Peter van Inwagen’s argument for Christianity

My previous post brings me back to a point I made in chapter 1: too many attempts to refute “atheism” fail to understand that atheism is just thinking there aren’t any gods. They think that refuting “naturalism” or “materialism” or whatever is somehow evidence that their god exists. I’m now going to give a somewhat longer [Read More…]

Did Chris Mooney have a point?

On my previous post on Chris Mooney, James Croft left a comment which I’m very grateful for and want to respond to. Here’s the meat of James’ comment: I think that Mooney is making a general case that supporters of science and critics of religion need to pay closer attention to the well-developed science of [Read More…]

Arguments for the existence of something that sounds kind of like a god

A close cousin of god-of-the-gaps arguments are arguments that argue for something that sounds kind of like a god, but which wouldn’t actually have to be a god. A good example of this is the argument from design, which claims that we can somehow show that the life on Earth and/or the universe was designed, [Read More…]

In defense of evolutionary psychology, part 3: Hamilton’s rule and reciprocal altruism

Hume once said that “A man naturally loves his children better than his nephews, his nephews better than his cousins, his cousins better than strangers, where every thing else is equal.” When I first found this quote from Hume, I was quite impressed, because it anticipates an idea that wouldn’t be formulated until roughly 200 [Read More…]

At LessWrong: Why a human (or group of humans) might create unFriendly AI halfway on purpose

This post that I just wrote contains some of the stuff on evolutionary psychology I’ve been meaning to write more about here: Too many people–at least, too many writers of the kind of fiction where the villain turns out to be an all-right guy in the end–seem to believe that if someone is the hero [Read More…]

The Big Thread of Happy Things!

As promised yesterday, here is my Big Thread of Happy Things! I’ll start with a post from Greta Christina on a study reporting that atheists have better sex (than anyone except Jews and Unitarians): [Read more…]

I am reminded that I art mortal

I called in sick to work today. Couldn’t sleep because of a terrible cough, and woke up barely able to speak (before calling in, I spent some time practicing saying several sentences in a row without swearing uncontrollably at how difficult it was). But that’s not the worst part. [Read more…]

From the archives: Why the retina is cool

I’m taking a page out of Natalie’s book and giving myself a week off, where I re-post posts from my old blog every day. This doesn’t mean I won’t post other stuff (see previous post), but I’m giving myself permission to do only that if other things get in the way. Today, I’m re-posting another [Read More…]

Five books for a high-school dropout?

Here’s an interesting question a friend of mine posted to Facebook: If you could only choose five books to give to a high school drop-out to get them through the rest of their life, what books would they be and why? [Read more…]