Secular Calvinism

Australia is one of the most secular of developed nations. At the last census, 22% of people marked “No religion” as their affiliation, and the attendance at religious services weekly dropped to 16%, from a high in 1950 of 44%. So why is it that a sizeable minority (around 30%) of Australians oppose gay marriage, Read More…

An unjust government

This one is about Australian politics. International readers may ignore it. There has been a lot of media and internet hype and fun had about the silly and unfair Australian government and its abortion of a budget in which the poor, the unemployed and the future of our nation, students, are unfairly targeted while the Read More…

Morality and evolution 4: Is morality fitness-enhancing?

[Morality and Evolution 1 2 3 4 5 6 7] If we agree that morality enhances fitness, because it enables cooperation, several questions arise: what sort of fitness enhancement does it provide and to what? In short, what is the selection process tracking? To say that morality provides a foundation for social cohesion and the consequent benefits that accrue is not Read More…

Accommodating Science overview

I have done quite a lot of blogging under this heading lately so I thought it might be useful to get all the posts used in order: On beliefs Why do believers believe silly things? The function of denialism Why do believers believe THOSE silly things? The “developmental hypothesis” of belief acquisition How to argue Read More…

Accommodating Science: the backfire effect, and conclusion

[This is the final section of the book. I will return to the section on neurobiology and religion later.] The backfire effect If science is to be communicated to the wider community in a way that will change how people think, then it would seem an obvious idea to look at the actual science of Read More…

Accommodating science: Faith and reason

[This is the penultimate chapter. I can’t be bothered trying to get the references or footnotes included in the posts, so you’ll have to wait for the book. Some of this has appeared on the blog before in less well written form, so don’t worry about the deja vu] All religious systems, it is confessed, Read More…

Science outreach: A conversation

From the Freethinkers Blog Con: With PZ Myzer and Aron Ra.