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Month: January 2015

Jerry Coyne, Neuroscience, and Research Methods 101

Jerry Coyne, Neuroscience, and Research Methods 101

Dr. Jerry Coyne, atheistic biologist and blogger, thinks it’s surprising some people still believe in dualistic free will. To add to V.J. Torley’s excellent extended response to his post on Uncommon Descent, I want to focus on this question of Coyne’s. “In fact, when you think about more abstract things, like God or faith, parts of the brain light up in brain scans. Why should they if such notions are immaterial?” My answer: why shouldn’t they? What does he think…

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The Loneliness of Understanding Reality Christianly

The Loneliness of Understanding Reality Christianly

Someone on Facebook asked, “How would you answer this?” Christian, watch it if you dare. Prepare for a barrage. At the end of the clip, the interviewer says, “That sure is the longest answer to that question that I ever got in this entire series,” and they both laugh over it. That’s nothing, though, compared to how long it would take to answer Stephen Fry. That’s because few people understand what’s behind the Christian explanation for reality as a whole: they…

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The Loneliness of Thinking Christianly

The Loneliness of Thinking Christianly

I got an email from a reader named Mark this morning, who told me he was frustrated by the lack of decent thinking among many in the Church. He said he’s looking for a higher conversation than is generally available. Christians, we have to take this seriously. For the past three years or so, at apologetics conferences across the country, I’ve asked numerous groups this question: “How many of you who have a real interest in apologetics, worldview, and other aspects…

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Just Say No to Fragenblitzen

Just Say No to Fragenblitzen

It’s totally predictable, whenever I blog on certain topics: the argumentum ad Frgenblitzen. The term comes from the German Fragen, for “questions,” and Blitzen, for “lightning,” with an intentional allusion to Blitzkrieg. It happens whenever I write about homosexual activism, gay marriage, and Intelligent Design, and frequently when I write on other topics as well. Fragenblitzen takes advantage of two facts that apply to almost any debate: (1) It takes a lot longer to answer a question than to ask…

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Religious Liberty Within the Bounds of State-Imposed Doctrine: Frank Bruni and the NY Times

Religious Liberty Within the Bounds of State-Imposed Doctrine: Frank Bruni and the NY Times

I’ve been called many unpleasant things in my life, and I’ve deserved no small number of them. But I chafe at this latest label: A threat to your religious liberty…. Baking a cake, arranging roses, running an inn: These aren’t religious acts, certainly not if the establishments aren’t religious enclaves and are doing business with (and even dependent on) the general public…. I support the right of people to believe what they do and say what they wish—in their pews,…

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Michael Shermer’s Inadvertent Argument for Christianity

Michael Shermer’s Inadvertent Argument for Christianity

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…

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Conversations with Tim McGrew About Peter Boghossian

Conversations with Tim McGrew About Peter Boghossian

Audio and Video! Peter Boghossian’s Manual for Creating Atheists, published late in 2013, caught my attention for being one of the more strategically influential approaches New Atheism has brought to the table. Last week I had a conversation with my friend Dr. Tim McGrew about Peter Boghossian, in a plenary session at Defend the Faith, a week-long apologetics conference in New Orleans. It wasn’t the first time we had done this—see the video below the fold. Here’s last week’s audio first, though:…

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