One of the things that has prompted many to urge me to start my own blog are the discussions I've had with others, many non-believers, regarding the possible interactions between (on the one hand) science and evidence-based decision-making and (on the other) religion and faith-based claims.

Obviously, this topic has no small bearing on the question of how evolutionary biology should be presented in different fora. Perhaps less obviously, this is not just an intellectual challenge to me, but a personal one, and I should put my cards on the table: I'm an enthusiastic Darwinian. I'm also a Christian (Methodist). How can I square this circle? In a sense, the question of whether (as Michael Ruse has put it) "Can A Darwinian be a Christian?" is a subset of a larger question, which is whether or not it is really possible to bring science and faith into some sort of concord.

If that wasn't sufficiently challenging, then I should add that at present, I'm trying to work out other aspects of belief, to reexamine the question 'What does it mean to be a Christian?' My views are not, as you might think, set in stone: I think it is possible that I might, in fact, reject other aspects of conventional belief, or faith itself. That possibility has to be on the table, I think, in order for this to be something more than intellectual fencing.

And so, it will be.



My brother describes himself on his blog as a comics scholar, but I get a perverse thrill out of telling people who have only met me that he's the 'smart one' in the family. This usually elicits a whistle, since I often do this in the context of introducing my own interests, such as they are, which are not necessarily intellectually taxing so much as they are esoteric.

Indulging my ego aside, however, I am proud of my brother, who has recently earned tenure at his university where he moonlights as a professor of English Lit in order to slake his unholy thirst for all things having to do with sequential art.

If you're the sort of person who has always regarded comic books as 'low-brow', it may come as a shock to learn that fellas as smart as my brother can make it an academic specialty. To you, I would not only check out his home page, but consider reading this.

I'm proud of my brother's accomplishments! I'm a fan of his field, and his work!


Here's a fabulous idea that can help build support for science education in our community! Yes, it's Cafe Scientifique! This forum for promoting public engagement with science began in the UK, but since has spread to North America. There are Cafes in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles and San Diego in California. Now, it is hoped that by building a broad coalition of local educators, academics and business people we can get this venture off the ground here in Fresno this fall.

If you're a Fresnan, and you would like to be placed on a mailing list that will notify you of Cafe Scientifique events and other news, please send an email with your name and (if you like) your 'snail-mail' address, to: