Randal Rauser Replies

His post: Do naturalists have more to lose? If not, why are they crucifying Thomas Nagel?  In order to prevent this from becoming a back-and-forth mess, I've replied in the comments there. He's a good guy, so I don't mind sending him more traffic. If you're interested, the discussion can continue there. … [Read more...]

MOVING THE SEMANTIC GOALPOSTS – theological sleight-of-hand with words

 From my book Believing Bullshit. Moving the goalposts The expression “moving the goalposts” refers to a certain disreputable strategy in an argument. Suppose I claim Fred has never been to Brazil. It’s pointed out to me that Fred went to Brazil on his honeymoon. My claim has been shown to be false, but rather than admit this I just switch claims: “Well, he’s never been to Brazil on business.” I have just moved the goalposts. The analogy is with football. It looks like some … [Read more...]

Patheos is Great. The Ads Suck

I have greatly enjoyed posting and commenting on Patheos. The look is great and the organization of posts and comments is first-rate. However, I am finding the ads increasingly intrusive. It always irritates me when I am trying to read a page and the ad is jumping around trying to get my attention. I've gotten kind of used to that though. Lately, when I am trying to read a post or comment, an ad will briefly intrude into the reading space. Something about dairy products. A while ago when … [Read more...]

How do you Solve a Problem like Fundamentalism?

This is an insightful and accurate description of the pernicious effects of fundamentalism on, well, everything.http://churchandstate.org.uk/2013/02/christian-fundamentalists-are-driving-our-country-into-the-dark-ages/I particularly like the last paragraph which is an antidote to the overly-optimistic bromides you often hear about how education, particularly science education, is the cure for the current plague of anti-intellectualism and fundamentalism. Baloney. Trying to stem … [Read more...]

Correction to chpt 2 of Believing Bullshit

Here's an endnote I am adding to a chapter I am contributing to the upcoming Handbook on Humanism (edited by AC Grayling and Andrew Copson [Wiley Blackwell publisher]). I now realize I got something wrong in chapter 2 of my book Believing Bullshit, so might as well set the record straight publicly. Here's the endnote of the chapter I am now writing for the new book [n.b. YEC = Young Earth Creationism]: Elsewhere I have said that because Ken Ham’s theory makes no predictions – … [Read more...]

Event June 8th UK: Can Science Solve Every Mystery?

Centre for Inquiry UK and Conway Hall presentCan science solve every mystery? A scientist, a philosopher and a Christian discuss.Peter Atkins, David Papineau, Peter S. WilliamsCan science answer every question? Should scientists show a little humility and acknowledge there are questions that only religion can answer? Are science and religion “non-overlapping magisteria”, as the scientist Stephen Jay Gould claimed, or is science capable of showing that religion is false, as Richard D … [Read more...]

Dualism is Unhealthy

No, seriously. (LINK)"The fact that the simple priming procedures used in the studies had an immediate impact on health-related attitudes and behavior suggests that these procedures may eventually have profound implications for real-life problems. Interventions that reduce dualistic beliefs through priming could be one way to help promote healthier -- or less self-damaging -- behaviors in at-risk populations." … [Read more...]

Draft for comments please

Here's a rough draft of half of a chapter I am contributing to an edited volume. Comments and feedback please. Very bestStephen   What are science and reason?       Humanists expound the virtues of science and reason. But what are science and reason? And we should we think it wise to rely on them?       By science, I shall mean that approach to finding out about reality based on the scientific method. This is a method that was f … [Read more...]