, I received an e-mail message this morning from Catharine MacKinnon, the unmodified feminist. She wants to reprint something I published many years ago in the second edition of her law-school casebook Sex Equality. I granted permission, but told her that I’m no longer a feminist and don’t believe what I wrote. It’ll be interesting to see whether this changes her mind about reprinting it.


What part of “illegal” do members of Congress (and the president) not understand? According to this New York Times story, bills are being considered that would reward people for coming to this country illegally. That is unacceptable.

Atheism &c

I’m curious as to how my readers distinguish between theism, atheism, and agnosticism. Have at it.


Here is Peggy Noonan’s latest column. Here is Peg Kaplan’s latest post.


I found this column by Kay Hymowitz interesting. Here are some of the things I did for money before I was 20 years old:

Pick up bottles on the roadside.

Sell seeds door to door.

Pick berries.


Umpire baseball games.

Carry out (and stock) groceries.

Work in a library.

Trim Christmas trees.

Operate a mill in a metal factory (two whole summers).

If I had kids, they’d be working.

Best of the Web Today


From the Mailbag


You were the one who first made me aware of NY Times legal correspondent Linda Greenhouse. Power Line says she suffers from Roberts Derangement Syndrome.

Mark Spahn


Here is a review of a book about conversions to conservatism. I hesitate to link to it, not only because it’s badly written, but because the author fails to take the book—or its authors, or their stories—seriously. The review thus says more about the reviewer than about the book he purports to review. A charitable review would grapple with the substance of the book and would give its authors the benefit of the doubt. This review is the opposite of charitable. It’s sarcastic, insulting, flippant, and, in the end, boring. Good work, Stephen Metcalf.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

We should support people drinking water, both tap and bottled, because it’s healthier for them and the environment than drinking anything else.

Obesity and related illnesses are soaring. There has been a 370 percent increase in overweight schoolchildren in the last 30 years. More than 20 percent of the calories Americans consume come from beverages.

People want and need bottled water when tap water is not available or not preferred. Seventy-five percent of bottled water drinkers also drink tap. If they don’t have bottled water, our research shows that half would drink sweetened beverages.

Our bottles use a third less plastic than other beverage containers. At the same time, it is imperative that we all strive to recycle bottles and other packaging. While water bottles alone make up less than 1 percent of the waste stream, at Nestlé Waters, we support improving our recycling laws.

Kim Jeffery
President and Chief Executive, Nestlé Waters North America
Greenwich, Conn., Aug. 1, 2007

Note from KBJ: I’ve been drinking Ozarka Natural Spring Water for over 15 years. It’s delivered to my house in five-gallon bottles, which are cleaned and re-used by the company. How is this destructive of the environment?

A Year Ago