Whom Can We Trust?

Yesterday in my class on religion and science fiction, we began discussing Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel The Year of the Flood. On the same day, news broke of a salmonella outbreak in multiple states involving some seven different strains of the illness, with CDC workers returning to work despite the so-called government shutdown. News also [Read More...]

Fundamentalism and Conspiracy Theories

Jeri Massi has been blogging about the connection between Christian fundamentalism and conspiracy theories. Here is a taste from her second post about this subject: [C]onspiracy theories are launched and spread by people who need an excuse for their powerlessness. And some psychologists warn that avid fans of conspiracy theories: those who go from one [Read More...]

Paranoid Christians Providing Entertainment

Many of you have probably seen the round-up of “The 35 Best Times Someone on Facebook Thought The Onion Was Real.” I am saddened by how many of them involve gullibility on the part of Christians. Here are some examples: There is an entire web site, “Literally Unbelievable,” dedicated to The Onion being taken seriously on Facebook. Once [Read More...]

Worst Conspiracy Ever (Dinosaur Skin and Creationism)

Eye on the ICR has a post about the discovery of some soft material from a dead dinosaur that had survived down to the present day. Not surprisingly, some young-earth creationists have tried to misrepresent it in order to imply that it shows that dinosaurs lived more recently. But it does nothing of the sort, [Read More...]

Mandaean Roots of Christianity?

This book came to my attention recently via Facebook. There is also a promotional video which contains only text plus images that can be found on the internet. This self-published book is unlikely to offer anything useful to scholars interested in the Mandaeans. That doesn’t mean, however, that it is impossible there were connections between [Read More...]

Death Star Trutherism

This is a great Star Wars parody of 9/11 trutherism – and all other conspiracy theories! As with other conspiracy theorists, there is usually some glaring error that makes it hard to take what they say seriously. In this case, it is calling the planet “Aldebraan.” HT IO9 and then later Tom Verenna on Facebook [Read More...]

Mythicism as Conspiracy Theory

That’s the title of an article in Slate by Evgeny Morozov, and there are a couple of quotes in which a simple substitution can be made so that they apply equally well to creationists, mythicists, and other denialists. Here’s an example: “In other words, mere exposure to the current state of the scientific historical consensus [Read More...]

The New Jerusalem Borg Cube? Jesus is Coming, You Will Be Assimilated!

I didn’t get the chance to post about this yesterday when the two blog posts about it came to my attention. Fitting squarely in the intersection of religion and science fiction – in the category of religion as sci-fi and/or sci-fi as religion – is the suggestion made by a religious group that an approaching [Read More...]

Quote of the Day (Pete Enns)

“Particularly in the age of the Internet, it is not hard at all to find someone with Ph.D. in a relevant field who lends a countervoice to mainstream thinking. This is true in the sciences, in biblical studies, and I’m sure any academic field. There is always someone out there who thinks he or she [Read More...]

Have We Been Going About This All Wrong? Fun With Conspiracy Theories

A cartoon from XKCD (HT P. Z. Myers) illustrates a different approach to conspiracy theories: combating like with like. How might that be applied to some of the conspiracy theories that regularly get discussed here? I wonder what would happen if someone played mythicists’ conspiracy theories off against others: Might one, for example, be able [Read More...]

Reasons to Buy Religion and Science Fiction: You Want To Believe

Fox Mulder on the X-Files had a poster of a UFO in his office, with the words “I Want To Believe.” The poster became famous. But why is it such a popular image? And what is the relationship between that sort of belief and religious belief? Many staple fringe ideas of our time – some [Read More...]


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