Overly diplomatic?

In some of my recent talks about science and religion in Islam some Muslims in the audience asked me whether I thought there were scientific mistakes in the Quran.I've answered such questions very diplomatically so far. I usually point out that all this depends on how you interpret the text, that Muslims have a number of different interpretive approaches available to them, and that being a nonreligious person, it was none of my business to try and sort out what is the "correct" interpretation. … [Read more...]

Gay Marriage

Watch this. Keep in mind that this is an American politician—a Republican mayor of San Diego. And not only does he come out in support of gay marriage (that's only civilized, I figure), but never in his speech is there any religious reference. Amazing. … [Read more...]

Pentecostal rave party

(Hat tip to Ed Babinski, who found this at the Wittenburg Blog. The music is titled "Det snurrar i min skalle" and is from a Swedish group called Familjen--they've got several other songs on YouTube.)I found an apposite quote about this in an Economist article published last year titled "Christianity reborn":"A Pentecostal service is an unforgettable experience, part religious service, part spectacle, part rock 'n' roll rave. ... Harvey Cox, a professor at Harvard, points to two things that … [Read more...]

Talks in Ontario

I'll be giving talks on "Science and Islam" at three Ontario, Canada universities: Ryerson University, Wilfrid Laurier University, and University of Toronto at Mississauga.All are free and open to the public, and are on September 27 and 28. Click on each event above for more details.Just in case anyone is interested in attending... … [Read more...]

Intelligent Design: A Blind Alley

IslamOnline.net just ran my article "Intelligent Design: A Blind Alley," which asks Muslims to reconsider widepread Islamic sympathy toward creationism and intelligent design. Mind you, it's a bit of a fruitless task. My article appears as one in a series on the debate among Muslims concerning creation and evolution, and the creationist contributions are more numerous and more popular. Notably, it's hard to get believing Muslims to contribute the pro-evolution material.Oh, and take a look at the … [Read more...]

W(h)ither Europe?

Lately there has been a line of social science research that has been very positive for the egos of secularists. This tends to point out that religious belief is correlated with social insecurity, and that a high proportion of nonbelief in societies goes together with indicators of societal health. (See, for example, Phil Zuckerman's "Is Faith Good for Us?".) Very secular societies such as those of Western and Northern Europe and Japan do much better than countries where faith is riding high; … [Read more...]

Liberal Muslims

I often complain about the scarcity and relative lack of influence of liberal Muslim groups. Nevertheless, they exist, and secularists and infidels should hope that they get stronger. They are natural allies. For example, the mission statement of the Muslim Canadian Congress expresses liberal-minded convictions that any secularist can celebrate.I point out such organizations especially because lately I have often run into the sentiment that liberal religion is merely a weak-kneed cover for more … [Read more...]

New Chick Tract

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