January 22, 2020

As some of you will know, I recently edited a book by Joseph J Berger called Science & Spirituality (Barnes & Noble), which is available now (please grab a copy, even though Amazon are being bastardly difficult with their distribution). The book, as you will find out, is aimed predominantly at students as an introduction to scientific naturalism: At whom is your book aimed and why did you feel a need to write it? My intention in writing this book was to… Read more

January 22, 2020

Abiogenesis and wondering how life started for the very first time here on Earth, is endlessly fascinating. Believers prefer to plug the hole of ignorance with the ever-useful GodPutty™. GodPutty™ plugs any holes in a way that leaves you never wanting for answers again. It’s the perfect antidote for scientific curiosity and inquiry. Believers sit somewhere on the spectrum that goes from literal and historical Adam and Eve all the way to naturalistic explanations for abiogenesis such as life starting… Read more

January 21, 2020

Bert recently posted a piece on spirituality (check it out) below which eamonknight posted this: IMHO the word “spiritual” has been debased into uselessness, i.e. when someone says “I am spiritual”, I have no idea what they mean by it, what aspect of their life it describes. It can mean anything from being an ardent practitioner of a particular religious tradition, to just getting a warm fuzzy feeling from watching a beautiful sunset, or anything on between. Despite my distaste… Read more

January 20, 2020

In the recent UK general election and in previous and present US political discourse, there has been a propensity to defend billionaires by those who aren’t billionaires. In fact, those who defend them are far, far closer to poverty and bankruptcy than to being a billionaire. By a considerable margin. The defence of billionaires seems to come from some sort of trickle-down economics ideal, an economic model (that I like referred to in its old amusing nomenclature of horse and… Read more

January 20, 2020

I often hear people say, “I am not religious, but I am spiritual.” What does that mean? That they don’t believe in the “holy spirit,” the basis of Abrahamic religions, but they believe in other spirits? Despite the long history of superstitious beliefs, there is not a shred of evidence that any kind of supernatural entity exists. Why do people believe this stuff? Some folks claim that the brain emits an “aura” that they can detect and figure out what… Read more

January 18, 2020

I have a friend; shocking, I know. He is not a climate change denialist, but he does believe that well-meaning greenies too often lay the blame for any unseasonable weather event at the feet of Climate Change (hereafter ‘CC’), and then use it as a stick to beat any of the usual green/left targets into submission. His complaint is that CC is becoming a religion. Whilst he hasn’t used this phrase, I don’t think I’m doing him a disservice by… Read more

January 17, 2020

Holy cow. Where to start. I know this is “supposed” to be a blog concerned with atheism and religiosity, but how can I not comment on the ongoing sh!tstorm that is US politics? There are so many little areas to talk about that this piece could be 10,000 words (it isn’t, don’t worry!). Just the MSNBC interview with Lev Parnas is enough to fuel a series of posts. I have spent a number of posts in the past considering the… Read more

January 16, 2020

Abiogenesis: A natural process by which living organisms can arise from nonliving organic molecules. Creationists claim that evolution is impossible because complex organs like eyes are too complex to have arisen without the helping hand of an “intelligent designer.” The key words they intone are “irreducible complexity.” As transitional forms have been found, the gaps in the fossil record have been gradually filled in, and evolutionary biologists have resoundingly refuted that assertion, both in peer-reviewed science journals and in the… Read more

January 12, 2020

This is a guest post by regular commenter Carstonio. Thanks so much to him for this. Please feel free to submit any guest posts to me as this really helps the blog keep going! Was Jesus a real person who lived and preached in ancient Judaea? Or was he a creation of the early leaders of the Christian Church? While the question is valid, asking it may inadvertently let fundamentalist Christians set the terms of the debate. Not just on… Read more

January 10, 2020

In legal usage, “Acts of God” are natural hazards outside human control, such as an earthquake or tsunami. Acts of God are often cited as an exception in liability contracts. The phrase is called a “term of art” in law; a combination of words that has a particular meaning. Another phrase that has the same meaning is force majeure, which is French for “superior strength.” A better description than either of these would be “Acts of Nature,” or how about… Read more

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