Category Archives: book reviews

Once again: the supposed need for the self-justification of science

Reading the latest edition of The Chicago Maroon, our student newspaper, I saw an op-ed about self care by Ada Palmer, an associate professor of History. I’m not going to write about that; her piece is pretty straightforward and empathic towards our students, who will be having a rather stressful semester. Rather, when I looked […]

A quick book review, movie review, and a new movie to see

The book: I just finished this book for the second time (I read an earlier edition without the introduction; click on image for Amazon link): This is the memoir of pilot, horse trainer, and adventurer Beryl Markham (1902-1986), recounting her years in Africa with the Happy Valley set, which included Karen Blixen (author of Out […]

An evolutionary psychology book that shows the discipline’s value—but not the value of memes

I’ve just finished reading Steve Stewart-Williams’s recent book The Ape That Understood the Universe (Cambridge University Press, revised edition 2019). I recommend it highly as a good way to get not only an introduction to evolutionary psychology, but also to see why the discipline is worthwhile and why its detractors are often misguided. Click on […]

Russell Blackford reviews Elaine Ecklund’s latest religion-osculating book

It’s been roughly four years since I wrote about Elaine Ecklund‘s efforts to show that religion and science aren’t in conflict and also that scientists are more religious than one might suspect (see posts here). A sociologist at Rice University, Ecklund has been funded, as far as I can see, nearly continuously by various Templeton […]

Another antiracist book to read

Oy! I barely started reading Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility, to the detriment of my digestive system, when I learn that there’s another equally well known antiracist book out there, one that’s just been reviewed by John McWhorter at Education Next. To be sure, he says it is “the better of the two big antiracism bestsellers,” […]

Godless Spellchecker reviews “White Fragility”

Robin DiAngelo’s book White Fragility has enjoyed a tremendous resurgence of popularity since George Floyd’s murder. It’s appearing on many college reading lists, and is even a recommended resource of the Society for the Study of Evolution, which has now gone uber woke and has a full page of resources that will teach the guilt-ridden evolutionist […]

What are we reading?

It’s past time for a “what are we reading” thread. I’ve just finished one book and am about 40% through another. The one I just finished was inspired by my love of the Beatles, and I had high hopes for it because it goes through every Beatles song, analyzing it musically, explaining its roots, and […]

John McWhorter reviews White Fragility

Knowing a bit about Robin DiAngelo‘s book White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism, having heard some of her lectures online, and also having read John McWhorter and listened to his exchanges with Glenn Loury, I was pretty sure that McWhorter’s review of DiAngelo’s book wouldn’t be full of encomiums. And […]

A satirical book review

When I woke up this morning these words from the Beatles song went through my head: I’ve got nothing to say but it’s okay; Good morning, good morning. That’s because I didn’t have anything in my head to write about, which is what I ponder when reading my emails in bed. So you get persiflage […]

A religious scholar goes after my book “Faith Verus Fact”, mainly because I didn’t deal with Sophisticated Theology®

An academic named Gregory Bassham has written a longish critique (18 double-spaced pages) of my 2015 book Faith Versus Fact. It apparently isn’t published (yet), but you can find it on the Academia.edu link below if you are a member (no fees, though you may have to sign in with Google or Facebook).  Click on […]