Darwin's impact on the world far transcends science. And yet, I'd be disappointed if this celebration of all things Darwinian began and ended with the great naturalist.
A fundamentalist is unwilling to consider the unsettling possibility that the universe is more complex, mysterious, and multi-dimensional than anything our symbol systems, descriptions and analyses can apprehend.
The global brain is coming. The technology to build a global brain will come whether our institutions change or not. The problem then morphs into something a little more interesting: technology can build the global brain, but its up to us to build the global village.
Was the Christian God cool with slavery? Slave owners sure thought so -- and had plenty of Biblical canon to support it. Abolitionists disagreed. Did God want women to vote? Not according to anti-suffragists. Suffragists were convinced otherwise.
Darwin was right about many things, including the mechanism by which the plenitude of life we know as biodiversity came to thrive on this planet. Unfortunately for us, his picture has hit a big roadblock.
The recent "debate" between Ken Ham, the head of the world's largest creationist organization, and Bill Nye, the science guy, was certainly lucrative....
Religion must happily, and without fear, enter the wider stream of discourse about the nature of reality, confident that truth does not contradict truth.
The great debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye attracted huge attention. It also presented a false dichotomy.
If you tuned in to the Ken Ham vs. Bill Nye creationism vs. science debate, you may well have found yourself thinking, 'This guy just doesn't get it.' And, regardless of which side you're on or which guy you were referring to, you were probably right.
Deconstruct these debates and the motivation behind the opposition to both evolution and LGBT people in the Church is clear: fear. It is a fear of falling down the "slippery slope" which changes long-held positions "supported" by scripture.
The goal is not to defend the absurd idea of young-earth creationism, but rather biblical literalism, the ideology from which fundamentalists draw their strength.
To be honest, I think that we need to have a very different kind of a conversation about "origins" than what was had Tuesday night. I think that the entire conversation needs to be focused on what the Bible is and is not.
Faith is a personal matter, and should never be a cudgel to stifle inquiry. We tried that approach about 1,200 years ago. The experiment was called the Dark Ages.
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.