Yonatan Fishman, PhD, Department of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, wrote a really interesting paper contesting the idea that science and the supernatural do not overlap, and that there is no way to test the supernatural. The paper can be found here and is well worth a read. I hope to give it a greater commentary in the near, not-so-mentally busy future!
I actually think that the title to this article is misleading, though the article from The Verge is interesting. It looks as though the worms do not regrow their memories but a greater propensity for learning lost skills involved with those memories. Doe this imply epigenetics?
I recently reviewed Randal Rauser and John Loftus’ debate book entitled God or Godless. I have also responded to Randal’s post on why I am an atheist as well as posting an article critiquing Randal on why he is a Christian. During my review, I noted that I was particularly frustrated at Randal’s prayer chapter.
Pat Condell rants so eloquently. Transcendence, I mean, what does it mean? (H/T Sergio Paulo Sider)
New Scientist has started a new feature series on people with bizarre and rare mind / brain disorders and predicaments. This article looks at Cotard’s syndrome. What is fascinating about this article and syndrome is the interplay between brain, consciousness and self-awareness. That these conscious states arise from brian patterns:
“When I was in hospital I kept on telling them that the tablets weren’t going to do me any good ’cause my brain was dead. I lost my sense of smell and taste. I didn’t need to eat, or speak, or do anything. I ended up spending time in the graveyard because that was the closest I could get to death.”
Tom Clark is the Director for the Center for Naturalism (CFN), an organisation which harbours the excellent resource Naturalism.Org. The Mission for CFN is stated as follows:
The Center for Naturalism (CFN) is an educational and advocacy organization devoted to increasing public awareness of naturalism and its implications for social and personal well-being. The CFN seeks to foster the understanding that human beings and their behavior are fully caused, entirely natural phenomena, and that human flourishing is best achieved in the light of such understanding.
Some research out seems to support an idea that ‘bad decisions’ that we make are as a result of the quality of the information coming in rather than the quality of the systems working on that information. Of course, this may call into question the quality of the systems actually responsible for collecting that data. The chicken and the egg scenario seems to persist here. Science Daily:
Apr. 15, 2013 — Making decisions involves a gradual accumulation of facts that support one choice or another. A person choosing a college might weigh factors such as course selection, institutional reputation and the quality of future job prospects.
Here are some videos of mine outlining the problems with this cornerstone of theology. Let…
This is Part 2 of a critical examination of the MMEL hypothesis of the Star of Bethlehem. Go to the index here.
In Part 1 of this critical overview of the Star of Bethlehem film and its version of history (which I have called the MMEL hypothesis), I looked at the reasons scholars can say we know Herod died no later than 4 BCE given the information we have from Josephus as well as what we can connect with other accounts. The information from Josephus seemed to be overwhelmingly in favor of a 5/4 BCE date for Herod’s death, which would then contradict the time frame needed for the conjunctions of Jupiter and Venus as the MMEL hypothesis requires. However, there is another argument that is focused on, though not detailed, in the documentary, and it concerns the text that we have of Josephus.
In my last post I looked at what I could find in the news or related to articles and books on the subject of the Star of Bethlehem. There wasn’t too much going on there, so now I want to explore what is going on in the world of blogs. I think this is showing where the conversations are really moving to rather than in newspapers and journal articles, at least for things not done in a strictly academic fashion.
This is Part 1 of a critical examination of the MMEL hypothesis of the Star of Bethlehem. Go to the index…
Jerry Coyne, on his excellent blog, has detailed his opinions, whilst recounting critiques of other thinkers, on atheist philosopher Thomas Nagel’s controversial anti-evolution book Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False. Well, the title is enough to make one sigh. I am including here a review / critique by one of Jerry Coyne’s first students, Allen Orr, for your delectation. This appeared in The New York Review of Books. I suggest heading over to Coyne’s piece for more detail.
This is an interesting book review as found in a Hume Society release. I really want to read this book – a defence of Hume on his work on miracles. Hume often gets criticised for his work in this area. Fogelin, by all accounts, takes a different approach in his defence. And it is a short book, which gets the thumbs up from me.
A video I did some time ago shows that the probability of naturalism as explaining anything and everything is higher…