The Language of God: YEC is Dumb

The Language of God, Chapter 8By B.J. MarshallI can summarize this chapter by quoting Collins himself: "Thus, by any reasonable standard, Young Earth Creationism [YEC] has reached a point of intellectual bankruptcy" (p.177). He spends the bulk of this chapter providing reasons why YEC is horribly flawed, and then he concludes with a "plea to reason" that is anything but.Sadly, I don't think Collins does enough (anything, really) to debunk YEC other than saying it's wrong. All he says is … [Read more...]

Fighting Creationist Pollution of Science Classes

This past weekend was Darwin Day, an international celebration of science and reason in the name of the one person who did more than possibly anyone else to clarify humanity's position in the natural universe. Alas, the great man's legacy is still threatened by religious ignorance:Researchers found that only 28 percent of biology teachers consistently follow the recommendations of the National Research Council to describe straightforwardly the evidence for evolution and explain the ways in … [Read more...]

The Language of God: Intellectual Dishonesty

The Language of God, Chapter 6By B.J. MarshallCollins begins Part III of his book, entitled "Faith in Science, Faith in God," by trying to wrap his mind around why evolution is so difficult for some religious people to get. He recalls an experience where he was at a men's dinner at a Protestant church discussing how faith and science can mesh. All was well until the senior pastor was asked whether he believed in the literal story of Genesis. The priest carefully chose his words to give a … [Read more...]

Bowing to the Text

By way of The Panda's Thumb, I came across this story that just had to be shared.Regular readers of this site are probably familiar with the arch-creationist William Dembski, one of the founders of the intelligent-design movement. When I last wrote about him, I mentioned that he, like other creationists who insist their work is motivated strictly by science and not religion, has somehow ended up at a conservative Christian seminary - in Dembski's case, the Southwestern Baptist Theological … [Read more...]

Creationists Flee from Criticism

A few weeks ago, I was alerted by a Google alert to a post, "Conversation With An Atheist", on the site Everyday Christian. Since I'm always interested to find Christians who want to converse with atheists, to see what they have to say about us and to us, I checked it out. It turned out to be a fairly run-of-the-mill creationist argument by a Christian apologist named Jack Wellman.Since my interest was piqued, I posted a comment in reply to Mr. Wellman, and then another when he responded (you … [Read more...]

The Case for a Creator: Redefining Science

The Case for a Creator, Closing ThoughtsThe theory of evolution not only explains and unifies a vast range of scientific observations, it's given rise to an enormous, fruitful research program by predicting where we should look in order to find all kinds of phenomena of interest. One of the most famous examples is how Charles Darwin predicted that the earliest human ancestors would be found in Africa, which turned out to be 100% correct. Based on observing flowers from Madagascar, Darwin also … [Read more...]

Weekly Link Roundup: Net Drama Edition

The intertubes are exploding with drama this week! I'm still catching up on a backlog of reading material myself, but I thought I'd post about the more notable news items.• First off, I just have to mention this because it's such delicious schadenfreude: Chris Mooney, atheist-basher extraordinaire, had a commenter earlier this year named Tom Johnson who claimed to be a scientist and wrote about how rudely and viciously he'd seen atheist professors treat their Christian colleagues. Mooney … [Read more...]

The Case for a Creator: The Radical Fringe

The Case for a Creator, Closing ThoughtsIt's been said that one of science's greatest virtues is that it's not dictated by a tyranny of the majority or guided by irrational human whims. After all, science is the search for the true nature of reality, and reality isn't decided by our preferences. No matter how many people prefer an experiment to turn out one way, it may in fact turn out another, and the scientific community will just have to accept that result. There's certainly much truth to … [Read more...]

The Case for a Creator: Spiritual Wisdom

The Case for a Creator, Closing ThoughtsAfter spending over a year on this project, we've come to the end of The Case for a Creator. Before bringing this series to a close, I have some closing thoughts on the overall message and tactics of the book.First: Although Lee Strobel tries to pass Case off as a dispassionate examination of scientific findings that just happen to support the existence of an intelligent designer, the obvious truth is that it's a Christian apologetics book dressed in a … [Read more...]

The Case for a Creator: Science by Armchair

The Case for a Creator, Chapter 10Science is hard work. Normally, to make any significant contribution to human knowledge, a scientist really has to get their hands dirty - experiments in the lab, research in the field, long days and longer nights, and the meticulous testing of hypotheses. But J.P. Moreland must be an especially brilliant scientist, because he doesn't even need any of those trappings. In this chapter, Strobel interviews him not in a lab or an office, but at his own … [Read more...]