A Christmas Tree with Vices

From First Thoughts

Thanks to Nathaniel for sending me this, a neat overview of master filmmaker Orson Welles’ career —with an eye toward his spiritual sympathies. “I try to be a Christian. [But] I don’t pray really, because I don’t want to bore God.” In fact, prayer was almost as . . . . Continue Reading »

Democrat-Christians and Abortion

From First Thoughts

"Where have you been, my blue-eyed son..?" Bob Dylan, A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall , 1963 Over at Credo Taylor Marshall does the good service of informing us that the Enlightened One has offered his first tithe to the all-knowing Demiurge in his recent reversal of the "Mexico . . . . Continue Reading »

Torture and the Bush Defenders

From First Thoughts

So far, I’ve been reluctant to enter the torture debate. That’s not because it isn’t important (it is) or because I’m unsure of my views (I oppose torture). Rather, this issue has encouraged the tendency of the blogosphere to generate more heat than light. The public . . . . Continue Reading »

Phrenology and Bayesianism

From First Thoughts

Over at Upturned Earth, John Schwenkler has asked for an eighth-grade-level refresher course on what an r-squared value means . Given how prone to misinterpretation the correlation coefficient is, it’s a little bit easier to talk about what it doesn’t mean. This is also a useful . . . . Continue Reading »

Humility Postscript

From First Thoughts

Bouncing off the point I make in that last post , I’ll present a conundrum: Why is it that the most humble people I know also tend to be the most violent (sometimes physically, more often intellectually)? Those friends of mine who are most skeptical of dogmatism (especially rationalism, the . . . . Continue Reading »