One reading of the human story emphasizes war and domination. Another telling highlights overthrowing tyrants and progressively emancipating ourselves. The key to deciding which of these perspectives is predictive of the human future lies in a paradoxical property of power.
The most interesting strategy employed by anti-evolutionists over the last century and a half has been to report that "Darwinism is Dead" or "Evolution has Collapsed." The exercise is all but meaningless in terms of scientific discussion.
True learning never stops; it pushes us out ever-farther into uncharted territory. As both space exploration and Torah study show us, each new discovery spurs new lines of inquiry.
In the face of the climate crisis, many express panic. The biblical story of the years in the Wilderness, in which the fractious and "stiff-necked" people of Israel agreed to a covenant with God and created a new way of life, offers solutions to the challenge.
If Stephen Hawking wishes to join the BDS movement, he must immediately stop using all Israeli-made goods and services, including the chip from his tablet that allows him to communicate his thoughts with the world.
When the Hasidim of Kotzk prayed, they did not move. Any external sign of piety was deemed pretentious. The story is told of a great student, who after one prayer session -- though someone observing from the side would not even have noticed that he was praying -- was bathed in sweat and had actually cracked two of his teeth.
Many insist that man's predatory practices are undiminished and ineradicable. But an opposing trend is becoming visible. While admitting that "the arc of the moral universe is long," Martin Luther King Jr. believed that "it bends toward justice."
Dawkins on biology is an elegant, lucid and even enchanting explicator of science. Dawkins on religion is historically uninformed, outrageously partisan and morally obtuse. If Dawkins is indeed our best, the life of the mind is in a precarious state.
Philosophy and theology departments are increasingly irrelevant backwaters in the modern university, engaged in seemingly solipsistic debates. If they want to reclaim exalted status in the university and society, they would do well to embrace Big History.
We've enrolled prayer and reason as weapons in the culture wars. But how about a National Day for Prayer and Reason? Because there are plenty of Americans who do not want to separate the two.
Christianity is shipwrecked on the rock of "biblical authority." Twelve hundred people a day leave the church. The Bible, once an asset, has become a liability.
Unwittingly, some components of Ronald Fisher's theory of runaway selection can aptly describe the emergence of exaggerated religious traits as well. Take for example the recent photo of an orthodox Jewish man ensconced in a full-size plastic bag during a flight to Tel Aviv.
Several U.S. states are falling over themselves -- and in some cases failing -- to ban abortion, abortion clinics and access to the few clinics that remain. This is not a new phenomenon.
While traditional notions of stewardship are well and good, Revelation suggests another reason to care: At the end of the world, God comes home to live on earth.
Over the past two decades, I've been studying the intersection of science and spirituality. I've also been a percussionist for about 40 years. One clear conclusion from this combination of experience: Life is best lived with the right rhythm, what drummers call being "in the groove."
The idea of a Protestant or Puritan work ethic has worked its way into national lore. But in looking at the religious engines of economic growth, new research indicates it may be just as helpful to talk about an Islamic ethic or a Jewish ethic or a Buddhist ethic.