Everything I Need To Know About Evolution I Learned In Kindergarten

Let me say up front that I do not mean by this title that I learned all the biology I need to know in kindergarten. That is definitely not true. Rather, in alluding to the title of a famous book, I am suggesting that there are basic principles that we learn early on that some [Read More...]

Don’t Be Too Righteous

I think that, when there are debates over the nature of the Bible, too much time is spent focused on debating whether historical details can be confirmed or whether cosmological and biological details match up with data from the sciences. In my class on the Bible yesterday, we discussed Ecclesiastes. Students expressed the same surprise [Read More...]

The Genesis Creation Stories and the Environment

Let me join others who are focusing on the environment for this blog action day. It was the pressure of an unanticipated exam question that forced me to relate the implication of academic (especially source critical) study of the creation stories in Genesis to the issues of environmentalism. The question asked whether the creation stories [Read More...]

Creationism’s Cartoon Physics

Wile E. Coyote heads towards the cliff but doesn’t see it. We’ve all seen the cartoons – he can keep running, until he looks down and notices there is no longer anything beneath his feet to support him. This is, in essence, the situation of the young-earth creationist movement. Every single objection that did not [Read More...]

Ruffled Feathers

I seem to have ruffled some feathers. The blog Telic Thoughts has posted what is not so much a response to what I wrote recently as a complaint. Mike Gene felt that I painted with too broad a brush in my earlier post in which I suggested that proponents of Intelligent Design are dishonest. I [Read More...]

Michael Behe vs. The Mousetraps Video Game

One reason Intelligent Design has trouble being taken seriously is because it lacks what all cool things must have nowadays: its own video game. To show that I have nothing personal against the proponents of ID, I thought I’d help by rectifying the problem. In the game I created, using MIT’s Scratch program, you play [Read More...]

Which is worse: Dishonestly claiming knowledge, or dishonestly claiming ignorance?

The Intelligent Design movement accuses biologists of claiming to know more, and with a greater degree of certainty, than they do. I would like to suggest that the proponents of ID are claiming to know less than they think they do. No true scientist, whether driven by intellectual curiosity or the desire to be famous, [Read More...]

Interview on Religion and Science Fiction

An interview of me has just been posted on the TheoFantastique blog, on the subject of religion and science fiction. [Read more...]

Rush and Religion (Peart’s Poetry)

Last night, as continued my ongoing struggle to solve the mystery of the black screen after login on Windows Vista, I put on R30, the DVD of a concert the band Rush issued to celebrate their 30th birthday. I’ve liked Rush’s music since the first time I heard it, which was the album Grace Under [Read More...]

Jesus’ Illegitimacy and the Gospels

The question of whether Jesus was, or at least had the status of, an illegitimate child is one that has been widely discussed in recent scholarship, including by me (in an article published in the Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus). Today I received an e-mail from someone who had read my article [Read More...]

The Spiritual Brain

I had to force myself to pick up The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Case for the Existence of the Soul by Mario Beauregard and Denyse O’Leary, since my expectations were not high, largely because I was not impressed with the views O’Leary has expressed, and the way she has expressed them, on her own blogs [Read More...]

When Cosmologists and Biologists Speak of God

In my religion and science class yesterday, we compared the different feelings that scientists seem to have about the appropriateness of bringing God-talk into the discussion in cosmology and in biology. Has anyone else noticed that it is relatively uncontroversial for Einstein, Hawking, Davies, Peacocke, Polkinghorne and many others to mention God in discussions of [Read More...]

History: Playing By The Rules

I had a letter to the editor published in today’s issue of a local newspaper, NUVO. It was in response to a letter to the editor that appeared the previous week, claiming that Christianity was invented in the time of Constantine. Here’s the letter I wrote: I certainly agree that “faith” cannot and should not [Read More...]

Intelligent Design and Gnosticism

I thought it might be fitting to offer a few brief words of appreciation for that ancient movement, which has not entirely disappeared even today, which took the argument from design completely seriously. I am thinking, of course, of the Gnostics. They were Biblical literalists to boot, taking at face value the references to God’s [Read More...]