Month: November 2010

Creationist theme park

Answers in Genesis, Ken Ham’s creationist outfit, appears to be following up their successful (and scientifically hilarious) creation museum with a full-scale theme park: The theme park, to be called Ark Encounter, . . . is envisioned as a full-scale wooden ark that would include associated museums, theaters, amenities, event venues and outdoor parking. That alone Creationist theme park

Desecrating the Quran

In light of recurrent news items concerning desecrations of the Quran, I thought I should contribute. After all, I don’t treat the Quran as a special book. In both my offices—at home and on campus—it’s not unusual to see books strewn and stacked on the floor. And it occurs to me that I have, in Desecrating the Quran


Thanksgiving is one of the nicer USAnian holidays: it’s very light on the religion and nationalism, and the consumerist frenzy is postponed to the day after. Still, on the Christian radio channels I occasionally listen to, I’ve noticed an effort to Christianize Thanksgiving—to inject some Jesus into it. Sigh. I don’t mind if they want Thanksgiving

Turf war?

There is some substance to the perennial debate over whether the existence of gods is largely a philosophical problem or a scientific matter. But I also wonder whether much of the debate is an artifact of existing academic disciplinary boundaries. So here’s a suspicion to consider: most of this dispute is due to an artificial, Turf war?

Answers to Objections

Ten years ago I had a debate in Colorado Springs with Methodist minister, the Rev. Trigg. Nice man and a stimulating debate. The topic was “Theism vs. Secular Humanism as a basis for ethics.” I wrote up a set of answers to anticipated audience objections, which I do not think I have ever posted anywhere. Answers to Objections

Unsecular Turkey

Here’s an interesting corrective to the notion that Turkey is a “secular state” as so often described in Western media reports. The Diyanet (the Turkish Directorate of Religious Services) has long been one of the largest government departments, and is devoted to Sunni Islam. In Turkey, clergy are government employees. With recent expansions, the number Unsecular Turkey

Historical fine-tuning

I would like to bring a hitherto much-neglected example of divine fine-tuning to the attention of the public: the fine-tuning of human history. Moreover, this fine-tuning is reaching a critical point now. Let us set aside religious sources as interested parties, and restrict ourselves to arguments with a secular pedigree. Even with this restriction, it is clear Historical fine-tuning

The Meaning of Divine Attributes

As far as I’m concerned, there is nothing better than doing philosophy, and philosophy of religion is the chocolate-fudge frosting on the cake. In philosophy of religion, you get a full serving of each of the major areas of philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology, logic, ethics, philosophy of language, and philosophy of science, to name just the The Meaning of Divine Attributes