The Unending Story

This was in the Manchester Guardian last February: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/feb/12/new-anti-science-assault-us-schools Like movie monsters who keep getting killed but keep coming back for more (and more tedious) sequels, anti-science activism keeps rising from the crypt. No surprise here. This is truly the unending story. What does surprise me a bit is that it apparently took so long for the two main forces of anti-science animus--evolution denial and climate … [Read more...]

THE HYPERBOLE EXCUSE

Check this out: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/03/pastor-sean-harris-beat-gay-children-sermon_n_1474510.html?ref=gay-voices Typical. Whenever an extremist is called out for making violent and hateful remarks, the response is always the same: "Just kidding. Hah hah. I was only using hyperbole to make a point." OK, well, I guess sauce for the goose... I think a 320 pound, heavily tattooed, leather-clad gay biker should collar Rev. Harris, beat his bigoted butt with a baseball bat, … [Read more...]

Podcast Available

My interview with Nelson Brooke for ThinkAtheist is now available:http://www.thinkatheistradio.com/albums/dr-keith-parsons/The talk ranged over a number of issues--really more on philosophy of science than anything else. … [Read more...]

Does Craig Demonstrate a Fallacy in Hume?

A recent responder to my postings on Hume’s argument against miracles claims that Hume’s argument in Section X of An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding is “demonstrably fallacious.” After a bit of coaxing, he has produced the following alleged demonstration, taken from William Lane Craig’s debate with Bart Ehrman:”When we talk about the probability of some event or hypothesis A, that probability is alwaysrelative to a body of background information B. So we speak of the probability of A on B … [Read more...]

The Parsons Test of Biblical Literalism

A number of posts and commentaries recently have argued that even conservative Christian apologists have now largely abandoned the old-fashioned literalist view of scripture. I am still not sure. I don’t know how deep or broad their skepticism is. Hence I offer the following Parsons Test of Biblical Literalism. It is, of course, a completely unscientific test that I made up just for fun. Still, I would be very surprised at many scores of much less than 40 from our evangelical interlocutors. … [Read more...]

Does Hume Commit a Fallacy?

One respondent to my previous post, “The Gospels and Critical History,” in addition to the usual bluster and bombast, manages to offer a few interesting arguments. He had this to say about Hume’s miracle argument from section 1o of An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding:"As for Hume's beautiful argument; it is demonstrably fallacious. Hume had an excuse because probability calculus hadn't been fully developed in his day, but we now know that what Hume forgot to factor was the probability that … [Read more...]

The Gospels and Critical History

I follow with interest some of the debates posted on SO concerning the historical reliability of the Gospel narratives. Christian apologists often accuse skeptics of approaching those narratives with an unwarranted degree of skepticism that assumes the falsehood of those narratives until and unless they meet unreasonable standards of proof not imposed on other ancient testimonies. For instance, they say that skeptics raise no quibbles about the general historicity of the accounts of … [Read more...]

Religious Minimalism

This is an interesting article that I find largely congenial:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/philip-clayton-phd/science-religion-religious-minimalism_b_1143257.htmlI do wonder what the authors mean by "humility," which is an attitude they recommend for both believers and non-believers. Humility is a Christian virtue, and it has its positives and negatives. On the positive side, a dose of humility can be a fine corrective for some of the overweening arrogance on display, for instance, among the … [Read more...]


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