The Language of God: A Flurry of Fallacies

The Language of God, Chapter 7By B.J. Marshall Chapter 7 covers Collins' first option: "Atheism and Agnosticism: When Science Trumps Faith." I expect to cover this chapter in a number of posts - probably no fewer than four. He goes into more specific detail on agnosticism later in the chapter, so we'll save that for now. In fact, I can't even get to … [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...]

Fading Faith: The Rise of the Secular Age

By James A. Haught[Editor's Note: I'm proud to feature the writing of James Haught on Daylight Atheism. Mr. Haught has been an editor and columnist for the Charleston Gazette for over fifty years, as well as an eloquent and prolific freethinker and author of books like Holy Horrors. I've been a fan of his ever since I discovered him, through the Freedom from Religion Foundation, soon after becoming an atheist myself. You can read more of his work at his own website, To Question is the Answer, … [Read more...]

The Language of God: Clarke’s Goalposts

The Language of God, Chapter 5By B.J. Marshall At this point, Collins mentions, "godless materialists might be cheering. If humans evolved strictly by mutation and natural selection, who needs God to explain us? To this, I reply: I do" (p.140).In my view, DNA sequence alone, even if accompanied by a vast trove of data on biological function, will never explain special human attributes such as knowledge of the Moral Law and the … [Read more...]

The Language of God: Deeper DNA Comparisons

The Language of God, Chapter 5By B.J. MarshallIn the last post, we saw Collins give a foothold to Creationists who want to deny macroevolution. Even granted that he should have never allowed this foothold in the first place, he makes a valiant effort to tear the false micro-v-macro wall down by comparing our genome to those of other animals. It is here that Collins asserts that "[t]he study of genomes leads inexorably to the conclusion that we humans share a common ancestor with other living … [Read more...]

The Language of God: Micro vs. Macro

The Language of God, Chapter 5By B.J. Marshall Before tackling the gritty details using DNA evidence to support human evolution, Collins addresses Darwin, mutations, and the "rather arbitrary" distinction between microevolution ("incremental changes within a species") and macroevolution ("major changes in species") (p.131-2). In my discussions with Creationists, the micro- v. macro-evolution thing always comes up. … [Read more...]

Morality Has No Place in the Law

By Sarah Braasch"Surely if we have learned anything from the history of morals it is that the thing to do with a moral quandary is not to hide it." —H.L.A. Hart"This lesson is that the distinguishing characteristics of true law must be sought for somewhere else than in the nature of the authority from whence it proceeds, and in the certainty of the punishment by which its infraction is attended." —Sheldon AmosIn loving memory of my baby brother, Jacob Michael Braasch (01/28/86 … [Read more...]

Moderate Is As Moderate Does

[Editor's Note: Please welcome Sarah Jane Braasch-Joy back to Daylight Atheism! Regular readers from before my move to Big Think will remember her as a dedicated defender of feminism and secularism and one of DA's most prolific guest authors. New readers can read my introduction of her here, or see her past posts. —Adam Lee] By Sarah Jane Braasch-Joy In loving memory of my baby brother, Jacob Michael Braasch (01/28/86 – 02/02/10) I am beyond sick and tired of reading about … [Read more...]

The Language of God: Science Works!

The Language of God, Chapter 5By B.J. MarshallThe tagline of this books is "A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief." I've seen that the central thesis of the book is trying to harmonize religion and science, so I was surprised to find Collins spending a lot of time talking about how he mapped the genome - I could almost read the nostalgia in his voice - including the privatization issue that arose when Craig Venter (Celera) got into the genome-mapping fray. Part of how Chapter 5 begins is … [Read more...]

The Language of God: Grandeur in Life

The Language of God, Chapter 4By B.J. MarshallThe last part of this chapter is a brief but pretty thorough overview of DNA and how it works. He gives a short background going through genetics (Mendel and Garrod), the discovery of DNA (Avery, MacLeod, and McCarty), and the discovery of DNA's structure (Watson and Crick). He then goes through several pages describing how DNA works.He ends this chapter with a brief section he calls "Biological Truth and Its Consequences." He points out how … [Read more...]


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