Thinking Christian

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New Atheism

Where the Gospels Came From

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

Have you ever wondered where the gospels came from? Here’s your answer, compiled from Bart Ehrman (for the telephone game) and too many atheist Internet sources to list. (Yes, this is satire.)

Back in the Bronze Age the world was naive. People knew nothing of the sciences of reproduction, decay, entropy, metabolism, genetics–and therefore they didn’t know that babies are never born to virgins, and men who die never rise from the dead.

One of those naive tribes was the Jews, living under subjugation …


Atheism and Evidence: Self-Defense Against Belief?

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

I’m in a Facebook dialogue today (visible to friends) with an atheist, Spencer Hawkins, who says,

The methods of science and history are not able to verify supernatural causation…. It is possible that these historical claims are all true, yet some other God exists, leaving the metaphysical claims of Christianity false…. the central problem that I have is an epistemological one: there is no reliable procedure to either confirm or disconfirm claims of supernatural causation.

Demanding Incontrovertible Evidence

Here’s what I think I see …

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Boghossian’s Street Epistemology: Not The Socratic Method

Monday, August 10th, 2015

In his Manual for Creating Atheists, Peter Boghossian teaches atheists to confront religious believers with questions that he describes as Socratic in style and method. John Loftus reiterated that recently.

I think Socrates would have had a fit.

Here’s why. Method matters in so far as it is a method for accomplishing something in particular. If I were to publish a Brand New 21st-Century Method! you would hardly buy it without asking, method for what? Street Epistemology might have a Socratic style to it, but …


John Loftus: Misdirection All Over Again

Saturday, August 8th, 2015

In a post titled, “Christian Apologists Dishonestly Discuss Peter Boghossian’s Method,” John Loftus has published a video criticizing two talks Tim McGrew and I have given on Peter Boghossian-style “Street Epistemology.” His attacks return upon himself.

Inference and Rebuttal: Misdirection In Action

The video’s first clips imply that Tim and I believe “Fragenblitzen” is something like a universal Street Epistemologist (SE) tactic: “Street Epistemologists ask rapid questions to confuse.” We didn’t say that. It counters that supposed belief with two clips totaling 78 seconds.

Loftus should …

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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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