By analogy, DNA is hardware, but epigenetics -- literally "above genetics" -- is software. All manner of factors -- lifestyle, diet, habits, and so on -- influence gene expression by "tagging" sections of the genetic code as "on" or "off."
The concept of ritual uncleanliness is an old one embedded in several major religious traditions, including Islam and Judaism. It is still accepted by many religious Iranian Muslims today.
The nonreligious and the secular are a significant part of American society and no discussion of religion and society is complete if secularity is ignored.
If awe is the foundation for wisdom, for art, for science, and for religion, then it would behoove us to make space for awe and to coax our jaded existences back to life by nurturing it.
I wonder if it's possible to consider this question apart from the existence of an intelligent designer. Even without such a designer, can the universe have a purpose? And for those of us who do not believe in a designer, does this universe have a purpose?
In Texas, the State Board of Education will recommend new textbooks for all its students -- and because it has such a large population, what they decide could determine what students in other states learn about science. There are several ideologues submitting textbook critiques to the board and their reviews will factor into each book's overall score and likelihood of being approved by the school board. These ideologues could block the use of textbooks that teach the reality of climate change for the whole country's public school students. Climate science is being attacked by deniers who want to sow seeds of doubt as we try to educate our children about how our way of life -- including our fossil fuel habit -- is affecting God's earth through climate change. Children, the ones who will most be affected by climate change, are the ones who most need to how to combat it.
The existence of the God worshiped by most Jews, Christians, and Muslims not only lacks supporting empirical evidence but is even contradicted by such evidence. However, it need not have turned out that way.
"This is the supreme thing in Buddhism; this law of nature is the Buddhist God. The law of nature is an impersonal God. Because Buddhism, in fact has...
With few deviations, religions declare that humans are separate from other animals, higher and better than other critters, unique in their relationship with the creator.
No one, in my estimation, bridged the gulf between science and faith better than Teilhard de Chardin, the French paleontologist, priest, and mystic (1881-1955). By his success, Teilhard provided a model for those who seek integrity in the reconciliation of science and spirituality.
The idea that science worships anything as its 'God' is quite appalling, for it suggests that scientists are not engaged in a dispassionate examination of nature but are seeking to replace one religion with another. God is quite unnecessary in science, even as a metaphor.
Those whose lives are chaotic often turn to fundamentalism as a curative. It works, but only temporally. Fundamentalism's rigidity tames the chaos, but it does so by invoking a legalistic God and a thicket of regulations so dense that one is trapped.
A hypothesis proposes an idea that makes testable predictions about a given question. We then set up an experiment to test this model by looking for those predictions. This is why predictions are very important. No prediction, no test, no science.
The likelihood of extraterrestrial life is rising with each new discovery. Some feel that if the discovery of life is just around the corner, this may be an issue for religious dogma.
Faith would not be such a negative force in society if it were just about religion. However, the magical thinking that becomes deeply ingrained whenever blind faith rules over facts warps all areas of life.
Once after eating a meal on our porch in the festive tent in which we celebrate the holiday of Sukkot, my then ten-year-old son announced that he was not so interested in saying the blessings after the meal.