LINK: Physicist David Deutsch: Immaterial Explanations Aren’t Necessarily False

Amy Hall at Stand to Reason summarizes a video interview with Oxford physicist and atheist David Deutsch. I haven’t seen the video, but her summary sure makes it sound interesting.LINK Read more

LINK: Michael Ruse: Little Value in New Harris Book

“Poor scholarship, ad hominem attacks and an obsession with religion are not the hallmarks of a solid argument.”LINK Read more

Mandating coverage is not requiring use

Proposed regulations in the Affordable Care Act would provide preventive services for women that Catholic doctrine considers sinful. I am not surprised that John Garvey, President of Catholic University, doesn’t approve. But I thought I was reading George Orwell’s novel 1984 when he said: “In objecting to these regulations, our university does not seek to impose its moral views on others. All we ask is respect for the religious beliefs we try to impart to our students.” Huh? Has the… Read more

Resistance to evidence

Last weekend I presented at a local conference, with faculty members from various departments across campus talking about their work. Since I have been working on a paper (with Maarten Boudry) having to do with the limits of physics and how we might find a signature of a supernatural cause in data, I talked about that—nice interdisciplinary topic and all that.Among the responses I got, a couple were interesting in their resistance to the notion of any empirical test of… Read more

A non-believer’s guide to biblical economics

I’ve studied economics and taught mathematics to students who became economists, but I’m not an economist. Still, I know enough to recognize that economists sometimes selectively focus on data that fit their liberal or conservative ideologies. At least both sides work with data and try to make convincing arguments for their models. Economists of all stripes recognize that their own models are by no means perfect. I should have known it would be only a matter of time before biblical… Read more

More nonsense from Turkey

Today’s my day for pointing out horrors from Turkey. (You know, the “secular,” “democratic” country whose moderate Islam US policymakers would like to see as an inspiration to other Muslims.)I’ve just read about a Turkish cartoonist being prosecuted, with the state demanding one year’s imprisonment for “insulting the religious values accepted by the people” in a cartoon.The speech balloon says “God, would it be okay if I skipped the last prayer? I have things to do. Thanks a lot, God!… Read more

High weirdness on a Turkish philosophy exam

This is almost untranslatable, but I’ll try. It’s the answer to a Turkish high school exam in a philosophy course, which made it to the Turkish media, and was apparently originally praised by Islamists as an example of a brave Muslim student standing up to an atheist teacher.The question is: “Prove to me that this chair does not exist (100 points)”Answer (my translation is artificially coherent): “I swear that there is no such chair—let God accurse me and let the… Read more

Dumb and Dumber

I notice that the recent posts on SO have taken a turn towards the political. Nothing wrong with that. These days religion and politics have been so thoroughly mixed that it is hard to talk about one without the other. This is especially so when candidates for high office loudly tout their religious affiliations and convictions and tout them precisely as qualifications for public office. They must think those Founders were barking up the wrong tree when they put in… Read more

Mitt Romney: A reasonable man?

Here’s a hypothetical scene in which four presidential candidates are asked about their religious views. Candidate 1: “It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” He adds, “And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva… Read more

Two Executions

This post is a follow-up on the “Pro Choice and Pro Life” posting of Herb Silverberg. Herb’s thoughtful reflections have added to SO’s offerings, and I am surprised that they have not drawn more comments. Yesterday there were two executions, one in Texas and one in Georgia. In Texas, Lawrence Brewer was executed. In 1997, Brewer and two associates kidnapped a man named James Byrd, who had been walking down a country road not far from Jasper, Texas. They beat… Read more

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