Category Archives: religion

The Atlantic gives the world’s worst advice: study more theology

I’ve spent much of the last several years reading theology of all stripes, from the most fundamentalist version (e.g. Ken Ham), to versions slightly more sophisticated, like William Lane Craig, to the most rarefied and “sophisticated” versions, like those of Karen Armstrong, Alvin Plantinga, and Søren Kierkegaard. Now I admit I’m an atheist and have […]

How religions—and the U.S. government—let children die

I’ve been reading an enlightening but disturbing book:  When Prayer Fails: Faith Healing, Children, and the Law, by Shawn Francis Peters, which details how children of some religious parents are left to suffer and die because the sects of their parents abjure medical care. The parents pray instead of taking their kids to the doctors […]

Women in Saudi Arabia protest driving ban by driving

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that forbids women to drive. Even foreign women can’t drive.  This is part of the religiously-based conservatism that pervades that Islamic nation. You might have heard about the biological consequences of driving: about a month ago a prominent Saudi cleric declared that driving while female damages […]

Why was God a stay-at-home?

A tw**t by Secular African, sent by Matthew Cobb: There’s now a new question to supplement the old classic, “Why does God hate amputees?”: “Why does God love the Middle East so much?”

Did Christianity (and other religions) promote the rise of science?

Of course most of you will answer “No way!”, and I do, too, but accommodationists and science-friendly believers make this argument often. Here are a few specimens: “. . . the very notion of physical law is a theological one in the first place, a fact that makes many scientists squirm. Isaac Newton first got […]

French court convicts Scientology of fraud

I just can’t bear to refer to this organization as “The Church of Scientology,” for it doesn’t deserve even that monicker, despite the U.S. government having ruled that this odious organization is indeed a church, entitled to tax exemption and all other privileges of churchiness. But unlike the U.S., France has seen Scientology for what […]

Was Jesus made up by the Romans?

I guess this “news” has been circulating for over a year, but it’s been off my radar screen. We all know about the squabbles dealing with the existence of Jesus: was he really a divine, wonder-working son of God (WIlliam Lane Craig), an apocalyptic preacher who wasn’t divine at all (Bart Ehrman), or was there […]

Tanya Luhrmann tells us for the gazillionth time that faith is HARD (but useful)

Okay, I’ll confess some possible sour grapes here: a while back I had the bright idea of writing a New York Times op-ed on the old canard that “science, like religion, is based on faith”. That, after all, has been a misconception promulgated not infrequently in the Times‘s own columns, but one never answered in […]

“You can’t prove a negative”

Before I begin, I emphasize again that I am not a philosopher, having taken just a few philosophy courses in college and done a fair bit of reading thereafter. What I present below are the lucubrations of a scientist grappling with theology. UPDATE: I should have made clear that I’m talking about a theistic God […]

In Alabama, Jesus rides with the cops—and taxpayers foot the bill

This is unbelievable, but apparently in Alabama (where else?) the police carry pastors in their cruisers and allow them to proselytize crime and disaster victims. This is verbatim from a letter sent out by David Silverman, president of the American Atheists: The religious extremists have crossed the line again. Imagine you were just the victim […]

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