I received 45 submissions for this edition of The Carnival of the Liberals, and the carnival rules required me to select only a final ten. That was harsh; there were many excellent links sent in, and I struggled with the need to reject so many. Ultimately, I just had to let my own biases rule my decision, so if you sent in a submission and I didn’t use it, it’s nothing personal and it says nothing about a lack of quality in your work—it just means it didn’t fit my narrow criteria for what I wanted to read this time around. As you’ll see, I tend to promote godless secularism and grappling with real world issues in science, and so some fascinating and worthy articles on war and economics and labor just didn’t make the cut this time around.
Let’s begin with a little warmup: a few general statements about liberal principles.
Not every liberal is going to be comfortable with atheism, but like The Questionable Authority, should at least be willing to ask hard questions…such as, Am I a liberal? Reading the list, I have to say that Mike definitely is a liberal.
If you know me, though, you know that I’m very comfortable with atheism, and am rather militant in thinking we ought to promote it more. Liberal Christians might want to skip the next few links.
Without considering the philosophy of religion, another reason to reject it is the self-serving hypocrisy of Christian conservatives. TayTV shows us some videos from the War on Christianity, that ludicrous self-pity-fest in which the Religious Right is currently wallowing.
Even if you do detest religion, as I do, we liberals need to consider how to deal with it strategically. The Intelligent Party discusses principles and pragmatism in Unholy Alliances and the Monolith.
As I threatened, I was biased towards picking posts that discussed science or science policy, and that’s what you’re going to find in the remainder of my selections.
Adventures in Ethics and Science charges in with a difficult subject. What is the role of the media in informing the public about science issues? How can nonscientists make good decisions about incredibly complicated subjects? How do people reconcile their views of how the world ought to be with how it actually is? Journalism, science, politics, and choosing sides is a long post that wrestles with those hard, hard questions.
Halfway There tells us that Reality is liberal. The conservative movement has crashed into the unmoveable wall of harsh reality, and all we have to do is pick up the pieces. Can we do that? Zeno has productive suggestions.
Jerry Monaco argues in Science and Common Sense that our perceptions and biases about the world, what is often called common sense, must be measured against the evidence and reality, and sometimes reality is counter-intuitive.
A central tenet of biology is respect for diversity, and the only way we can maintain diversity is to maintain a wealth of habitat. 10,000 Birds urges us to Protect the Commons. Isn’t it odd how conservatives have abandoned any attempt at conservation, and it’s up to liberals to protect the planet?
Overpopulation is an important issue to conservationists, and as we see increasing restrictions on birth control and abortion, it’s becoming important to civil libertarians, as well. Austin Cline discusses the contradictions in the opposition to reproductive choice in Abortion & Contraception: What if they Really Were Private?
Revolvo Inritus compares the media response to two different, current stories—the unearthing of an apocryphal gospel and the discovery of a wonderful new fossil—and concludes that there is something wrong with the media’s priorities in Tiktaalik And The Gospel Of Judas.