Posts tagged ‘science’

Myths and the Creation of Meaning

Loch Ness MonsterI listened recently to a fascinating radio broadcast where Adrian Shine was discussing how, to date, he had failed to find the mythical watery monster of Loch Ness (Saturday Live, BBC Radio 4, 18/08/08).

Two things made this conversation interesting for me and took it above the realms of the usual “the-monster-must-exist-coz-I’ve-seen-pictures” story. First, this man was no fool. He was a serious naturalist who had spent over thirty years exploring and collaborating in over 200 university projects on the loch. He writes in learned journals and can do the science.

Secondly, when asked why he hadn’t found the leviathan, he simply stated that it didn’t exist. At least, there wasn’t a shred of scientific evidence that it did. And he should know, because he has spent the best part of a working life doing the sonar, going in the submarines, looking in the mud, sampling the plankton, testing the photographs, and analysing the data…

Continue Reading September 10, 2007 at 6:48 am 13 comments

Don’t Mock the Second Coming of Jesus Christ…

…or you may get mauled by a she-bear..!!

BearSince my recent comment about irrelevant and forgotten old radio Bible teachers, I thought I would re-publish this rant from my old website. It is several months old, and I am beating up on a dead guy, but hopefully some of the younger folks out there can relate. Dig?


It was darker than usual this morning due to turning the clock ahead an hour, so I was able to pick up a distant AM station on my drive into work. It was broadcasting a rerun of one of those ancient J Vernon McGee Thru The Bible programs. He was working his way through 2 Kings when he hit this troublesome passage concerning the prophet Elisha…
 

Continue Reading August 26, 2007 at 2:15 am 26 comments

Just how high did YHWH fear the men of Babel would build their Tower?

The Tower of Babel by Pieter BreugelAs a Christian, I was taught that the building of the Tower of Babel (in all likelihood, a ziggurat) was not an attempt to physically reach heaven, rather a spiritual attempt at humanistic arrogance.

The fact that the text says, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top {will reach} into heaven” merely reflects the naiveté of the builders’ view of the cosmos. The builders only imagined in their ignorance that YHWH lived above the sky, and could be reached if the tower were just tall enough.

I now strongly disagree with this view. The Biblical text, in both Old and New Testaments, makes it perfectly clear, in numerous examples, that God lives above the above the firmament of the sky in Heaven…

Continue Reading August 24, 2007 at 4:53 am 71 comments

Take THAT, God of the Gaps!

broken chainWe all know that evolution is a major stumbling block for the God of the Gaps, you know the one that automatically fills all the gaps in our knowledge, miraculously both providing us with an explanation to previously unexplainable phenomena and letting theists defend their existing faith. Still, even if we have no trouble explaining how humans developed from the initial seed of life, we’re still having some more trouble explaining just how that initial seed came about. As far as I know, there’s no universally accepted theory of abiogenesis.

That doesn’t mean it’s God behind the covers, of course. Here’s an article that provides another blow to that elusive gap-god (paper).

Now, an international team has discovered that under the right conditions, particles of inorganic dust can become organised into helical structures. These structures can then interact with each other in ways that are usually associated with organic compounds and life itself (…)

Continue Reading August 18, 2007 at 10:30 pm 33 comments

The Persecution Complex

immolation.jpgBlessed are they that have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when [men] shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all kind of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven… You are the light of the world. (Matthew 5:10-14a)

It could be argued that this is the beginning of the Christian persecution complex – or at least the reason for it. Of course, the early church had plenty of “valid” reasons to be persecuted – their core beliefs were directly opposed to the established Jewish community from which they arose and, furthermore, the early Christians, especially of the Pauline variety, were downright treasonous in the eyes of the Caesar-worship of the time. These beliefs had little to do with morality, and everything to do with loyalty. Martyrdom – not the kamikaze murderous kind of present extremism – became an increasingly noble cause. In the time of Ignatius – writing in the late 1st century, possibly predating some canonical gospels and pseudo-Pauline epistles – martyrdom was perhaps the single greatest act of faith that a Christian could show (see Ignatius’ letter to the Romans). It was, after all, the ultimate act of following Christ…

Continue Reading July 29, 2007 at 6:00 am 34 comments

The Astronomical Cheesologist

Here’s a typical Christian claim (from A Christian on the Sidelines):

The Agnostic/Atheist is attempting to explain religion through empirical methods while Theists attempt the same by using theology. The mixing of these concepts into the other field is a clear injustice to both disciplines.

But is this really true? Is it true that theology sits on the primary, or even exclusive rights to say something about religion and gods? I happen to think that this is false; in fact, I think theology is little more than the rational analysis of theologians’ imaginations. Since theologians often have a rather good imagination, I will in this post use my imagination. For completeness, I’ve written about this before, but what I will say now isn’t exactly the same.

CheeseImagine that I believe that the Moon is made of cheese. Now, being naturally curious, I start thinking about the implications of having a satellite made of cheese for Earth, and what current observations can tell us about the type of cheese that the Moon is made of, and countless other issues that a moon made of cheese would raise. After some time, I come to the conclusion that not only the Moon, but all other celestial bodies are made of cheese. Then I start publishing my investigations into the heavenly bodies and the material they’re made of. Only, I don’t publish my papers through the usual scientific means; instead, I found a whole new field, which I call Astronomical Cheesology.

Continue Reading July 24, 2007 at 11:26 am 111 comments

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Attention Christian Readers

Just in case you were wondering who we are and why we de-converted.

de-conversion wager

Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

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