Many atheists, myself included, have been overly optimistic that a rational argument will be sufficient to change minds. I now think the best we can do is make good points in a reasonable and pleasant manner.
Way before Einstein's insights and equations, religion was all about light. Religious iconography depicted light in the figurative sense while mystics experienced light in literal terms.
Every time we appreciate science, whether it's being debated or moved forward with research, we should remember that we owe a great deal to this ancient philosopher, who opened up a new way in which to see the world.
No one wins the "debate" between science and creationism because they are incommensurable, like comparing an apple pie with Moby Dick.
I know which of these two men I want my daughter to emulate -- if not with regard to faith, then with regard to intellectual inquiry. One of these two men was there to nurture curiosity. The other was there to stifle it.
Nye, not a theologian, again got the point across when he noted that millions of Christians, and other people of faith, do not agree with Ham, do not deny evolution and do not see evolution as somehow opposed to God.
As long as we view ourselves as "higher than" or "qualitatively different from" the other animals, we will continue to make assumptions about them that promote abuse and exploitation. The Scala Naturae gives us license to exploit other animals because they are seen as being further down the ladder.
Many, including members of the Baha'i Faith, look forward to a future when science and religion -- and faith and reason -- are reconciled and no longer opposed.
Bill Nye and Ken Ham will be debating creationism on Feb. 4, and it's a bad idea for both scientists and Christians.
No matter what side of the creation-evolution debate you are on, your partisanship costs you dearly. Why? Because it costs you the ability to read the Bible on its own terms. What do we lose by straightjacketing the Bible with the creation-evolution debate?
Seventeen years ago, on a rainy day, I was sitting in a Cuban restaurant in Los Angeles with close associate and fellow traveler, Carlos Castaneda. We had been discussing the near impossibility of, somehow, freeing oneself from the mind . . . the ego centered self or me.
People who hold marginal positions love debates because it makes their position seem credible -- after all we wouldn't be debating this question if it wasn't a real question would we? We wouldn't "defend" evolution unless it needed defending would we?
Extending too much love to others can leave us lacking in love for ourselves. We must walk the fine line of attending to others and tending to ourselves, all the while never falling second to the needs of another. Because to love ourselves is to know ourselves, and to know ourselves is to recognize the full spectrum of our powers.
All cultural generalizations are wrong when it comes to individuals. We all know Europeans and Americans who are self-effacing and communitarian in their world view, and Asians who are fiercely independent. So why do some individuals conform to cultural norms and others not?
A new paper deals a substantial blow to the idea that masculine men make good genetic sires. Of course, the genes that confer masculinity on both sons and daughters might have other positive effects, including but not limited to improved immunity. That remains to be assessed.
This year's celebration is especially meaningful given the numerous legislative threats that the scientific community faces and the lackluster level of government funding of scientific research.