Join the Nerd Herd

Being a nerd is far more acceptable these days. I just watched “Chuck”, the new NBC series, which I taped on Monday when it premiered, but only managed to watch this evening. The story revolves around a member of the “Nerd Herd” tech support employees at a “Sell More” store. Although the story in some ways recalls Johnny Mnemonic, Chuck is not enhanced through any actual technological add-ons, and thus he is different from both Johnny Mnemonic and from Jamie… Read more

Added Ads Oddly At Odds

I’m just so glad someone finally said something! It has for a long time driven me crazy the way ads are added to a web page advertising the very viewpoint that the page is dedicated to combatting!Now the question is: what do we do about it? I’d suggest starting a movement, such as “Gathering Of Internet Nerds Growingly Annoyed by Google Ads”, but the acronym is already taken. Read more

Job and Despair

This reflection began as a response to an event at which three of my colleagues presented three different perspectives on the topic of despair. My colleague in religion, Chad Bauman, made a wonderful presentation about the four noble truths of Buddhism as well as the book of Job and the issues of despair and inexplicable suffering in a monotheistic context. Another colleague of ours mentioned during the question time afterwards that he has always found the book of Job problematic,… Read more

Group Of Intellectuals Negating Godless Atomism + Generic Atheism

I apologize for the somewhat lengthy title for this new movement (“Group Of Intellectuals Negating Godless Atomism + Generic Atheism”), and for the fact that it fails to produce an acronym. (Really, it doesn’t, don’t try). Earlier attempts to find a shorter name, such as Showing Atomism To Answer Nothing, also failed to produce an acceptable acronym. But the name is not what is important, but what our movement stands for. All around the world, children are being indoctrinated with… Read more

Rumors of Evolution’s Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

In a recent post I directed readers to the many scientific papers on the web site of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. These illustrate the vibrancy of many scientific fields, including evolutionary biology.In discussions on the Uncommon Descent blog, on the other hand (where it was refreshing to have William Dembski himself acknowledge up front that he does not believe in common descent), there is a close-knit community of people who declare that evolution is a dead… Read more

Letting Go(d): Buddhism and Bultmann

Today I showed one of my classes the episode “Footprint of the Buddha” from the classic series The Long Search. The first time I watched it, I was particularly struck by one of the ways host Ronald Eyre summed up a key emphasis of Buddhism. He sits in a wooden chair and observes that if he sits there for a little while, he may be quite comfortable, but after 24 hours sitting in the chair he’d be in agony, after… Read more

Scripture and Violence

An article in Nature earlier this year showed what many of us have also encountered in the classroom: reading violent Scripture makes violence seem acceptable to the reader. At least, in my experience, it makes readers who would in any other context deplore actions, instead approve and justify them because they are found in Scripture.I have not seen evidence that such people actually become more prone to violence. But they do at the very least learn the art of justifying… Read more

So You Wanna Be A Provost?

PROVOST AND VICE PRESIDENT FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRSButler University, one of the nation’s leading master’s comprehensive universities, invites applications and nominations for the position of Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.A vibrant university, Butler offers students, faculty, staff and the broader community an array of stimulating intellectual opportunities and inspiring cultural activities. Butler is committed to providing personalized liberal and professional education to 3,900 undergraduate and 500 graduate students in five colleges (Liberal Arts & Sciences, Pharmacy & Health Sciences,… Read more

Francisco J. Ayala

The work of Francisco J. Ayala in both biology and theology is gaining significant attention around the blogosphere. William Dembski has offered a critical review of Ayala’s book Darwin’s Gift: To Science and Religion (which I also reviewed on my blog a while back). The Panda’s Thumb blog also has an entry on the book. Of course, neither Ayala’s work in biology nor his engagement with theology is new to the web or in general.Anyone who might simply read a… Read more

The Darwin Code

I’ll bet that many young-earth creationists and proponents of intelligent design are kicking themselves for having been beaten to the punch by Dan Brown and having their own argument used against Christianity. If there is one feature that young-earth creationism and intelligent design have in common, it is that they must both posit a conspiracy to indoctrinate people and cover up the truth. That is the only way to explain why not only most people but most scientists in relevant… Read more

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