“Some of these stories are closer to my own life than others are, but not one of them is as close as people seem to think.” Alice Murno, from the intro to Moons of Jupiter

"Talent hits a target no one else can hit; genius hits a target no one else can see." Arthur Schopenhauer

“Why does everything you know, and everything you’ve learned, confirm you in what you believed before? Whereas in my case, what I grew up with, and what I thought I believed, is chipped away a little and a little, a fragment then a piece and then a piece more. With every month that passes, the corners are knocked off the certainties of this world: and the next world too. Show me where it says, in the Bible, ‘Purgatory.’ Show me where it says ‘relics, monks, nuns.’ Show me where it says ‘Pope.’” –Thomas Cromwell imagines asking Thomas More—Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

My favorite posts to get started: The Self-Righteousness Instinct, Sabbath Says, Encounters, Inc., and What Makes "Wolf Hall" so Great?.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Dawkins Defends Himself

I just watched "The Root of All Evil?" last night. This is Richard Dawkins television documentary version of his book "The God Delusion." On the special features disc, Dawkins reads the preface to the paperback edition of his book, which was new to me because I only ever it in hardback. The entire preface is devoted to answering criticisms, most of which were pretty weak.

Dawkins says that the worst criticisms his book received began with the words, "I'm an atheist but..." I'm sure James Wood never read this preface, or saw the documentary. I'm also sure if he does either any time soon he's going to be pretty embarrassed.

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