Category Archive: New atheism

Aug 18 2009

Dealing with religious believers

Last Friday I was invited to speak to a group of Cleveland Freethinkers. I chose to speak about the new phase of the science-religion war. The old phase dealt with opposition to the teaching of the theory of evolution in schools and ended (more or less) with the drubbing that the intelligent design creationism forces …

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Jun 30 2009

More on the new atheist-accommodationist split

As I wrote last week, quite a scuffle has broken out between the so-called ‘accommodationists’ (who feel that we should not offend ‘liberal’ religious people by pointing out that science and religion are incompatible) and the so-called ‘new atheists’ (who feel that this accommodationist strategy has been pursued for a long time with no success …

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Jun 24 2009

The new atheists vs. the accommodationists

An interesting discussion has broken out between those scientists and philosophers of science (labeled ‘accommodationists’) who seek to form alliances with religious believers by finding common ground between science and religion, and those who think that such an exercise is a waste of time, that scientific and religious viewpoints are fundamentally incompatible, and that what …

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Jun 03 2008

The end of god-23: The false equivalence of science and religion

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) In this final post in this series, I want to address the attempt to bring down science to the level of religion by arguing that science and religion are equivalent because there exist questions that neither can answer. This approach is illustrated by Lord Winston (emeritus professor …

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Jun 02 2008

The end of god-22: Playing with words

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) In the previous post, I said that some scientists (like Einstein) used to use god as a metaphor even though they were not believers, and that this caused some confusion as to what they truly believed. There are, of course, some scientists who really do believe in …

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May 30 2008

The end of god-21: God as metaphor

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) In the previous post I made the point that scientists can, and should be able to, translate between colloquial and scientific descriptions of phenomena but religious believers sometimes get misled into thinking that the looser language represents what is believed by scientists. The worst example of the …

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May 29 2008

The end of god-20: Science and scientific language

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) In the previous three posts in this series, we saw the failure of attempts to raise religious beliefs to be on a par with science. The second line of defense taken by the new apologists against the attacks of the new atheists is to try and lower …

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May 28 2008

The end of god-19: Why religious institutions do not seek evidence for god

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) In the previous post, I said that sometimes the argument is made that the scientific community should pursue even tentative clues for the existence of god or the paranormal because the people who originally stumble over them do not have the kinds of resources and expertise to …

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May 27 2008

The end of god-18: Passing the buck

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) When it is pointed out that religious people have never provided any credible evidence for the existence of god, some religious apologists argue that the evidence for god is not definitive at present but only tentative and preliminary and needs to be pursued further to become more …

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May 23 2008

The end of god-17: The god who loves playing peek-a-boo

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) There used to be a time when religion and belief in god reigned supreme and science was secondary. It was believed to be incontrovertibly true that god existed, and one did not really need to argue in favor of that proposition. Scientists of the period earlier than …

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