Let’s start this collection of links with Adam Kotsko’s post on literalism. Here’s a sample:
I sometimes had to fight an uphill battle with secular liberal students who basically took fundamentalists at their word that they were following the Bible “literally” and who felt that such “literalism” was somehow the most authentic form of religion.
Throughout my time there, I would emphasize the fact that a literal reading of the whole of Scripture that sticks to the “plain sense” and comes out with a single meaning is impossible. First, there are clear surface-level contradictions, and as soon as you start coming up with ways to explain that away, you’re not being literal anymore. Similarly with the strategy of prioritizing certain books or passages over others (the “canon within the canon” approach) — while such an approach is basically unavoidable, it is also not “literal” because the Bible doesn’t come with its own meta-text telling you which parts to emphasize.
We do ourselves — and our poor high school students — no favors when we juxtapose the conventional wisdom of an entire community of scholars with that of a few fringe voices and invite people to choose which idea they like the best.
Mason talks about why ignorance isn’t strength.
For some more interesting science posts, try Justin Topp’s set of links.