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The Tragic Atheist

“I painted to be loved.” That is how the artist Francis Bacon (1909–1992) described his impulse to create. Bacon’s work came to be part of the canon of late twentieth-century British painting, hanging in major museums around the world. His brutal images of contorted bodies, slabs of meat, . . . . Continue Reading »

On the Origins of Specious Myths

The War That Never Was: Evolution and Christian Theology by kenneth w. kemp cascade, 234 pages, $28 Conventional wisdom has it that science and religion have perennially been at war. This “conflict thesis,” as historians call it, can be traced to the late nineteenth century and to two . . . . Continue Reading »

Imprudent Expertise

Human beings have always yearned to know the future, and there have always been other human beings who claimed they could predict it. The ancient Greeks consulted the sibyls, female oracles of great age who under divine inspiration uttered verses given them by the gods of the famous shrines they . . . . Continue Reading »

The Vaccinator’s Dilemma

Among the blessings of modern living, we routinely count standard vaccinations for adults and children. Scourges such as smallpox have been eradicated, due in part to mandatory vaccinations that ensure immunity in entire populations. When I heard that a significant number of parents, including some . . . . Continue Reading »

Bodily Curiosities

I am not altogether incurious, but one entity about which I have over the years felt little curiosity is my own body. Until recently, I could not have told you the function of my, or anyone else’s, pancreas, spleen, or gallbladder. I’d just as soon not have known that I have kidneys, and was . . . . Continue Reading »

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