Jason Streitfeld weighs in on the question of naturalism or supernaturalism, treated by Sean Carroll here, John Pieret here, and Shane and me in these this post and then this one. Streitfeld’s post is excellent so read it in full. Scientists do not rely on any notion of the supernatural to formulate their conception of nature. So why include the word “supernatural” in the definition of “natural?” Also, it is not clear that the world “obeys unambiguous rules.” It is… Read more

I love it—this is the great new name from one of Jerry Coyne’s readers for referring to: those atheists who are nonetheless soft on faith (i.e., atheist accommodationists). the kind of people, like Michael Ruse,  who say, “I am an atheist, but . . .”.   In other words, the folks who, says Daniel Dennett, have “belief in belief.” The word was coined as part of a contest, here were the runners up: Godlycoddlers (by Kitty’sBitch), also winner of the Most… Read more

A week ago we pointed readers to a study that provided evidence women tend to psyche out when they think they are playing chess against men and perform worse than they are capable. Here Laura Woodhouse from thefword.org shares her own anecdotes about underperforming at tasks when she is around men.   She finds herself suspecting, even without cause, that they are judging her and assuming her performance will not be up to snuff: The crunch, however, is that even… Read more

If you read one bit of off the Richter insane bit of hagiography mixed with 21st Century-style right wing populism, persecution complex, theocratic fantasies and claim to power prophetic powers all year, make it this article from Liberty University’s Stuart Schwartz. Sarah Palin loves God. God loves Sarah Palin. And that is why they hate her…and Him. And why she — and He — will be back. Sarah Palin’s spirituality has affected every part of her life, allowing her to… Read more

In honor of Metric’s appearance promoting their new album “Fantasies” on David Letterman just now, here is the song in which Metric’s lead singer Emily Haines first completely mesmerized me (and many others).  Her voice and performances are so completely alluring that I keep going back and listening to her even though her song writing only inconsistently lives up to her gifts with phrasing and singing.  While her work with her regular band Metric and her solo act as Emily… Read more

John Pieret is not thrilled with Sean Carroll’s foray into the philosophy of science and metaphysics from Thursday. Particularly, he is (rightly) critical of Carroll’s dismissal of major theories of scientific demarcation as mere “mottos” and his apparently unnuanced and uncritical preference for Occam’s Razor in all cases.  Only in the final paragraph does he address the portion on the possibility of supernatural causes being acknowledged by science which we quoted yesterday. In what I present below from Pieret’s post… Read more

Dave’s posts on karma and on The Thinking Atheist’s very well made video on the problem of evil earlier tonight stirred some thoughts on the subject in me that I hope to sketch out at another time.  In the meantime, I felt like this is a good time to post one of the best Mr. Deity episodes—the one where he works out his plans for evil.  Enjoy (and think)! Read more

An excellent question posed by a Scot, a reader at The Friendly Atheist. While Richard gives a fine answer supposing belief in a supernatural version of Karma, I find several of the comments interesting and more akin to the way I’ve used the term. Gary says: Actually, the word “karma” is sanskrit and simply means “action”. Actions have effects. In Hinduism and Buddhism, some actions have beneficial effects and others have detrimental effects. Effects of actions in the current incarnation… Read more

The Thinking Atheist takes on an invisible God: Read more

I never dreamed of such a thing—but here I am doing it. Now if only I had something urgent to say that I could make a real post out of this. Nope, nothing’s coming to me.  So, I’ll just take this chance to thank everyone who reads this blog.  It’s been a blast seeing the hit totals the last 4 weeks and I really appreciate the time you spend reading the stuff Dave and I write.  Keep commenting and if… Read more

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