The Language of God: And So It Begins

By B.J. MarshallIn The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, Francis Collins presents what he believes to be the strongest arguments for theism: what he calls the "Moral Law," the origins of the universe, and life on earth. In a nutshell, Collins sees the ubiquity of morality to be the work of God on our hearts; he sees the marvelous universe and the nature of reality to be "an insight into the mind of God" (p.62); and he sees life on Earth to be the handiwork of God. … [Read more...]

The Catholic Church Embraces Reform?

Since I've written a fair amount lately about the child-rape scandal engulfing the Catholic church, it would be unfair of me to overlook any steps they've taken toward reform. Well, you all know I'm nothing if not fair, so I have to report on this tiny, hesitant step:Last week, the Vatican for the first time issued guidelines telling bishops they should report cases of abusive priests to police where civil laws require it.Marvelous! At long last, the Vatican has bravely decided that its … [Read more...]

Happy Holidays! Atheism Is Growing!

As we ring in the new year, here's some news to give you a sense of optimism for 2010. This holiday season, we can add another piece of evidence to the growing pile which indicates that atheists are becoming more numerous and more successful:This Christmas season, 78% of Americans identify with some form of Christian religion, a proportion that has been declining in recent decades. The major reason for this decline has been an increase in the percentage of Americans claiming no … [Read more...]

A Response to "The White Stuff"

Earlier this week, I posted a piece by Sikivu Hutchinson, "The White Stuff", about the legacy of racism in science and to what extent issues of race affect the atheist movement. Today, I want to write a response to that piece and venture some of my own thoughts on the subject.To begin, I want to echo one of the more common objections raised in the comments: this piece was long on criticisms, short on suggested solutions. Granted, it's not the responsibility of every woman or member of a … [Read more...]

The White Stuff

A note from the editor:Hi folks,Before I get to today's post, a guest essay by Sikivu Hutchinson, I want to preface it with a few remarks.I've posted guest essays on Daylight Atheism from a variety of viewpoints, not all of which I personally agree with (as I hope should be obvious). I ask readers to keep that especially in mind with this post. I realize there's little probability of a visitor confusing a Christian guest viewpoint with my own, but since Sikivu Hutchinson and I agree about … [Read more...]

The Weakening Pull of Orthodoxy

The researchers behind the ARIS, which is the gold standard for American religious demographics, have released a new study that builds on their 2008 results with an in-depth look at one group that's near and dear to our hearts: "American Nones: The Profile of the No Religion Population". (HT: Friendly Atheist)As always, there's plenty of interesting data here to contemplate. Although "nones" show a decided gender imbalance - 60% of them are male, while the general population is 51% female - … [Read more...]

There Is No God-Shaped Hole

In A Shattered Visage, a book-length emotional rant against atheism, Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias puts forth the following assertion:The words of Augustine are most appropriate: "You have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee." Or, as Pascal put it, "There is a godshaped vacuum in the heart of every man, and only God can fill it." [p.89]Although they probably don't realize it, apologists who say this have committed themselves to a … [Read more...]

The Case for a Creator: Astroturfing Science

The Case for a Creator, Chapter 4Lee 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...]

The Case for a Creator: Why Cosmologists Are Atheists

The Case for a Creator, Chapter 4Strobel's next interview is with Stephen Meyer, a philosopher who's also one of the cofounders of the Discovery Institute. Strobel and Meyer touch on several topics (fine-tuning, irreducible complexity) that will be discussed in more detail in later chapters, so I'll defer responding to those arguments for now. Amusingly, Strobel also gives Meyer credit for contributing to Of Pandas and People - the textbook which provided one of the crucial pieces of evidence … [Read more...]

The Science Gap

While we're on the topic of science and the public, I came across another opinion poll worth mentioning: a survey released this month by Pew, Public Praises Science; Scientists Fault Public, Media, which analyzes how the public views scientific achievement and what professional scientists think of how their work is covered in the media (HT: Obsidian Wings). There's lots to chew over in this report, but I want to focus on this section, which shows how many ideas that are accepted by an … [Read more...]


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