Free Inquiry
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Apr
05
2000

Mind, Morality, and Evolution:


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Appeared in Free Inquiry, vol 20 issue 2
Mind, Morality, and Evolution An interview with Steven Pinker Steven Pinker, Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is one of the most influential scientists of our time. Along with numerous technical writings on visual perception and on...

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Apr
05
2000

The ‘Miracle’ at Knock: The Anatomy of a Hoax


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Appeared in Free Inquiry, vol 20 issue 2
By Melvin Harris
The ‘Miracle’ at Knock Melvin Harris When reports of this apparition reached the Church authorities they set up a commission to investigate. Then, on October 8, commissioners appointed by the Archbishop of Tuam gathered at Knock and took depositions from the witnesses. These depositions differed on a number of points,...

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Apr
05
2000

God at Work


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Appeared in Free Inquiry, vol 20 issue 2
By Christopher Hitchens
OP-ED God at Work Christopher Hitchens In arguments over prayer in school, I used to take the line of “Why stop there?” There are so many other locations where a moment of spiritual reflection might be mandated. Prayer in the stock exchange, for example, or a “moment of silence” while...

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Apr
05
2000

Jesus and the Politicians


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Appeared in Free Inquiry, vol 20 issue 2
By Wendy Kaminer
OP-ED Jesus and the Politicians Wendy Kaminer Now that almost all the presidential candidates have declared their allegiance to Christ, reporters and pundits have finally noticed that religiosity, not secularism, is in vogue. A democratic operative announces that “the Democratic Party is going to take back God this time,” (making...

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Apr
05
2000

Why Kids Need Real Science


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Appeared in Free Inquiry, vol 20 issue 2
By Katha Pollitt
OP-ED Why Kids Need Real Science Katha Pollitt My daughter is 12 and she already knows more science than I do. When I quiz her for her weekly physics test, I’m the one who struggles over the answers (Not a newton, Mom, a Joule!). Sophie is lucky: she’s in an...

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Apr
05
2000

Stem Cells and Immortal Souls


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Appeared in Free Inquiry, vol 20 issue 2
By Peter Singer
OP-ED Stem Cells and Immortal Souls Peter Singer When a human embryo consists of not more than 64 cells, its cells are, like a young dog, able to learn new tricks. If injected into a diseased kidney, they take on many of the properties of ordinary kidney cells, and may...

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Apr
05
2000

When Vouchers Entangle Church and State


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Appeared in Free Inquiry, vol 20 issue 2
By Nat Hentoff
OP-ED When Vouchers Entangle Church and State Nat Hentoff Nationally, one of the most intensely controversial First Amendment issues is whether providing tax money to religious schools violates the “establishment clause” (there “shall be no law respecting an establishment of religion”). As Justice David Souter said in Lee v. Weisman...

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Apr
05
2000

Censorship Inc.


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Appeared in Free Inquiry, vol 20 issue 2
By Mark Crispin Miller
OP-ED Censorship Inc. Mark Crispin Miller Now that all those nines have turned to zeroes, we can feel especially righteous in deploring the fat hand of censorship, whether it comes down in Kabul or in New York City. With its echoes of the Inquisition, or the Chekists, or the Nazis,...

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Apr
05
2000

The Wall Under Siege


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Appeared in Free Inquiry, vol 20 issue 2
By Barry W. Lynn
OP-ED The Wall Under Siege Barry W. Lynn On January 30 the New York Times Magazine ran a major article on the separation of church and state. Unfortunately, the piece by Jeffrey Rosen, a law professor at George Washington University, was a bewildering mishmash of poor reasoning, bad history, and...

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Apr
05
2000

When Creationism Goes to School: A Teacher’s Perspective


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Appeared in Free Inquiry, vol 20 issue 2
By Thomas J. Geelan
OP-ED When Creationism Goes to School Thomas J. Geelan The great geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky is often quoted as saying, “Nothing in biology means anything except in the context of evolution.” Evolution is, indeed, the central organizing theme in all biology, yet most biology curricula are pitifully deficient in their treatment...

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