Caught in the act

Today in my Sunday school class (which has been studying John’s Gospel) we reached the beginning of John chapter 8, the story of the woman caught in adultery. The story itself is one of the most famous stories about Jesus there is. Yet among New Testament scholars, the story is famous for other reasons. The [Read More...]

Sola Scriptura?

Although I am a Protestant, I must confess that the idea of ‘sola Scriptura’, of ‘Scripture alone’, doesn’t work. It could perhaps theoretically work in Islam, where one can (assuming one doesn’t take a critical approach to the text) assume the unity of the book as a given. In the case of the Bible, such [Read More...]

You Wouldn’t Steal A Car…

I have a reasonable amount of sympathy for the film and record companies who want us to buy their products. I’d be delighted if, rather than reading the electronic version of my book on NetLibrary or some similar database, all those interested in my book would go buy a copy. The truth is, however, that [Read More...]

A Scanner Darkly

I finished watching the movie A Scanner Darkly based on the novel by Philip K. Dick. I also have a book with collected philosophical and other essays by Dick checked out from the library, in connection with my ongoing research on religion and artificial intelligence. Although AI doesn’t really feature in A Scanner Darkly, religion [Read More...]

Are You Alive? Prove It!

Fans of the current Battlestar Galactica series will recognize the title of this blog entry as the first words of dialogue spoken on the miniseries that started it. The question is asked by an evolved cylon who poses the challenge to a human armistice officer. It was only today that the full significance of these [Read More...]

What Romania Has Taught Me About the Bible

I lived in Romania for three years, have been married to a Romanian for fifteen, and have had a lot of contact with Romania and Romanians. I love the surprised look on people’s faces when I tell them that I didn’t really understand the New Testament until I lived in Romania. Romania was part of [Read More...]

Fossil Hunting

Yesterday I went fossil hunting. After spending Canada Day in Canada, my family and I came back via upstate New York, where two days ago my son and I happened across a crinoid (sea lilly) and a coral fossil on the beach. This led to us spending some time yesterday at Penn Dixie Paleontological and [Read More...]

“What the Bible thinks”

This is just a short entry, just to share a further illustration of how the Bible is mythologized, personalized and in some cases deified by well-meaning but misguided Christians. I received a message from someone who disagreed with an answer of mine on Yahoo! Answers, and this individual said he isn’t interested in what I [Read More...]

Nothing new under the sun

I thought I had an original idea with my play on the name of Dembski’s blog. As it turns out, there is a blog dedicated to parodying Dembski’s blog called – you guessed it – Uncommon Dissent. It is allegedly maintained by none other than T. H. Huxley, reports of whose death were apparently, like [Read More...]

Uncommon Dissent?

Has anyone else noticed how hard it is to get one’s comments to actually appear on Bill Dembski’s blog, Uncommon Descent? I’ve posted lots of times on Richard Dawkins’ site, as have lots of other religious believers (mostly fundamentalists). Sites like that of the Discovery Institute don’t even have forums. One way to interpret this, [Read More...]

Can we backengineer a bug?

I’m been reading Sean B. Carroll’s book Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo, which is thoroughly fascinating. One can almost understand the response of proponents of intelligent design to the marvels of the workings of our genes, which mirror the workings of logic circuits. But of course, this is a reaction [Read More...]