Category Archives: religion

Nicholas Kristof still struggling about whether he’s a Christian; queries evasive evangelical writer

For some reason that I don’t understand, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has published column after column in which he asks theologians and other religionists about what they really believe. Do they believe Jesus was resurrected? Did he really perform miracles? As I wrote about his last column in April: For a long time, New […]

Young people continue to abandon religion in America

Nate Silver’s site FiveThirtyEight is famous for accurate election forecasts, though it ruined its record in 2016 by giving Hillary Clinton a 71% chance of winning. Well, to be fair, that was a close one, and at any rate today’s report is not about politics but religion. And it’s not even the site’s own poll, […]

Nick Spencer returns to defend religion in Prospect magazine

Does the ubiquity and supposed beneficial effect of religion constitute evidence for God? Well, at least one intellectual (and I use the term loosely) thinks so. Reader Michael sent me a link to Nick Spencer’s favorable review in Prospect of Stephen Asma’s 2018 book Why We Need Religion (click on screenshot below). Michael added this: “Maybe […]

New Pew survey shows that Americans are rapidly becoming less Christian and more secular

The Pew Organization conducted surveys for their Religious Landscape Studies in 2007 and 2014, assessing the religiosity, non-religiosity, beliefs, and churchgoing habits of Americans. They continued these surveys last year and this year, though on a more restricted scale. Nevertheless, the new Pew Survey, whose summary you can see by clicking on the screenshot below […]

Why theological challenges to science resemble conspiracy theories

My friend the philosopher Maarten Boudry called my attention to a fairly new paper by Taner Edis, a professor of physics at Truman State University and frequent critic of religion and creationism. I’ll let Maarten tell you about it in this post. His take is indented, and we’ll both give you links and ways to […]

Bret Weinstein unfairly disses evolutionary biology (and New Atheism)

While Bret Weinstein is a stalwart champion of free speech and progressivism because of his brave behavior at Evergreen State, his views on evolution often seem to me to be pretty wonky. And not just biology: look at these tweets he exchanged with Sam Harris: I’m a “New Atheist,” and I don’t know what you’re […]

Thoughts and prayers: what are they worth?

Everyone knows about the “thoughts and prayers” sent out after tragedies as a quotidian feature of the daily news. And all of us nonbelivers disparage not only the use of prayers (shown in a Templeton-funded study to not have any effect on healing after surgery), but also the uselessness of thoughts—unless conveyed directly to the […]

Unitarian Universalist ministers flagellate themselves and the church for one bad apple, assert that logic and reason are tools of white supremacy

Of all existing religions that claim to be religions, Unitarian Universalism (UU) seems to be the least dogmatic and therefore the least harmful—and perhaps the most liberal and tolerant. It adheres to no scripture, and although many members believe in God, others are atheists or agnostics. I’ve even been to a UU service, where to […]

Why do people hate religion? Because Trump.

Well, I deliberately used Millennial jargon in the title because humor. But the article below, an op-ed in today’s New York Times, isn’t so much funny as wrong-headed. Timothy Egan, a contributing NYT opinion writer and author who seems to have a weakness for faith, uses a clickbaity and misleading headline to give us a […]

Atlantic article pretends that atheists are really religious by lying about the data

When I saw this article from last year’s online Atlantic, I thought it was going to push the usual guff: “atheists are religious because they adhere fervently to the doctrine of No God, with no proof of their (non)beliefs.” But no, it wasn’t that. It was worse. In fact, the title is an arrant lie […]