Studying the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) is great preparation for being an educator. I’m convinced this is true even if your field has no direct connection to Biblical studies.Student papers can at times closely resemble each other or other possible source material. Learning to recognize lengthier agreements in order, and distinguish numerous agreements of wording from that which can occur through memory or chance, is very helpful.I can’t help wondering if any student in a course on these… Read more

I can’t believe it took me so long to discover Google Reader. It is like having a web version of Outlook for your blog feeds, making clear which of the blogs you follow have posts on them that you have not read yet in much the same way that Outlook draws unread messages to your attention – bold print plus a number to indicate the number of unread posts.What’s more, as some readers of this post already know but others… Read more

Let me say up front that I do not mean by this title that I learned all the biology I need to know in kindergarten. That is definitely not true. Rather, in alluding to the title of a famous book, I am suggesting that there are basic principles that we learn early on that some voices in current debates about evolution seem to be missing. Here are just a few of them.1) Teachers know more than we do. There are… Read more

I think that, when there are debates over the nature of the Bible, too much time is spent focused on debating whether historical details can be confirmed or whether cosmological and biological details match up with data from the sciences. In my class on the Bible yesterday, we discussed Ecclesiastes. Students expressed the same surprise (or in some cases shock) I felt when I first encountered the book.Perhaps the most startling of all is the advice in chapter 7 to… Read more

Let me join others who are focusing on the environment for this blog action day. It was the pressure of an unanticipated exam question that forced me to relate the implication of academic (especially source critical) study of the creation stories in Genesis to the issues of environmentalism.The question asked whether the creation stories justified human exploitation of the environment. I had prepared to talk about a lot of aspects of the creation stories, but that was not one of… Read more

Wile E. Coyote heads towards the cliff but doesn’t see it. We’ve all seen the cartoons – he can keep running, until he looks down and notices there is no longer anything beneath his feet to support him.This is, in essence, the situation of the young-earth creationist movement. Every single objection that did not consist of pointing at unanswered question – and even some of those – has been answered by scientists, and still more evidence than we might have… Read more

I seem to have ruffled some feathers. The blog Telic Thoughts has posted what is not so much a response to what I wrote recently as a complaint. Mike Gene felt that I painted with too broad a brush in my earlier post in which I suggested that proponents of Intelligent Design are dishonest.I don’t think that my statements were completely unjustified – indeed, some will probably say I didn’t go nearly far enough – but I will add that… Read more

One reason Intelligent Design has trouble being taken seriously is because it lacks what all cool things must have nowadays: its own video game. To show that I have nothing personal against the proponents of ID, I thought I’d help by rectifying the problem.In the game I created, using MIT’s Scratch program, you play Michael Behe (yes it really is him, but you have to look really closely), being chased in a nightmare by four of Ken Miller’s mousetrap tie… Read more

The Intelligent Design movement accuses biologists of claiming to know more, and with a greater degree of certainty, than they do. I would like to suggest that the proponents of ID are claiming to know less than they think they do. No true scientist, whether driven by intellectual curiosity or the desire to be famous, would claim to have found evidence that there was intervention by some powerful intelligence in our world, and then throw up their hands and say… Read more

An interview of me has just been posted on the TheoFantastique blog, on the subject of religion and science fiction. Read more

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