Thinking Christian

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New Atheism

Faith vs. Fact? No, Jerry Coyne’s Theology vs. Whatever

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

Book Review

With all its sloppiness, error, and bias, it’s hard to know where to start in on evaluating Dr. Jerry Coyne’s latest book, Faith Versus Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible. Throughout the book I highlighted sentences and paragraphs where his facts were dubious or his reasoning questionable. My impression (I didn’t count) is that I averaged one of these “highlights” per page.

Maybe I’m off by a factor of two, and there was just one every other page. That’s still …


Jerry Coyne’s Confirmation Bias

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015

One of Jerry Coyne’s chief complaints about religion in Faith Versus Fact is that it’s overly subject to confirmation bias. This, he says, stands in contrast to science, which has protections against bias built in to it. He might be overly optimistic about the social psychology of scientists there, but I’ll let that pass for now. What’s immediately interesting in this context is that this isn’t a science book, and therefore Coyne doesn’t have scientific methodology protecting him from his own confirmation bias in …


Assume You’re Wrong and Jerry Coyne Is Right. Now Discuss Which of You Is Right.

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

I’m reading through Jerry Coyne’s new book, Fact Versus Faith: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible. I’ve been looking for overall themes to comment on, and while it’s premature to say what those might be, I’m getting clues.

Where I’m currently reading, he’s trying to make the case that if there is a God he should be detectable on scientific terms–indeed, on naturalistic scientific terms. That is, if there is a God, we ought to be able to assume there is no God, and …


Get Ready for the “Day of Reason”

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Thursday, May 7, is the National Day of Prayer in the United States. Atheists have an answer: the National Day of Reason.

I’m reminded of the morning about three-and-a-half years ago when I was laying awake in bed, mulling over the coming “Reason Rally” scheduled for March 24, 2012 on the Mall in Washington D.C. Atheists were proclaiming themselves the party of reason then, too. What was bothering me then, and still does now, is that on the Internet and in printed works published …


Wondering: What Good Does This Do?

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

Maybe someone here can help me figure something out.

Someone I’ve never met or interacted with (as far as I know) seems to have thought it would do some good to post this on Twitter:

@BigIdeaSeeker @SecularOutpost @ThnkngChristian @Frank_Turek “Free-will is IMPOSSIBLE in a natural world” (god is needed) #STUPID

Now, either that’s like standing at the edge of the playground shouting clichéd insults, or else it’s got some useful and helpful purpose. It’s hard to believe anyone would want to do the former, …

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Grand Theft Worldview: “Stealing From God: Why Atheists Need God To Make Their Case” by Frank Turek

Friday, May 1st, 2015

Book Review

Stealing from God: Why Atheists Need God To Make Their Case by Frank Turek

One thing you have to say for Frank Turek: he knows how to put a provocative title on a book. He did it with I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be an Atheist. He’s done it again with Stealing from God.

Other than a catchy title, though, does he have a point? Consider this:

Richard Dawkins calls God “evil,” but tells us evil doesn’t exist. (He’s half …


Turek-Shermer Debate: Does a Christian Have the Right to Finish a Sentence?

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

A couple years ago Eric Chabot and I were talking with students and giving away copies of True Reason on the Oval at Ohio State University. Eric is the Ratio Christi chapter director there, and I was with him as a friend and as editor of the book.

Most of our conversations that day were cordial, respectful, and enjoyable. One stands out in contrast, though. A red-headed student came up with metaphorical guns blazing, angry at Christians for standing in the way of gay …

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Overconfident Atheistic Argument Against What No One Believes: Why?

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Justin Schieber of Reasonable Doubts likes to tweet aphorisms that undermine religious faith. We had a short Twitter conversation about one of them this morning.

Before I get to it, I want to clarify why I’m writing about this today. There’s an argument behind an argument here. We’ll get to that in a moment, but when we get there, I don’t want you to think that’s the reason I’m posting this. My purpose here is to expose a certain kind of incomplete emptiness in this …

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Michael Shermer’s Inadvertent Argument for Christianity

Monday, January 19th, 2015

A reader wrote and asked me if I had seen Michael Shermer’s Salon article, “Bill Maher is right about religion.” I hadn’t. The article is subtitled, “The Orwellian ridiculousness of Jesus, and the truth about moral progress.” I found it, well, ridiculous.

Misguided Criticism of Normal Human Groups

There’s too much wrong there to respond to in one blog post. His main point, concerning religions’ moral history, will be part of the first topic I plan to take up with the new …


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