Category Archives: Humanity

Is Work Necessary?

I saw this bouncing around Facebook, and I would like to endorse the underlying philosophy: For those of you still using text-based browsers (hey, remember Lynx?), here we have Buckminster Fuller making a point about work and responsibility in a … Continue reading

Posted in Humanity | 58 Comments

Purpose and the Universe

On Sunday I was privileged to give the keynote address at the American Humanist Association annual conference. Even better, people actually showed up for the talk, which for a Sunday morning event is pretty sweet. The talks were live-streamed, and … Continue reading

Posted in Humanity, Philosophy, Science and Society | 86 Comments


The tragedy in Boston is one of those things about which there’s not much to really say, at least at this point, although a great deal actually will be said, as people work through their shock and outrage. I lived … Continue reading

Posted in Humanity | 4 Comments

Social Failures

A school shooting in Connecticut has left 18 elementary-school children dead, as well as nine other people, including the shooter. An event like this will naturally lead to calls for stricter controls over guns. Which it should! There’s no reason … Continue reading

Posted in Humanity, Politics | 30 Comments

From Particles to People: The Laws of Nature and the Meaning of Life

That’s the charmingly grandiose title of a talk I gave at The Amazing Meeting this past July, now available online. I hope that the basic message comes through, although the YouTube comments indicate that the nitpicking has already begun in … Continue reading

Posted in Humanity, Philosophy, Science | 135 Comments

Moving Naturalism Forward

I’m very excited about a workshop I’ll be at later this month: Moving Naturalism Forward. By “naturalism” we mean the simple idea that the natural world, obeying natural laws, is all there is. No supernatural realm, spirits, or ineffable dualistic … Continue reading

Posted in Humanity, Philosophy, Science | 89 Comments

Neil Armstrong

Has died at age 82. Perhaps to honor his memory we can resolve as a society to continue to do inspiring things.

Posted in Humanity | 15 Comments

Many Kinds of Smart (A Continuing Series)

Steve Hsu points us to an NYT op-ed by Walter Isaacson, in which he ponders the crucial question, “Was Steve Jobs smart?” Isaacson has written biographies of both Jobs and Albert Einstein, so he should know from smart. One might … Continue reading

Posted in Humanity | 50 Comments

I’m Too Smart To Understand Human Beings

Jen McCreight blogs about giving a talk at a meeting of Mensa, the “international high-IQ society.” Worth reading in its own right, but I was struck by one anecdote in particular: the color-coded stickers that indicated huggability. Green = Hug … Continue reading

Posted in Humanity | 50 Comments

The World Changes, We Stay Largely the Same

One thing is pretty much guaranteed, in the wake of a big-time news event: people are going to make it about themselves. When Osama bin Laden is killed in a raid in Pakistan, politically-inclined folks in the U.S. are immediately … Continue reading

Posted in Humanity, World | 35 Comments