Accommodating science: Geology and Time

Some religions have no real view of history, while others hold to some kind of eternal cycle, but the western religions have a narrative with a beginning middle and end. And in the best known version of this – Christianity, what else? – history is given as a very short amount of time. And it Read More…

Accommodating science: Astronomy

If science and religion do conflict, what are the points of conflict that have occurred? These tend to have arisen in historical contexts as the science evolved. I shall consider five sciences and how religion has responded to them: astronomy, or cosmology, geology, evolutionary biology and biology in general, medicine, and psychology. There are many Read More…

How to argue with silly thing believers

[Apologies this took a while; I’ve been rather sick] So, given all this [Why believers believe silly things, why they believe the particular silly things they do, and the developmental hypothesis of belief acquisition], how can you change a believer’s mind? It is tempting to say that you cannot, or to take a more rationalist Read More…

Why anti science?

Over the past few decades there has been an increasingly negative attitude by governments, pundits, religiosi and faux philosophers against science. We have seen an increase in denialism about climate change (one of the most well supported scientific models of the day), vaccination, evolution, medical research in general, and the ancillary aspects of science like Read More…

The origin of “intelligent design” in the 18th and 19th centuries

A question asked on the talk.origins group by reader Garamond Lethe led me to do some reading and writing, which I do below the fold. He asked: I’m looking for an article that detailed the history of the term “intelligent design” prior to its use by the DI. I have a dim memory of reading Read More…

Scientists and history

Recently, historian of medicine Edward Shorter made the following comment [follow link for a good discussion]: Historians aren’t as interested [in his work] because they aren’t intellectually equipped to study that kind of thing. Most of them don’t have a scientific background. They can’t get into detailed discussions of therapies because they aren’t well informed about Read More…

God and evolution 1

[I have decided to restart ET for a bit, but given my circumstances, it will be sporadic at best. This is the first in a series that will be tagged “Living with Evolution”, and is the first rough draft of what I hope will be a book.] The common view these days is the religion Read More…