Fringe: A Better Human Being (Hubris and Fidelity in the Multiverse)

Yesterday’s episode of Fringe, “A Better Human Being,” explored a couple of interesting religious and philosophical themes related to modern science and scientific possibilities. The more obvious of the two relates to the doctor who, when using IVF to help women get pregnant, implanted them with “improved” genetic material to try to make “a better [Read More...]

Fringe: Why Did God Make Me This Way?

Should we refer to J. J. Abrams as in some sense a “theologian”? Last week’s episode of Fringe, “Forced Perspective,” which I only found the time to watch last night, is full of theology and philosophy. From a girl with remarkable precognition asking why God made her this way (and being reassured that God makes [Read More...]

Good News and Bad News in Indiana’s New Creation Science Law

The news is circulating that Senate Bill 89, which allows for the teaching of “creation science,” has passed the senate and now awaits approval from the house. There is at least some good news. On the one hand, the proposed law makes no mention of science classrooms, and so there is nothing that directly encourages [Read More...]

Droids with Feelings (or is it Existential Angst?)

I’ve actually written some serious treatments of whether machines can ever be people, including in my chapter in Religion and Science Fiction. The series of posters that IO9 highlighted today about droids suffering from what they described as “low self esteem” actually seem to me to depict them doing more than that, reflecting on very [Read More...]

Doctor Who: Time-Flight

The episode “Time-Flight” from the Peter Davison era makes brief mention of the tragic death of Adric at the end of the previous episode, before we see the Doctor back to his old self, and counseling his companions that Adric would not want them to mourn unnecessarily. Although it is understandable that the show’s writers [Read More...]

God and Anthropomorphism

In discussing Hume’s Dialogue Concerning Natural Religion in my freshman seminar course, one of the major focal points was inevitably whether God can be thought of as in any way analogous to human beings (or in more technical terms anthropomorphically). We also connected this with Tillich’s treatment of myths as expressions of ultimate concern in [Read More...]

Hume, Giraffes, and the Argument for Incompetent Design

One of the classic philosophical texts that we discuss in my freshman class “Faith, Doubt and Reason” is David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. It is noteworthy how, despite changes and progress in the realm of the natural sciences, the same sorts of arguments – such as the teleological or design argument – continue to [Read More...]

Academic Job?

We’ve been talking about the Book of Job and more generally about the problem of evil in my freshman course on Faith, Doubt and Reason. It struck me that one can make a point relevant to academic assignment writing from the Book of Job (although I wonder how appropriate it is to do so). One [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The Girl Who Waited (for the Providence of a Time-Travelling God)

Today’s episode of Doctor Who was not merely a great one but a beautiful one. What a brilliant use of time travel to explore the people we are and the people we become, and what might happen if the time stream of the person we want to spend our life with gets out of sync [Read More...]

Sci-Fi Around the Biblioblogosphere

If you hang around this blog a lot, you might not realize that discussion of sci-fi on biblioblogs is not universal, although it is not exactly uncommon either. Today, Scot McKnight shared a link to and excerpt from an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education on what led a programmer of robots to switch [Read More...]

Reasons to Buy Religion and Science Fiction: It Is Your Destiny

Lord Vader has been seen reading Religion and Science Fiction on more than one occasion. Why? To settle an old debate. Obi-Wan Kenobi once said of him that he had become “more machine than man.” That had to hurt. But philosophically considered, does that make sense? Or was it simply a cheap shot on the [Read More...]


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