What do the measles outbreak, Islamic fanatics in Pakistan, and the Supreme Court's execrable Hobby Lobby decision all have in common? Answer: all three are examples of how society suffers when people's religious beliefs are put ahead of the greater good.
Clergy and parishioners have been celebrating Evolution Weekend for a decade. Those who have participated have found their faith to be stronger even while they deepen their understanding of the nature of science.
Many of us are willing to ignore the overwhelming evidence that human nature and history are irreducibly complex, in favor of bedtime stories that let us sleep better at night. We blame the worst stuff on religion and dream of a better world without it.
One day as I sat there holding my mother's hand, I asked her if there was anything that could be done to make her feel better. She said, "I want god to take away this cancer and instead give me something that would let me die with dignity." I tried but didn't really know how to comfort her.
Science is in constant flux. New discoveries are made. New insights arise. New paradigms overturn previous ways of thinking. So if we base our religious outlook on scientific findings, what will happen to our theology when the science changes?
The Christmas story recounts three wise men journeying through the desert, guided by the mysterious appearance of a distant star. This echoes the sens...
So that's the first challenge for the Jewish community when it comes to science -- while the Christian community grapples with how to embrace science, the Jewish community has to figure out how to relate to Judaism.
God is a journey in consciousness, and because that's so, whatever benefit we gain from being conscious is increased once we obtain direct access to God. Needless to say, atheists don't even begin such a journey, because they dismiss it outright in advance.
"You've probably never thought about the evolutionary origins of religion before. And if you have, you certainly haven't heard it rapped before."
Even though I have serious problems with the movie's main argument, it's worth seeing. It provides a great window into how Krauss and Dawkins think; it's cinematography and soundtrack rock.
It is not reasonable to me, nor do I believe, that anything is random or happens by chance. In fact, it is perfectly reasonable to me, and I firmly believe, that every effect has a cause -- even if no one except God can comprehend this cause.
Besides the obvious fact that evidence can be misleading -- we tend to find only what we expect to see -- God is not something that comes at the end of a logical train of thought. Rather, my faith in God is my basic foundational assumption, the axiom that I start with when I do my logic.
Mental gymnastics is not the special burden of religious believers. It's part and parcel of the human believing condition. I suggest a policy of humility and tolerance with respect to those who disagree with us, not arrogance and bullying.
I think the big division between science and spirituality could be narrowed by a clearer definition of our words. Our vocabulary doesn't serve us well. Don't let the foibles of our vocabulary prevent you from respecting the beliefs of others as long as they respect and honor yours.
Both climate crisis denial and the anti-vaccination movement follow the same trend of dismissing science. But the phenomenon of religious and political science denial extends far beyond the obvious examples. It can get much worse, and much uglier.
In a recent New York Times op-ed, evolutionary biologist David Barash recounts telling the undergraduates in his animal behavior class that evolutionary science has "demolished two previously potent pillars of religious faith and undermined belief in an omnipotent and omni-benevolent God." Barash's claims of demolition are more "op" than "ed," I'm afraid.