Why I Buy Physical Books

Every time I have written a post dedicated to my bookshelf over the years, I have gotten at least one comment politely suggesting that I get an e-reader. E-readers can save you money and shelf space, as well as the work of packing up boxes of books when it comes time to move. An e-reader also would have come in handy for me when I was covertly reading all those atheist books back in my closeted days. But for how difficult it was to disguise my God Delusion book, and how heavy all the boxes were when I moved, I wouldn’t trade my books for anything.

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Which Personality Test Is Best?

When writing my first post about why astrology is pseudoscience, I had the intention of ending it by suggesting the Myers-Briggs Personality Test as a more accurate way to identify people’s traits. I was surprised to find that while personality types are more valid than zodiac signs (or their popular equivalent in Asian countries of categorizing personalities based on blood type), they are still far from perfect. For example, I once took my own Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test and found that I was an INTJ, but when my husband took the same test about me, we found that in his eyes I was an ISFJ. (I’ve also gotten INFJ and INTP.) This was my first hint that personality tests might not be all they’re cracked up to be. Knowing that, and having seen how ubiquitously popular the Enneagram test has become, I decided it was time for me to put personality types to the test. They’re not as bad as astrology, but they’re by no means an exact science. Where do they land?

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Book Review: Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi

I’ll be honest with you: Stamped from the Beginning is a very intimidating book in more ways than one. It’s a 511-page tome, which makes sense considering that it is, as the subtitle tells us, The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. It’s won several awards, and for good reason.

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Answers in Genesis is Threatened by Human Fossil Discoveries

Happy Sunday and welcome to the latest installment in my series Creationists Don’t Understand Human Evolution! This week I will be responding to the three Answers in Genesis articles under their category “Hominids” in which the AiG authors contend with “the news” each time it “eagerly reports the discovery of another link in the supposed chain of hominid evolution.” In my opinion, this whole category seems pretty incomplete, as it only covers two fossil discoveries as well as an ongoing debate between paleoanthropologists. I don’t normally respond to each article separately, but the first of these three has virtually nothing in common with the other two, so I’ll have to tackle that one on its own. The articles are:

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Intentionality in Reading and Writing

When I was brainstorming on what to write about this week, I had the idea of doing a series responding to one of the short Christian apologetics books on my shelves. I landed on Josh McDowell’s More Than a Carpenter, which seemed like a shorter version of the famed The Case for Christ, surely featuring the same arguments that, after having educated myself some on the historicity of Jesus and the development of the gospels, should be easy to refute.

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Why Atheists Can’t Defeat Christian Nationalism

As someone who is hoping for a brighter and fairer future for my country, I found hope and reassurance in watching the inauguration of our new President and Vice President, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. But as someone who is not religious, and who knows all too well the harms of Christian nationalism, I also found division and exclusionary language.

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3 Myths That Answers in Genesis Wants You to Believe About Neanderthals

After a four-month-long break, I am happy to finally be returning to my series critiquing the claims of creationists—specifically, Answers in Genesis—about human evolution! Anyone who has created critiques to AiG’s content knows how frustrating and exasperating it can be. For those who do this for a living, I applaud you. AiG has so much content, with so many twists and turns and overlaps, that it is almost too easy to get lost on their website and in their…unique ideas. They seem to have a great fascination with Neanderthals, which in their eyes are just an archaic group of Homo sapiens. (They can’t seem to agree on whether Neanderthals were an ethnic group, a race, or a subspecies.) In the world of paleoanthropology, Neanderthals have always been a hot topic, as we know more about them than any other hominid species but our own. There is a lot of fluctuation in our understanding of Neanderthals, because scientists are discovering more about them by the day.

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Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot: Book Review and 17 Best Quotes

After reading Carl Sagan’s Cosmos and The Demon-Haunted World, I decided that it was time to return for Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, the Cosmos sequel famous for the short but poignant speech of the same name. Pale Blue Dot is possibly the most humbling book you will ever read, and that rings especially true for anyone who believes that the Universe was created exclusively for humans.

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10 Reasons to Avoid Multi-Level Marketing Schemes

Multi-level marketing schemes have been among my greatest pet peeves for a long time. These younger sisters of pyramid schemes, which are barely legal and barely not pyramid schemes only on a mere technicality, are a dangerous fad. I’ve been glad to see that more and more people have been making others aware of the harm of MLM schemes, and how to identify one of these scams is becoming more widely known. Even so, I’ll start with a brief overview of what they are:

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Why Atheists Revere Carl Sagan

Since I was a kid, I’ve had a tendency to get “obsessed” with various things. I think “obsessed” might be a harsh word for it, but it’s not entirely inaccurate: over the years I have become enamored with different book series, TV shows, and musicians in the sense that one could have thought that my being a fan of that thing was my main personality trait. As I’ve grown older, this zeal has gone more towards things like atheism, paleoanthropology, and most recently, everything Carl Sagan has ever written.

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