Archives for June 2008

Purtill “Defining Miracles” – Part 3

Objections to Condition (5)I have previously argued that the following condition in Richard Purtill's definition of "miracle" should be rejected (see Purtill's essay "Defining Miraclies" in Defense of Miracles, IVP, 1997):(5) for the purpose of showing that God has acted in history. (p.72)This condition is based on an unappealing conception of God that draws from the Bible, but that does not fit with the assumption that God is a perfectly good person. It also makes the concept of a miracle too … [Read more...]

On Point of Inquiry

I just did another interview with Point of Inquiry, the podcast associated with the Center for Inquiry.This one centers on my book Science and Nonbelief, which came out in a low-price paperback edition a few months ago. … [Read more...]

The Faith

I just went through Charles Colson and Harold Fickett's The Faith: What Christians Believe, Why They Believe It, and Why It Matters.It's mostly basic conservative Christian doctrine and apologetics, laced with Colson's personal stories to show that Jesus saves etc. etc. Nothing complicated or remarkable as far as that goes. There were a couple of noteworthy aspects of the book, however.First, it's very ecumenical in the context of conservative Christianity. The political convergence of … [Read more...]

Dawkins’ Definition of “God” – Part 3

Dilemma for DawkinsProof of the existence of Zeus would either verify the claim that "God exists" or it would not. It is not immediately obvious which side of this dilemma Dawkins would choose. If he granted that proof of the existence of Zeus would verify the claim that "God exists", then he would have to toss out his definition of "God" (as being too narrow). On the other hand, if he denied that proof of the existence of Zeus would verify the claim that "God exists", then his conclusion that … [Read more...]


I've spent today lobbying Congress. Strange experience.I was part of a group of scientists and economists involved with The Union of Concerned Scientists, delivering U.S. Scientists and Economists' Call for Swift and Deep Cuts in Greenhouse Gas Emissions to the offices of Senators and Representatives, and meeting with their staff.I don't know how much good it will do; the present bill (Lieberman-Warner) being debated in the Senate will almost certainly not pass with the required supermajority. … [Read more...]

A Guide to Christian Cliches and Phrases

Former evangelical Christian and Bible college attendee Daniel Florien has put together a list of common Christian clich├ęs, along with translations of the real meaning behind them, along with "acceptable" and "unacceptable" responses to each.(Via Pharyngula.) … [Read more...]