• Religion - Science Stuff

    Evolution and entropy

    The claim is sometimes made that entropy, or the laws of thermodynamics, prohibit the possibility of evolution. The laws of thermodynamics can be stated in a number of ways in words, and more precisely in equations, but here is one way of stating them: Energy cannot be created or destroyed…

  • Religion

    Tyre

    I’ve said before that ‘debunking’ isn’t that interesting to me as an activity. At the same time, I care passionately about truth and truth-telling. So when someone crowed that the Bible’s divine origin was demonstrated by the fact that it had prophesied that certain cities would be destroyed and never…

  • Religion

    God, Intervention and Responsibility

    Someone asked on a forum ‘Was God responsible for the deaths in the Newtown shootings?’ My response: Thread is about God’s role. On which, if God could have prevented it and didn’t, why not? Certainly Huckabee’s ‘pushing God out of the schools’ makes no sense – if God is omnipresent,…

  • Philosophy - Religion

    What Am I?

    I mentioned to some friends on Facebook that the label ‘Christian’ doesn’t really fit me well these days. People tend to assume I’m a Christian when I say I believe in God, and to then interpret what I say from that perspective, which means they tend to miss what I’m…

  • Religion

    Good stuff from David Friedman

    I’m not an atheist, and I have to admit I have issues with the approaches of some of what P Z Myers (whose stuff I like a lot) calls the ‘gnu atheists’. This blog post from David Friedman is a very nice rebuttal to some of their more simplistic arguments:…

  • Religion

    Religious Stuff

    http://www.alternet.org/belief/151539/5_faulty_arguments_religious_people_use_against_atheists_%28debunked%29/?page=entire It’d be nice if everyone, on all sides, could show more respect for other viewpoints and more respect for the truth. It’s what I increasingly come to: I’m not advocating for or against any particular view, I’m advocating for truth and honesty. By all means disagree with someone, but…

  • Religion - Science Stuff

    Praying for the sick simply does not work

    I probably shouldn’t have to make the disclaimer after all this time, but it seems I do: I’m not attacking religion, Christianity or God. I’m challenging our (necessarily, inevitably) limited understanding of those things. Here’s a big analysis of the research evidence: http://www.springerlink.com/content/ql345l2h434666l5/ It’s pretty conclusive: praying for the sick…

  • Religion - Science Stuff - Teaching

    Critical Thinking and/or Creationism (in Tennessee)

    Kind of ambivalent about this story, really. Critical thinking is a good thing. Science should involve students critiquing theories and considering evidence: http://www.metropulse.com/news/2011/apr/06/critical-thinking-or-creationism-tennessee-classro/ But considering the sources, you have to wonder: I’d have no issues at all if the same standards of critical thinking are applied to both evolutionary theory…

  • Religion - Science Stuff

    Extinction of Religion?

    First, please note that I post this without glee: I seem to be developing a bit of a reputation for being anti-religious among some commenters here that I think is undeserved. I’m interested in news about religion, and like anything it’s often not the good news that makes the news……

  • Religion

    Literalism and Bibliolatry

    Recent forum discussions1 are just the latest manifestation of an issue I’ve been thinking about for quite a while now. I’ll let one of the forum denizens, ‘John317’, speak for himself: People have to decide whether to accept their feelings & opinions about this or whether they are going to…

  • Religion

    Four Forms of Immortality

    As part of a forum discussion, a friend wrote: …as we observe in the Universe, ‘death’ changes meaning to ‘change’. If my understanding is correct, a dying star is simply going through a change, one state to another.(bravus feel free to correct) If I took that definition and used it…

  • Politics - Religion

    On With The Body Count

    It’s something that comes up fairly often in discussions of religion, for all sides. Atheists point to the death toll and suffering in the Crusades and the Inquisition. Christians point to the deaths in Russia and China and ascribe them to atheism. Personally I don’t find it a particularly interesting…

  • Climate - Politics - Religion

    Dammit

    Conservative Christians tend not to believe in climate change. But they do believe extreme climate events are Signs of the End. Cannot freakin’ win with these people. THE WORLD can’t win. REALITY can’t win.

  • Philosophy - Religion

    Incorrigibility1 of Religious Beliefs

    I’ve been participating in a looong (over 500 posts) discussion2 at a Seventh-day Adventist forum I sometimes frequent about the Bible’s attitude to moderate consumption of alcohol: http://clubadventist.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/416138/Is_it_ok_to_drink_alcohol.html#Post416138 This blog post is not about that issue per se, but the bone of contention there was my claim that the Bible…

  • Musings - Religion - Science Stuff

    Something I’ve been thinking about

    First, check out this amazing video. You might have seen it before, but watch it again anyway: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ve4M4UsJQo&feature=search Now, God could have just walked over to the car and switched it on, metaphorically speaking. But how much more amazing and awe-inspiring to do it this way! Similarly, he absolutely has…

  • Religion

    I’m not antiChristian

    I am antibigotry, antihomophobia, antiprejudice, antipedophilia, antisexism, antiracism and so on. And when I see Christians being pro… any of those things, I’ll call them on it. When I see them ascribing it to their faith, I’ll call them on it even more. As I said to Matt the other…

  • Religion

    A sense of priorities

    This article from Paul Syvret is mostly about tax exemptions for churches, and is pretty satirical in tone: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/its-your-chance-to-pray-for-pay/story-e6frerdf-1225897081649. But some of the numbers he brought out struck me. Hillsong gives $1m tax-free expense accounts annually to 5 of its senior staff – that’s $5m. And that’s in addition to…

  • Religion - Science Stuff

    Evolution and Faith (and lots of other stuff)

    This report on a recent survey of Americans on their attitudes to science and religion has its own particular spin on the issues, but it does link directly to the research report. Definitely interesting stuff: http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/vcu-survey-on-science-and-religion/. As I may have mentioned before, we’re in the midst of an extended study…