In public debate, theology may still have a place

May 1, 2008
A week ago, before I began my afternoon trek back up Prospect Street and the hill that literally elevates the Divinity School above the rest of the University, I stopped off at the Law School to hear Harvard professor Michael Sandel deliver a lecture on the ethics of human genetic engineering. Sandel’s book on the »

Right to agency does not engender right to respect

April 17, 2008
In the past five years that I have spent at institutions of higher education, I have witnessed three visits by Ron Jeremy. That figure alone says something about the cultural impact of pornography. However, Molly Green’s treatment (“Respect women’s right to reasoned, free choice,” 4/10) of the Sex Week debate between porn stars Ron Jeremy »

Comcast revises history, meddles disingenuously

April 2, 2008
“Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain.” While J.K. Rowling may have had in mind a magical diary rather than the megacorporation, her words are nonetheless apt outside the world of fantasy. Cable television giant and Internet service provider Comcast Corporation has over the past »

Elite grammarians? Try out-of-touch pedants

March 5, 2008
Yesterday, March 4, marked the first “National Grammar Day,” created by the nit-picking pedants of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar and sponsored by Microsoft’s Encarta. According to NationalGrammarDay.com, “If we don’t respect and honor the rules of English … we invite mayhem, misery, madness, and inevitably even more bad things that start »

For rock stars and professors, perform or perish

February 20, 2008
Harvard University’s recent decision to make faculty publications available online at no cost is the latest step forward in a decade-long push for open access to educational materials. In the late nineties, projects such as MIT’s OpenCourseWare and Rice University’s Connexions were just beginning to take shape. Since that time, online educational offerings have expanded »

Popular anti-religion creates false dichotomy

January 24, 2008
It is a telling sign of the times that both journalist Christopher Hitchens’ latest book, “God Is Not Great,” and Oxford professor Richard Dawkins’ latest book, “The God Delusion,” have made The New York Times best-seller list. But while Dawkins has been the veritable poster child of atheism for decades, Hitchens and several others have »