Did Evolution Create Religion?

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, answers the question: Did evolution create religion?:

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the project — more videos will be posted soon — and we’d also appreciate your suggestions as to which questions we ought to tackle next!

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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:



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50 More Academics Talk About Religion

More than two years ago, Dr. Jonathan Pararajasingham created a short film featuring notable academics talking about religion — and often, why they don’t believe in God. He released the second part months later. (To clear up any confusion, these videos are all compilations from other sources.)

Yesterday, Pararajasingham released the third episode in the series, featuring scientists like Brian Greene, Elizabeth Loftus, Lisa Randall, and Jared Diamond:



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Whatever Happened to John T. Scopes (of Monkey Trial Fame)?

Glenn Branch of the National Center for Science Education sheds light on what became of teacher John T. Scopes after his infamous trial came to an end:

As for John T. Scopes, he wasn’t fired. Far from it. In fact, the president of the Dayton school board offered to renew his employment after the trial. But Scopes never planned to continue teaching in Dayton indefinitely. His original plan was to teach in Dayton until he had enough money to enable him to study law. In the wake of the trial, he was inundated with offers to capitalize on his fame…

The most eye-opening part for me was this:

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New Study Shows That Catholic Primary Schools Are No Better (and Arguably Worse) Than Public Primary Schools

A new study shows that Catholic primary schools are no better — and arguably worse — than public primary schools, contrary to popular belief.

The study, published in the Journal of Urban Economics, was done by Michigan State University’s Todd Elder and University College Dublin’s Christopher Jepsen.

Catholic school children actually do better at an early age, like in kindergarten, but that’s likely because they come from the kinds of families that can afford to pay private school tuition, giving them a bit of a head start in life. As they get older, however, the advantages fade:



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