Logic implies God?

I'd normally ignore it as too crazy even for creationists, but I've encountered this argument more than once lately. It's the notion that the existence of "the laws of logic" requires a transcendent divine authority—a version of the eye-roll-inducing "Transcendental Argument" favored by the likes of the late Reconstructionist Greg Bahnsen. For example, as creationist Dr. Jason Lisle puts it:Laws of logic are God’s standard for thinking. Since God is an unchanging, sovereign, immaterial B … [Read more...]

The “Sixth Horseman”

Here's a snippet from the end of Paul Kurtz's lead editorial/article in the last Free Inquiry:I am astonished by the fact that six books on atheism have been published by five authors (Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel C. Dennett, Christopher Hitchens, and Victor Stenger) to such vitriolic comment in the press. . . Incidentally, to our list of six books by the so-called five horsemen, we should add a new one, which is perhaps equally significant: An Illusion of Harmony: Science and Religion in … [Read more...]

Flew interview

My mind is on intelligent design today, probably because I've just started teaching about it in my science-and-pseudoscience course. Anyway, the ID people are pushing Antony Flew hard, because he's out with a new book There is a God, and because it's always nice to be able to highlight a major convert to your cause. There's an interesting interview with Flew online, which reminds me why the whole affair pisses me off. Here's Flew's brief description of his reasons to believe: There were two … [Read more...]

Bad science, bad theology?

A very common charge against creationism and intelligent design is that not only is this bad science, but also bad theology.I'm not entirely comfortable with this. Yes, academic theologians are much less likely than, say, televangelists, to attack evolution. Being able to point to theologians who accept evolution is very useful in the political and cultural struggle over science education. I'd love it if larger numbers of ordinary religious people would be influenced by sophisticated theologians … [Read more...]

Is secularism morally irrelevant? (Or worse?)

Back in the days of the European Enlightenment, sentiments like Denis Diderot's "Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest" rang true. Hotheaded and dangerously violent, yes, but I can sympathize. Get rid of the bloodsucking ruling class and their ideological enablers. You can see why opposition to organized religion once could be part a desire for broad-based social liberation. Secularism could once be an important part of standing up for the … [Read more...]

Progress? What progress?

I threw a party last night to welcome a new colleague to our physics department, and later in the night, I found myself talking about science and religion with him. (Not entirely uncommon when you get some food and wine into a bunch of science-types.)If I understood correctly (keep in mind the wine), he was arguing that questions about origins (the universe, life etc.) were especially profound, and that how we answer such questions were bound to have significant societal consequences. As science … [Read more...]

So, what’s the point?

I expect that everyone who gets involved in science and religion debates from a skeptical point of view occasionally asks themselves what the point of all this effort is. After all, religion is one of those areas in life where it's notoriously difficult to either say something really new or to change anyone's mind. To get through to many believers, the hurdle is not so much to present an argument as to persuade them that reasons and evidence are relevant in the first place. And that persuasion … [Read more...]

An Illusion of Harmony review

The Brunei Times has a review of my critique of Muslim attitudes toward science, An Illusion of Harmony.The review is interesting. Not because it has any substance; it consists largely of invective. But it's an interesting example of what those of us who want to be critical of Islam face. Even when you avoid going on an Islam-bashing expedition, it's very hard to get devout Muslims to pay attention to what you're actually saying. … [Read more...]