Parallels to Christians’ Selective Use of Science

The film Pandora’s Promise (2013, 86 minutes, $4) explores nuclear power as it interviews prominent environmentalists who switched from being against it to being in favor. I’d like to highlight some of the features of the transition these environmentalists went through. There are surprising parallels with the transition people make when leaving Christianity, and there are parallels between a dogmatic anti-nuclear attitude and a dogmatic religious attitude. The charges against nuclear power Dr. Hellen Caldicott (a medical doctor) is used... Read more

Argument from Design BUSTED!

The Argument from Design (the Teleological Argument) says that life looks designed. For example, we marvel at the cell’s tiny protein-building machines. Some bacteria have flagella that propel them at twice the proportionate speed (body lengths per second) of a running cheetah. A single microscopic cell is able to divide and differentiate into a full-grown oak or zebra or human. William Paley famously said over two centuries ago, “The marks of design are too strong to be gotten over. Design... Read more

Atheism Fails Because There Is No Ultimate Justice?

Christian apologist Greg Koukl in a recent podcast (“Bobby Conway – Doubting toward Faith”) raised the issue of ultimate justice. With this topic, he thinks he’s found a winner. I think the problem of justice is a double down for us because not only is there no justice executed in an atheistic worldview, which is trouble, but there is no justice in an atheist worldview in the sense that the word can’t get any traction. The word justice itself, which... Read more

The Design Hypothesis, DNA, and Dysteleology

Dysteleology is the idea that life or nature does not show compelling evidence of design, in contrast to the Christian perception of purpose or design (teleology). The marvelous complexity in DNA is often cited by Creationists as the best evidence for their position. The facts tell a different story, and DNA makes clear that life looks more haphazard than designed. Let’s consider four aspects of DNA that make it look not designed. 1. DNA Size Human DNA has 3.42 billion base pairs. You... Read more

Breaking: Seattle Chapter of The Satanic Temple Prepared for Satanic Invocation Tonight in Bremerton

The local story about Bremerton High football coach Joe Kennedy, who for years has been praying with his players on the field after games, is now national. Coach Kennedy ignored the local school district’s directive from a month ago to discontinue the practice, and he was put on paid administrative leave yesterday. Nevertheless, the Seattle chapter of The Satanic Temple, of which I’m a member, has been invited by members of the Bremerton High community. It is planning on attending... Read more

How Does the Kalam Cosmological Argument Suck? Let Me Count the Ways. (2 of 2)

Let’s continue examining William Lane Craig’s Kalam Cosmological Argument (part 1 here). His version of the argument has two premises and a conclusion: (Premise 1) Whatever begins to exist has a cause. (Premise 2) The universe began to exist. (Conclusion) Therefore, the universe has a cause. Premise 1 sounds like common sense until you realize that Craig is talking about a supernatural creation (he provides no examples of a supernatural anything), out of nothing (he provides no examples of creation out... Read more

How Does the Kalam Cosmological Argument Suck? Let Me Count the Ways.

World-famous philosopher William Lane Craig (WLC) is perhaps most famous for his popularization of the Kalam Cosmological Argument. Let’s examine it to see if it is as compelling as WLC thinks. The argument is a Muslim variant on Aristotle’s First Cause argument (something had to be the first cause; otherwise, you have causes going back forever). WLC states the argument this way: Whatever begins to exist has a cause. The universe began to exist. Therefore, the universe has a cause.... Read more

Using Bayes Theorem to Decide How Likely the Jesus Miracle Stories

Christianity makes some fanciful claims: Mary was a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus. Jesus turned water into wine. He raised Lazarus from the dead and was resurrected from the dead himself. He is God, one with the creator of the universe. One response to these claims is simply to dismiss them. We could put them in the same bin as the tall tales from other mythologies. Let’s instead see how probability can be applied to questions like this. Christians and... Read more

Is America the Greatest Country in the World? A Rant.

You might have seen a popular clip from the television series The Newsroom where Will McAvoy (played by Jeff Daniels) is the anchor and managing editor of a news show. In the clip, McAvoy is part of a panel in front of a live audience. McAvoy takes nothing seriously at first, but things get real at 1:36 in the video. Then at 2:30, in response to a softball question, “Why is America the greatest country in the world?” he says,... Read more

Rationalizing Away the “Canaanite Problem” (2 of 2)

This is the conclusion of a critique of Greg Koukl’s justification of the Canaanite problem, God’s genocide of the people living in the Promised Land. Read part 1 here. God and Racism Koukl moves on to defend God against charges of racism. God cared nothing about skin color or national origin. Yes, you can make the sock puppet say that God cares nothing about race. But the very concept of a Chosen People means that the Bible has plenty of other verses that... Read more
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