Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Happy Birthday, Daniel Dennett

Almost no one is indifferent to Darwin, and no one should be. The Darwinian theory is a scientific theory, and a great one, but that is not all it is. The creationists who oppose it so bitterly are right about one thing: Darwin's dangerous idea cuts much deeper into the fabric of our most fundamental beliefs than many of its sophisticated apologists have yet admitted, even to themselves.
--Daniel Dennet, Darwin's Dangerous Idea

Monday, March 26, 2012

Happy Birthday, Richard Dawkins

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (2006)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day, drunks!

Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale

Bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance-- Nice amber color; thin foam but decent retention
Smell-- Not much to it. A little sweet and a little grainy but not much else.
Taste-- Smooth and sweet, nice crispness in the finish. Solid.
Mouthfeel-- Not bad. A little over carbonated

Overall-- Decent and drinkable; better than Killian's. A-

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Happy Birthday, Einstein

I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature.

--Albert Einstein, The World as I See It

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wheat : Barley :: The Monkees : The Beatles

Sierra Nevada Kellerweis

Appearance-- Cloudy and golden orange; thin lace of foam; very little retention.

Smell-- Floral and yeasty. A little bit of citrus.

Taste-- Not a fan. Very floral, and little else is going on that I can taste. Wouldn't want more than one.

Mouthfeel-- Nice and smooth. Light.

Overall-- I'm not much of a fan of the Hefeweizen variety of beer, and this is no exception. When barley exists, why are we making beer with wheat?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Kenny's "What I Believe"

Sometimes when you read something by an author you admire that reveals his or her personal convictions and beliefs, it's a bit disappointing. Anthony Kenny's What I Believe is one of those times. Kenny is an extraordinary historian of philosophy, whose works show the ability to deal deeply and subtly with complex philosophical problems in thinkers as diverse as Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, and Wittgenstein. He also has written a number of broader historical books aimed at less specialized readers, including his phenomenal four volume history of philosophy, which ought to be on the shelf of anyone interested in the arc of philosophical history.