I was lucky enough to edit Aaron Adair’s superb book The Star of Bethlehem: A Skeptical View which looks at the claims within the Gospel of Matthew concerning the Star of Bethlehem. Over the many hundreds of years, various people have advanced theories to explain the apparent phenomenon, to triple conjunctions of planets and stars to comets, from hypernovae to UFOs. Yes, UFOs. Aaron has started getting on the speaking circuit to talk about his favoured subject, and may even be compiling a book looking into the Bible and astronomy
Category Science and religion
In light of the recent evolutionary discussions – a Creationist/evolutionist ding dong – over on this post, I thought I would choose one of dozens of evolutionary discoveries in the last few weeks alone to share with you. My question would be: how do deniers explain each and every one of these findings? Here it is:
In a new study, published in Nature this week, a research team led from Uppsala University in Sweden presents the discovery of a new microbe that represents a missing link in the evolution of complex life. The study provides a new understanding of how, billions of years ago, the complex cell types that comprise plants, fungi, but also animals and humans, evolved from simple microbes.
I was thinking over the weekend, as I wrote my own eulogy for the SIN Series – Death piece I…
There is a group called Christians Against Dinosaurs. They are clearly nuts. This article is taken from Addicting Info. It makes for disturbing reading:
Most Christians are warm, loving people. Some use their chosen holy book to spew hatred and bigotry. Others…are just insane.
Usually, you expect biting satire to come from The Onion, or Private Eye. this unexpected piece of genius comes from the Guardian in response to the meddling of churches and religious organisations recently to the proposed law changes to allow three-parent families relevant to mitochondrial donation. The church was deemed irresponsible for trying to sway politicians on the matter.
Here is a guest post from someone (a South American who wants to remain anonymous) who contacted me by email asking for help in dealing with the topic of homosexuality and genetics after he read my two posts on homosexuality and Christianity. It seems that there is a prominent Christian author pairing whose work seems to be a concerted effort to minimise the importance of genetic determinism in producing homosexuality. Over to the guest poster:
Despite the fact that most scientific skeptics do not find themselves formerly associated with a religion, this time of year tends to nonetheless bring out the giving spirit in many of us. Although Tom Flynn wouldn’t approve, many of us celebrate (in a secular fashion) Christmas, or Kwanza, or Festivus, or the Solstice, or Hanukkah, or just like to give presents because it’s fun.
By a vote of 229-191, the House has just passed a GOP-sponsored bill to ensure that a more “balanced panel of experts” will advise the Environmental Protection Agency. But critics say it will reduce the participation of independent scientists in favor of those with financial ties to industry.
From Addicting Info: In between clips of touchdowns and postgame interviews with sweaty athletes, ESPN typically doesn’t find itself having…
This post will be split into two parts due to its length. This will allow any posters to be able to interact with certain points as we go. Regards, Andreas Schüler.
Can science and religion coexist in harmony ?
A favorite phrase of sophisticated theologians™ is – science tells us how and religion tells us why. But it is not only theologians who claim that there can be no conflict between properly understood science and religion because they deal with different questions. Many scientists, and not only religious ones, support this view as well.
I am flying back home now from the amazing conference on the Star of Bethlehem at the University of Groningen. It was quite the success of collecting experts and scheduling events, including a trip to the oldest working planetarium in the world. This was also my first academic conference in the area of history and biblical studies, and I was surrounded by scholars in Iranian studies, Jewish astrology, Latin literature, ancient science, and of course New Testament studies. And it looks like I did well among this august group. Heck, after my talk a few whispered to me that it seemed like I already answered all the questions about the subject!
Skydive Phil has produced, with his partner, some tremendous videos. In fact, I have interviewed them here at SIN. They…
The Heartland Institute, a prominent, Chicago-based organization opposing climate science, has teamed up with the creationist Discovery Institute to launch a smear campaign against a group promoting the nationwide adoption of updated science education guidelines.
Metaphysical thought processes are more deeply wired than hitherto suspected
WHILE MILITANT ATHEISTS like Richard Dawkins may be convinced God doesn’t exist, God, if he is around, may be amused to find that atheists might not exist.
Cognitive scientists are becoming increasingly aware that a metaphysical outlook may be so deeply ingrained in human thought processes that it cannot be expunged.
Over at another post of mine, we have been discussing whether religion can and should be destroyed. During that conversation, the idea came up that Christians, in all probability, hold more ridiculous beliefs which are unscientific in nature; and also arose the connected idea that Christians, in a generalistic sense, are not as good at doing science, because they have a higher propensity to give up searching for answers.
Gregg Caruso, an author on free will, is now editor-in-chief of a nascent open source journal which is well worth perusing: Science, Religion & Culture.
It’s aims are as follows:
Here is a quote that I posted on the Daily Telegraph (eek) in the UK which was reporting the letter it had received denouncing PM Cameron’s claim that we should be proud that we are a Christian nation. I will first post the comment I reacted to:
The other day I posted a piece refuting the notion that Christianity is somehow causally responsible for the development of science and the scientific method. I would like to continue with a short piece looking at another couple of points which I have had heard raised.
Tihs has come up in conversation elsewhere, so I thought I would resurrect this old post from my old, old…
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.