Galileo vs. Bozo

On Facebook, in response to my post about the “Galileo Gambit,” Dudley Chapman recalled a saying to the effect that they laughed at Galileo and they laughed at Thomas Edison, but they also laughed at Bozo the Clown. I’ve found that quote in several places around the internet. Dudley added “The job of science is [Read More...]

An Evolutionary Creationist’s Declaration of Independence

This seems particularly fitting for the occasion of 4th of July and an ongoing interest of this blog (it is authored by Mike Beidler, and first appeared on the blog Rethinking the αlpha and Ωmega: An Evolutionary Creationist’s Declaration of Independence (Apologies to Mr. Jefferson) In the BODY OF CHRIST, February 26, 2010. The unanimous [Read More...]

How to Tell Pseudoscience and Pseudoscholarship from the Real Thing

Geology professor Callan Bentley received an e-mail from the Discovery Institute asking for permission to use a photo of his. He refused, explaining why. He has shared the back and forth between himself and them on his blog (HT P. Z. Myers and Hemant Mehta). The entire thing is worth reading, but I’ll quote the ending [Read More...]

Announcing TalkHistoricity: An Index of Mythicist Claims

It was recently suggested to me that it might be useful to put together an index of mythicist claims, and the answers and responses to those claims from the perspective of mainstream historical study. Although it can be said that every claim by mythicists has probably been addressed at least implicitly in scholarly monographs and [Read More...]

Fringe: Are Emotions Our Strength Or Our Weakness?

The episode of Fringe “The Human Kind,” which aired this past Friday, involves a lot of discussion that intersects with faith, doubt, reason, intuition, emotion, and even God and providence. Before getting into the spoiler-containing part of the post, let me say something that I think could already be said based on previous episodes. Joshua [Read More...]

Mythicism, Creationism, Science and Faith

Where do mythicism, young-earth creationism, mainstream biology and mainstream historical study (including but not limited to the study of the historical Jesus) fit in the diagram below, in the view of readers of this blog? Even though one cannot run “history experiments,” are historians not doing something similar when they take their ideas about the [Read More...]

The Danger of Backfiring Skepticism

Skepticism ought to be about critical thinking. But it often ends up being something else, which is illustrated nicely in the latest cartoon by David Hayward: It is a bit like the point made in Richard Beck’s recent blog post about scapegoating. Going against the flow, once looked down upon, is now highly appreciated in [Read More...]

Why Doesn’t the Bible Contain Superior Medical Advice?

Many will consider the answer to the question posed in the title of this post obvious, as indeed do I: The Bible does not contain superior medical knowledge, or indeed anything that we might consider medical knowledge in the modern sense at all, because it was written before there was any medical knowledge, much less [Read More...]

Observing Evolution

Creationists regularly claim that evolution is unobservable. This claim is false. To give some examples, just in recent days there have been a few important instances of scientists being able to witness crucial evolutionary transitions as they happen. Here are links to relevant articles: In yeast, scientists have observed the transition from being a single-celled [Read More...]

The Sheer Number of Young-Earth Creationists and Intelligent Design Proponents

It is difficult to work out the precise number of anti-evolutionists there are in the world, but an experiment to illustrate the sheer number of them has been proposed. If you took all the young-earth creationists and proponents of Intelligent Design, and laid them down head to foot along the equator, presumably some of them [Read More...]

Mythicism: The Heart of the Matter?

I think that Neil Godfrey’s recent post on “fear of mythicism” raises what may be the most important issue in relation to mythicism. After listing numerous comments on this blog which make comparisons between mythicism and other fringe views such as creationism and holocaust denial, Godfrey writes: I can read rational, evidence-based rebuttals of holocaust [Read More...]