Most religions are based on stories of miracles. Those miracles are always performed by a supernatural deity. The Bible is absolutely chock-full of miracles, from the immaculate conception and resurrection, to the water-into-wine trick. But the clincher is that huge bunch of miracles listed in the book of Genesis…about the creation of Heaven and Earth and all the living things on it. I can’t even count all the miracles in Genesis. I haven’t checked Guinness, but it must be a world record.
I spent a good part of my working life programming computers. I started in the late 60’s, almost fifty years ago. Back then, computers were the size of houses, and the programs were punched on cards. Data storage was on magnetic tape. Processors were slow and memory was small. But in the early 70’s when the microelectronics explosion happened, memories grew from kilobytes to megabytes to gigabytes to terabytes. Processor speed accelerated from kilohertz to megahertz to gigahertz. And of course the cost went down and down and down. Today, most kids carry one around in their pocket.
This will definitely be TL;DR (Too long; didn’t read), but…
In discussing some thing on a private thread with a fellow Tippling Philosopher, I have written quite a bit on free will, evolution and evolutionary psychology which I would hat to go to waste and would love to keep for reference and posterity. None is ground-breaking or anything you wouldn’t know, but there are some good links to refer to in future conversations.
Yup, you heard it here. This song and lyric seems rather oddly out of place in its rational, skeptical outlook!…
As mentioned in my previous posts, someone in Malawi is about to have a debate on national TV with a Christian about the Resurrection accounts and I have been asked to help provide some ideas for the debate, so here goes.
There are three aspects to the debunking of the Resurrection:
1) The Gospels are not reliable sources of information; they are poor quality evidence
2) The claims of the Resurrection are incredible claims which require very good quality evidence
3) If the Christian claims of the Resurrection are not true, then what, if anything, actually took place, and what hypothesis can better explain the data?
Over on another post and thread, D Rizdek is doing a fantastically erudite job of mounting a solid case for naturalism. Here are two of his quotes from that thread which are well worth replicating – indented quotes belong to whom he is debating:
Unfortunately the debate is asking “Does science embrace all in the universe?” In other words what is the status of scientism?
I certainly don’t consider all of what I am to be “in science”
These tell me two things.
I am having a debate elsewhere with a fellow Tippling Philosopher and just rushed out this response. Might as well double it up here. He is arguing that science might not have the answer, that a supernatural explanation should not be ruled out. He stated:
Fans de Waal is a crucial figure in the research into morality, fairness, reciprocal altruism and suchlike within the realm…
This great quote came from Reddit where a commenter was reacting to my piece on the Carroll/Novella vs Alexander/Moody debate. It’s spot on:
It’s always a false dichotomy with these guys. Either the materialist explanation of consciousness has to describe absolutely everything in its entirety down to the atom, or else magic is true! “
I really enjoyed watching the debate that is the talk of the town just now. Eben Alecxander, author of bestseller Proof of Heaven with team mate Ray Moody were arguing that death is not final, that there is an afterlife.
Some fellow tippling philosophers and myself are having an email exchange about psychology. It started with one of us writing an email lauding Daniel Kahneman’s work Thinking Fast and Slow (the bold is where he is quoting someone else).
William Lane Craig and his obsequious co-host recently slammed Counter-Apologist and his criticisms of Craig’s use of time and the Kalam, in his recent podcast. Craig takes chap potshots at CA and is pretty disingenuous. I have red a transcript of CA’s upcoming reply, and he is spot on.
Check this video out as it will give you some background.
In reading Steven Pinker’s How the Mind Works, which has been a slow burner (both in terms of time taken to read it and time taken to get into the really interesting stuff [Now long finished]), I have just started to read about the importance and ontology of emotions. I
Sean Carroll, who will soon be debating with William Lane Craig, I believe, some time ago organised a conference of…
The “meaning” of life comes purely from emotional experience, which is chemically based. We know that emotion, and even spiritual experiences, are chemical in nature. It is already possible, using current science, to use drugs and/or direct manipulation of the brain in order to induce “spiritual” experiences.
There has been a new member of the Tippling Philosophers group to which I attend and I have been involved…
OK, so it was at DC, not here, but it was on my post. Anyway, Stephen was replying to Vincent Torley, of Uncommon Descent, and about whom I did several posts, on the subject of miracles. Here it is:
A chap called Lothar’s Son from Germany has contacted me to offer an argument against naturalism which he has posted on his blog. His blog, lotharlorraine, hosts the piece which can be found here. Please feel free to comment there as well as here. Thanks for LS for contacting me! Here is his argument, with kind permission:
And so it is. Goddidit and supernaturalism sidle into the corner of explanatory power as the march of science proceeds. Today, Near Death Experiences and their afterlifey dualism take a hit….
Neuroscientists Plant False Memories in Mice: Location Where Brain Stores Memory Traces, Both False and Authentic, Pinpointed
This hit the news yesterday on radio and TV. Fascinating stuff. This reported from Science Daily:
July 25, 2013 — The phenomenon of false memory has been well-documented: In many court cases, defendants have been found guilty based on testimony from witnesses and victims who were sure of their recollections, but DNA evidence later overturned the conviction.