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...]

The Language of God: On Darwin

The Language of God, Chapter 4By B.J. MarshallCollins spends only three pages discussing the history of Darwin's publishing his theory of evolution through natural selection, but there are a few points that I want to discuss concerning how Collins (and apologists in general) lift quotes, provide misinformation, and arrange material to help guide the reader to draw certain conclusions. Now, I'm not saying that atheological counter-apologists - if I may use such a phrase - are immune from … [Read more...]

The Language of God: A Shoddy Harmonization

The Language of God, Chapter 4By B.J. MarshallCollins mentions some creationist positions in light of the fossil record. It's obvious he doesn't agree with these arguments: "[n]o serious biologist today doubts the theory of evolution to explain the marvelous complexity and diversity of life. In fact, the relatedness of all species through the mechanism of evolution is such a profound foundation for the understanding of all biology..." (p.99). Later in the book, he will defend his thesis that … [Read more...]

The Language of God: A Biologist in His Element (Sort Of)

The Language of God, Chapter 4By B.J. MarshallThis chapter is entitled "Life on Earth: Of Microbes and Man." Right from the beginning, you should probably know that there's a lot in this chapter that Collins gets right. It's like how William Lane Craig is totally in his element when he talks about cosmology, because he's an astrophysi ... wait, that's right, he's not. (I couldn't help but slam "The Case for a Creator" my parents got me for my first birthday post-deconversion. Nothing says … [Read more...]

The Language of God: Cosmology and the God Hypothesis

The Language of God, Chapter 3By B.J. MarshallCollins concludes this chapter by tying his overview of cosmology to the god hypothesis. He states that "[c]learly, the scientific view is not entirely sufficient to answer all of the interesting questions about the origin of the universe, and there is nothing inherently in conflict between the idea of a creator God and what science has revealed" (pp.80-1). We've already addressed this god-of-the-gaps mentality before; just because one hypothesis … [Read more...]

The Language of God: Quantum Quote-Mining

The Language of God, Chapter 3By B.J. MarshallCollins spends only a few pages discussing quantum mechanics and the uncertainty principle. He starts with a sentence that has nothing to do with anything, really. He mentions that "Newton was a believer who wrote more about biblical interpretation than he did about mathematics and physics" (p.78). I have no idea why Collins would include this other than to say, "Hey, look everyone! This guy's a theist, and he's really smart. You should pay … [Read more...]

The Language of God: In the Beginning…

The Language of God, Chapter 3By B.J. MarshallAfter his prelude, Collins begins at the beginning: The Big Bang. He talks about what it is, asks what came before it, and argues that it cries out for a divine explanation. The Big Bang doesn't just cry out for an explanation - no, no, no - it cries out for a divine explanation. Nothing like checking your biases at the door when doing that science thing, right?We saw previously that he knows what a theory is, so this guy knows how to do … [Read more...]

Naming Activist Fallacies: The Separatist Paradise

By ScotlynApologies, folks, this post took a bit longer than promised. I have been struggling for two weeks or so to write a post on the activist fallacy of the "Righteous Victim," but it seems that the post which wants to be written first is the fallacy of the "Separatist Paradise." This concept, the concept that we will be safer, or happier, or freer, in the company of others of our own kind, (and sometimes accompanied with a concept of "our own kind" as being special, exceptional, even) … [Read more...]

The Language of God: Prelude to Cosmology

The Language of God, Chapter 3By B.J. MarshallPart 2 of this book, "The Great Questions of Human Existence," covers topics of cosmology, life on earth, and unpacking the human genome. Chapter 3 begins by tackling cosmology, but Collins throws in a little prelude - a little homage to science. We should keep in mind that Collins' point through all this is to find a way to reconcile faith and science. He's not big into NOMA, but rather argues that science complements faith. Although he gets … [Read more...]

The Language of God: Rusty Containers

The Language of God, Chapter 2By B.J. MarshallChapter 2 reminds me of a Tim Minchin song, Storm, where one line goes "Keeps firing off clichés with startling precision / Like a sniper using bollocks for ammunition." The next theme Collins discusses in this chapter involves addressing all the harm done in the name of religion and wondering how anyone could subscribe to the tenets of any religion that perpetrates such wrongs in the world. He gives two answers, but one is really a … [Read more...]