The Case for a Creator: Intellectual Incuriosity

The Case for a Creator, Chapter 5 Chapter 5 is about the Big Bang and the cosmological argument, and we'll get to those. But I wanted to begin by highlighting an incredible, and telling, statement by Strobel in the opening paragraphs of the chapter. It seemed to me that the beginning of everything was a good place to start my investigation into whether the affirmative evidence of science points toward or away from a Creator. At the time, I wasn't particularly interested in internal Christian … [Read more...]

A Dialogue with Quixote, Part VII

Hello Quixote, Considering your last letter to me was some time ago, I apologize for the lateness of my reply. To tell the truth, this was the hardest one for me to write. It's not that I couldn't think of anything to say. Much the opposite: If I had said everything I wanted to say, this post would have been too long! Cutting it down to a reasonable length was more of a struggle than writing it. I've endeavored to edit in a way that does justice to your points and to mine. I also want to say … [Read more...]

Little-Known Bible Verses: Predestination

One of the most common Christian beliefs, and the one most often appealed to in order to explain why evil exists, is that human beings have free will to make choices that are not in God's control. God doesn't want robots, the argument goes, nor mindless puppets programmed to sing his praises. He desires genuine fellowship with real, independent beings, and giving us free will is the only way to achieve that, though some people may misuse the gift and cause evil and sin that harm others. But if … [Read more...]

Freedom to Dress

It's a sad day when you read stories like this from the city where the renowned Library of Alexandria once stood: Along the miles of crowded beachfront in Egypt's second city, women in bathing suits are nowhere in sight. On Alexandria's breeze-blown shores, they all wear long-sleeve shirts and ankle-length black caftans topped by head scarves. Awkwardly afloat in the rough seas, the bathers look like wads of kelp loosened from the sandy bottom. In Alexandria, a city once renowned for its … [Read more...]

The Case for a Creator: Dysteleology

The Case for a Creator, Chapter 4 In the last section of his interview with Stephen Meyer, Lee Strobel brings up the dysteleological argument, asking how intelligent design can account for the faults and imperfections in the natural world that would seem to cast doubt on the wisdom or benevolence of the designer. He begins with a classic argument, the inverted retina. Quoting Ken Miller: "We would have to wonder why an intelligent designer placed the neural wiring of the retina on the side … [Read more...]

Christians Persecute Atheist Teacher

The next time you hear Christians complaining about being persecuted in America, remember this story. You probably know Hemant Mehta, author of the blog Friendly Atheist. What you may not know, and what I didn't know, is that by day he's a math teacher at a public high school in Illinois. And it seems that a right-wing Christian group, outraged by the thought of an atheist being a teacher and potentially a role model, is now trying to get him fired. You can read the story in Hemant's own words … [Read more...]

The Opportunity Cost of Pseudoscience

Last month, the U.S. government-funded National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine released a study which found that Americans spent $34 billion annually on alternative medicine. Although this is just 1.5% of total health care spending in the country, it represents over 11% of all out-of-pocket expenditures. The report estimates that about 38 million adults visited alternative practitioners in 2007. Unusually for a mainstream media outlet, the Boston Globe offers a much-welcomed … [Read more...]

The Secular Tithe

How much money do you give away each year? For the sake of full disclosure, I'll start by answering my own question: I try to give at least $200 a month to nonprofit educational and charitable causes. I think it's a reasonable amount, although I know I could (and should) be doing more. Speaking out as nonbelievers is well and good. There will always be a need for forceful, effective advocacy for atheism. But I've come to realize that, if we really want to build a secular and enlightened … [Read more...]

The Case for a Creator: Astroturfing Science

The Case for a Creator, Chapter 4 Lee Strobel's usual interview technique is to ask softball questions that are carefully phrased to make it as easy as possible for his interviewees to "refute" them. But credit where credit's due - in the next section of chapter 4, he actually asks a good one. In talking to ID advocate Stephen Meyer, he brings up the evidence I discussed in my previous post: "If the scientific evidence for theism is so compelling... then why don't more scientists believe in … [Read more...]

Daylight Atheism Los Angeles Meetup

For all DA readers in the Los Angeles area (if any): Three weeks from now, on the weekend of September 5, I'm going to be in California to attend a friend's wedding. The weekend is booked solid, but my flight back to New York leaves from Los Angeles on Tuesday the 8th, and I'll have that Monday free. So, do I have any readers in or near L.A. who'll be around on Labor Day and are interested in meeting up? It would probably be later in the day, around dinnertime. If you'll be available and are … [Read more...]


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