Why is skepticism primarily a male thing?

Looking at survey data sociologists present about religion and secularity, I find the gender differences that show up to be rather striking. Among skeptics of religion, men invariably outnumber women. A typical statistic might have that in a given population of people identifying themselves as religious nonbelievers, 60% are men and 40% women. Interpreting such data is always difficult. On one of the articles I just read, I ran into a comment tying this gender imbalance to males being more … [Read more...]

New edition of Beversluis on C.S. Lewis

I just got my copy of the greatly revised and updated edition of John Beversluis’s C.S. Lewis and the Search for Rational Religion. I am proud to say that I played a (modest) role in encouraging John to bring out this terrific revision. Actually, it is so extensively rewritten that it is practically a whole new book. In the “Preface to the Second Edition,” John talks about the reception of his first edition (Eerdmans, 1985). By criticizing Lewis, John knew he would provoke the large … [Read more...]

Science and Nonbelief paperback

I've just received my author copies of the paperback edition of Science and Nonbelief. This means that it will be available for sale very soon. Since it's a paperback and therefore reasonably cheap, and since I wrote it in as nontechnical a manner as possible, I'll be interested to see how it does. … [Read more...]

The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief

I just finished reading through The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief,edited by Tom Flynn. OK, it's about 900 pages, but it consists of short articles, many which are quite interesting, so it goes fast.One gripe I have, though, is that the final revisions to the proof of my contribution seems to have been overlooked. As a result, there are a couple of small errors. OK, they'd only be noticeable to a physicist, but nonetheless, I'm slightly disgruntled. So if you want the proper entry for UNIVERSE, … [Read more...]

Infidel publishing in Turkey

The publisher of the Turkish translation of Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion might run into trouble, due to an obnoxious Turkish law against insulting religious sentiments.Since I have a Turkish background, and I have written books critical of supernaturalism in general and Islam in particular, I often get questions about whether my stuff will get translated and published in Turkey. I've generally figured no. Mainly because I've made some inquiries, and it seems to hard to get a publisher to … [Read more...]

Quantum magic

One unfortunate consequence of being a physicist is that occasionally someone inclined toward New Age spirituality will tell me "how nice, I'm very interested in quantum physics, as a matter of fact." Even worse possibilities lie in wait if I happen to mention that I teach quantum mechanics, because invariably, the reason for this deep interest turns out to be that this person has read something newagey and laced with quantum mysticism. Quantum physics, they think, validates magic, gives the … [Read more...]

Whence Physical Laws?

In a recent New York Times opinion piece, physicist and Templeton Laureate Paul Davies revisits an age-old question:"The most refined expression of the rational intelligibility of the cosmos is found in the laws of physics, the fundamental rules on which nature runs. The laws of gravitation and electromagnetism, the laws that regulate the world within the atom, the laws of motion — all are expressed as tidy mathematical relationships. But where do these laws come from? And why do they have the … [Read more...]

GOD AND THE “LAWS OF LOGIC”

Taner’s post on the argument that the “laws of logic” require a transcendent ground (i.e., God) understandably dismissed that argument. It is silly. However, it is the kind of silliness that has just enough of a plausible ring to it to give it rhetorical impetus. So, to prevent it from doing mischief, it is good to point out its fallacies. Here is the quote Taner gave from creationist Jason Lisle:Laws of logic are God’s standard for thinking. Since God is an unchanging, sovereign, … [Read more...]

Establishing liberal religion?

Some intelligent design proponents have begun to object to the way the relationship between biological evolution and religion is presented, when public funds and institutions afre involved. Their argument is that when defenders of evolution argue that evolution presents no challenge to religion, they favor liberal over conservative religon. This is not religiously neutral.Intelligent design proponents at the Discovery Institute are now objecting to how PBS is handling things:The PBS teaching … [Read more...]

New Chick Tract

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