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Monthly Archive: September 2010

Sep 23 2010

What is a soul?

In a previous post titled The fog of religious language I said that sophisticated religious apologists tend to speak so vaguely and elliptically that it is hard to know exactly what they actually believe, and singled out Marilynne Robinson as one culprit. In an interview in the September/October issue of The New Humanist, she does …

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Sep 23 2010

The accommodationists’ creed

Sep 23 2010

The accommodationists’ best case (Part 2 of 3)

(See part 1 here.) The problem with the attempts by theologians to argue that understanding the ‘mystery’ of human experience lies outside the realm of science is that tools to better understand how the brain works are already at hand, with ambitious plans to map out all the brain synapses. (Thanks to Machines Like Us …

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Sep 22 2010

Here we go again

We are going to see another round of discussions about whether the Bible is literally true. New computer simulations suggest the possibility that winds could have created a temporary land path over the Red Sea. Of course, there is no independent scientific evidence that any of the Biblical stories earlier than about 650 BCE (which …

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Sep 22 2010

The accommodationists’ best case (Part 1 of 3)

I have written quite a lot about the conflict between those who say that science and religion are incompatible worldviews (referred to as unapologetic or new atheists) and those who say they are compatible (known as accommodationists). I definitely belong to the first group. On the other hand, the National Academy of Sciences, the most …

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Sep 21 2010

Small steps, big gains

We are often so focused on the big global issues that we can forget that what seems like small steps to us can make huge improvements in the lives of poor people around the world.

Sep 21 2010

The tea party takeover of the Republican Party

Jon Stewart gets it exactly right when he says that the only difference between the tea partiers and the Republican establishment is that the tea partiers really believe the crazy stuff the leadership has been spouting for years and is determined to actually implement them. The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p …

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Sep 21 2010

Really lost in translation

Sep 21 2010

Does the existence of the universe violate scientific laws?

Continuing from yesterday’s post, I said that some religious people think that since there is matter in the universe that did not exist before the universe came into being, this must constitute a violation of scientific laws and thus requires some agency to create it. But they do not understand that energy comes in many …

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Sep 20 2010

Hawaii Five-0

They are apparently making a new version of this hit TV show that ran from 1968 to 1980. I don’t know if it will reprise the theme music from the original, which was one of the best ever. Ah, nostalgia! Too bad that the increased demand for commercial time is squeezing out opening theme music.

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