Texas A&M University to Offer New Course Combining Neuroscience with Religion

Texas A&M University is developing a new elective class for biomedical sciences students that will be all about the intersection of religion and science… and it makes no sense at all:

“We explore how neuroscience and religion should inform and enrich each other,” Klemm said. Although the course is based on reading assignments from his textbook, titled “Core Ideas in Neuroscience,” those principles will be accompanied by religious and philosophic perspectives. For example, when discussing evolution of the nervous system, the students will also consider the Biblical book of Genesis and other creation stories. The lesson about action potentials — the cellular process that transmits information within and between neurons — will also include a discussion of Descartes and dualism between mind and brain.

That’s great. So they’ll discuss how our nervous system evolved and then talk about fairy tales that add nothing to their science knowledge. Sounds like 50% of the class would be wasted.

Science and philosophy can go together. So can science and ethics. But science and religion? How would learning what Genesis says about anything help students learn more about neuroscience? We never find out.

The class will be taught by Dr. W.R. Klemm (below) who has a reason he wants to throw religion into the mix:

[Read more...]

American Atheists’ Amanda Knief Discusses Greece Case on CNN

Amanda Knief of American Atheists appeared on CNN this morning to discuss the upcoming Supreme Court case of Town of Greece v. Galloway:

Knief was the sane side of the debate, going against Pastor Robert Jeffress — a guy who said last year that if Christians didn’t vote “biblically,” they were no different than the people who brought on the Holocaust.

[Read more...]

This is How the Viral ‘I’m Actually An Atheist’ CNN Segment Came About

Granted he has much more time to interview her, but Seth Andrews does a much better job of presenting Rebecca Vitsmun‘s story than Wolf Blitzer ever did:

[Read more...]

Saturday Night Live Tackles Whether Black People Would Still Support President Obama if He Left Christianity

One of the sketches from last night’s “Saturday Night Live” featured three African-Americans discussing how President Obama is doing. The running joke was that no matter what Obama did, his support from the black community would never fade.

The best exchange involved contemplating what would happen if Obama became an atheist (at the 3:38 mark):

[Read more...]

Even in Satire, Joshua DuBois Misses the Point

On last week’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” guest Richard Dawkins made a few headlines when he said that he’s “sure Obama is an atheist.”

Even though he didn’t elaborate on that, we know what he’s implying: President Obama, intelligent man that he is, says he’s Christian only because it’d be political suicide for him to say otherwise.

For what it’s worth, I think Dawkins went too far. He’s supposed to be the evidence-based thinker and there’s just no proof for what he’s saying. Only his own biases. It’s all wishful thinking — the exact thing Dawkins tries to fight again.

[Read more...]