The Professor, the Abductee, and the Aliens

What do you get when you partner a chaired professor of religious studies at a prestigious university with a popular writer in order to study the paranormal? According to The Houston Chronicle (3/6/16), Jeffrey Kripal, who holds the J. Newton Rayzor Chair of Religious Studies at Rice University, has teamed with Whitley Strieber, author of such books as The Wolfen and … [Read more...]

Bird Sighting: The Greater Right-Winged Texas Loon

This story has already been noted on at least one other atheist site, but I have to run it here also. It looks like Mary Lou Bruner, a wacko who says that Barack Obama was a gay prostitute, is headed for the Texas State Board of Education: I have noted here (many times) before, Texas is Bizarro World. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality works … [Read more...]

Popper on Falsifiability

Karl Popper famously said that the criterion demarcating science from nonscience was falsifiability. Scientific theories and hypotheses are falsifiable; it is always possible to cite specific observations that would prove them wrong. Dinosaur fossils found in Tertiary strata would falsify the claim that the K/T extinction event gave dinosaurs the coup de grace. Nonscience, on the other hand, makes unfalsifiable claims. For instance, daily "sun signs" astrological claims are so loosely expressed … [Read more...]

Theism and the Genetic Fallacy, Part II

(Redated post originally published on 5 March 2009)A few weeks ago I engaged in an exchange with Victor Reppert on theism and the genetic fallacy. I had meant to get back to him right away, but administrative b.s. of the sort always imposed on university faculties slowed me down. Anyway, our conversation made me think of ways to employ some of the recent biological belief theories (BBT's) of Boyer, Atran, Dennett and others in constructing a more rigorous atheological argument:My … [Read more...]

Murderous Anti-theism: A Further Response to John Mark N. Reynolds

(Redated post originally published on 1 May 2015)John Mark N. Reynolds, Provost of Houston Baptist University has written a lengthy reaction to criticisms of his earlier blog post claiming that anti-theism is the murderous force behind communism. I and Bob Seidensticker criticized his earlier essay. Reynolds’ more recent piece is, as I say, a reaction to those and perhaps other criticisms. Though it is a reaction, it is not really a response since he does not address his critics by name or q … [Read more...]

The Problem of Epistemic Evil

The problem of epistemic evil is raised by Rene Descartes in the fourth of his Meditations on First Philosophy. In the previous meditation he believed that he had exorcised the Evil Genius who might be systematically and comprehensively deceiving us. Descartes believes that he has proven the existence of a good God who will not permit us to be always deceived. However, in the fourth meditation he considers the question of why, if a good God will not allow us to be always deceived, he still p … [Read more...]

LINK: Alvin Plantinga’s Turnaround Argument from Evil

(Redated post originally published on 20 October 2011)LINK (HT: Victor Reppert) … [Read more...]

John Loftus Interviews Me!

Five years ago I posted an essay here at SO titled “Goodbye to All That” in which I announced an intention of never publishing or teaching a class on philosophy of religion again (the link is below). I had just slogged through a particularly bad book of theistic apologetics and was overwhelmed with a sense of ennui. I thought my announcement would interest maybe a half dozen people. Instead, to my astonishment, it “went viral” and was soon all over the place. There were many responses, and I only … [Read more...]