Wheaton College and creationism (ongoing)

"Mrs. Ples" is one of the most famous H. naledi fossils found in the caves of Sterkfontein. Just looking at this photograph puts you in violation of Wheaton College's Statement of Faith.

Dr. Hawkins’ “worship the same God” comment was in no way a violation of Wheaton’s Statement of Faith — a fact acknowledged behind closed doors even by the provost intent on punishing her for it. Her reference to Sterkfontein, however, may have been. Why, then, did Wheaton’s administrators choose to make her a scapegoat on the baseless pretext of the former rather than going after her on the latter issue where they could credibly claim a more substantive case? [Read more...]

Wheaton College and creationism (part 2)

Image via Wikipedia of "The earliest portrait of Saint Augustine in a 6th century fresco, Lateran, Rome."

“We should not rush in headlong and so firmly take our stand on one side that, if further progress in the search of truth justly undermines this position, we too fall with it. That would be to battle not for the teaching of Holy Scripture but for our own, wishing its teaching to conform to ours, whereas we ought to wish ours to conform to that of Sacred Scripture.” [Read more...]

Creationists didn’t do all the reading


If you’ve ever taught a class with this kind of reading/discussion set up, you’ll likely recognize this maneuver. Or maybe you were a student in such a class and you were eager to get into something intriguing in chapter 6 and wound up frustrated that the whole session was spent parsing a few paragraphs in the first pages of chapter 1. Or maybe you were That Student — persistently dragging out the discussion of that first chapter and trying to run out the clock before anyone moves on to the other stuff you didn’t read and exposes you as unprepared. [Read more...]

It’s not rocket science: Why at first I thought Ben Carson was like ‘Good Jackie’


As Ben Carson began repeating the urban legends and folklore of his religious community, I was hearing “stuff that I long ago forgot isn’t general public knowledge.” I remember that stuff, and I remember what it was like to be surrounded almost entirely by others for whom it seemed like “general public knowledge.” And so I assumed that poor Ben Carson was just innocently misinformed. [Read more...]

I’m glad Westboro Baptist is protesting meteorology


Our imagined “biblical stance” on meteorology changed in exactly the way that, for many American Christians, our “biblical stance” on biology never did. We Christians easily, almost imperceptibly, changed the way we understood all those Bible passages about the weather. But for many American Christians, doing the very same thing with all those Bible passages about the origins of life is portrayed as a grave and dangerous sin. [Read more...]

Me and Bill Nye … and one of those Heaven tourist guys

Screen shot 2015-10-29 at 3.06.17 PM

“Long March of the Koalas” is near the top today in Amazon’s list of best-selling books about “Science and Religion.” It has some good company in that category, and it’s an honor to see something I wrote listed alongside the latest book from Bill Nye (the Science Guy). On the other hand, seeing my handiwork listed alongside “Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife” isn’t quite as cool. [Read more...]

New e-booklet: ‘Long March of the Koalas (And other creationist adventures)’


It’s just 99 cents, and compiles many of the posts here addressing, assessing, unpacking, or just straight-up mocking, the pernicious ideology of young-Earth creationism. Yet somehow it only comes out to about 84 pages. That’s pretty succinct, considering just LISTING all the things that are wrong with young-Earth creationism would take thousands of pages more. [Read more...]

White evangelical church-goers think their ‘science’ is better than the science those stupid scientists say is science


The Pew Research Center says a new survey shows “Highly religious Americans are less likely than others to see conflict between faith and science.” But the survey doesn’t show that at all. What it shows, rather, is that Real, True Christians also imagine they alone possess the Real, True Science. [Read more...]