Month: December 2006

Challenging Nature

Among books by skeptically minded scientists, here’s another one that is worth attention: Challenging Nature: The Clash of Science and Spirituality at the New Frontiers of Life by Lee M. Silver, a molecular biologist. Challenging Nature starts out with a defense of scientific materialism. It’s not hugely in depth, but it’s a nice survey. I Challenging Nature

“The Devoted Student”

Interesting op-ed in The New York Times: “The Devoted Student” by Mark C. Taylor. He observes that fundamentalists have become more agressive in his (and other) classrooms. Fair enough, though those of us who are science (rather than humanities) faculty probably could have told him that having to deal with fundamentalists in the form of “The Devoted Student”

The Politics of Science and Religion

Partly because Richard Dawkins has recently come out with a book strongly attacking religion, it seems there’s a political debate going on among nonbelievers interested in science-and-religion issues. Dawkins expresses disdain for the “Neville Chamberlain school” of defenders of evolution who take a liberal compatibilist view and deny any conflict between science and religion. By The Politics of Science and Religion

Another Gay Evangelical Minister

Just over a month ago New Life mega-evangelical Ted Haggard was outed by his gay lover. Now another evangelical preacher has resigned after being confronted by church elders. Paul Barnes of Grace Chapel in tony Englewood, Colorado recorded a taped confession that was played last Sunday for the 2,100 member congregation. According to the Reuters Another Gay Evangelical Minister

Religion and Demographic Trends

I’ve lately been coming across many demographic arguments suggesting that religion is gaining ground and nonbelief is declining. It seems to be a conservative talking point lately, and I’ve even come across some “heh heh we’re winning because we’re outbreeding the infidels” crowing among intelligent design proponents, such as this post by Denyse O’Leary. There Religion and Demographic Trends

Religion and the Human Prospect

I recently read Alexander Saxton’s Religion and the Human Prospect. Very interesting. I think anyone interested in ambitious, grand-scale thinking about religion will enjoy it. As a science-type who likes to wade into humanities territory when I think I can get away with it, I especially liked this book. Saxton is an historian who takes Religion and the Human Prospect

Kuo Counters

Interesting counterattack by David Kuo against Focus on the Family’s hit job against his book.

From Keith Augustine: There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so

I recently watched an excellent interview-style debate between professional philosophers over the objectivity (or lack thereof) of moral propositions such as “Murder is wrong.” The program, “No Dogs or Philosophers Allowed,” discussed the issue in an episode titled “Beyond Morality,” named after a book by one of the guests, Richard Garner out of Ohio State From Keith Augustine: There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so