first of all, we don't know where we're goin unless we know
where we've come from
and so, with that in mind, and, damn, because his is a good series that picks up stuff even i miss(!), check out Johnny's Sunday Morning Service
also, a programming note- there won't be a Sunday School post next Sunday the 10th as i'll be out of town. but we'll pick it back up again the following Sunday!
how plants drove the first animals on land
John Danaher takes a look at the Kalam Cosmological Argument through the lens of philosopher Wes Morriston's paper asking Must The Beginning of the Universe Have A Personal Cause?
Luke Muehlhauser addresses the Kalam
himself in this post.
the edge of the solar system is a weird and erratic place
a new paper just out says that time is likely to end within 5 billion years
. Greg Fish laughs
Cassini wows again with this incredible shot of Enceladus showing its south pole ice geysers
PZ Myers is asking
scientific journalists to stop with the simplistic pseudo-genetics stories. and on the subject of science journalism, check out this fantastic piece
, a mock template for every bad science journalism piece ever written!
Luke Muehlhauser continues blogging
through Gary Drescher's excellent Good and Real
, this time addressing the apparent paradox of choice in a determined universe.
also, don't miss his first post
in a series on the Fine-Tuning Argument.
by now i'm sure you've seen- as the entire internet seems to be buzzing about it- the Pew Forum has released the findings of a new survey showing atheists and agnostics know the most about religion among Americans. reaction has naturally followed from Hemant Mehta
, Tom Rees
, Matt at The Skeptical Teacher
, The LA Times
, The New York Times
, and PZ Myers
. PZ Myers addressed
the comments by one John Mark Reynolds, Catholic professor at the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, that said that atheists may be good at trivia but they're poor thinkers.
coming in just behind atheists and agnostics were Jews and Mormons. Jason Rosenhouse has an idea
why Jews score highly while Razib Khan pulls together some data
that shows that the idea that Mormons scored highly because they're smarter than the average population just isn't true. Hemant Mehta is asking
if anyone has taken the Alpha Course, a course study offered by a UK Christian group that attempts to convert agnostics to Christianity. he links to this informative takedown
of the course by an atheist who attended. i dug up another informative takedown
i remembered reading a while back.
the US Congress finally passed a NASA plan, so what's in it?
can a society be successful without religion? we already know the answer
Buddhism is normally seen as such a peaceful religion/philosophy but is it really without a dark side?
(how could i not include a link to a story about how) squirrels masturbate to avoid STD's
. Ed Yong covers the findings too
. (not that many animals don't also masturbate, they do
.)pray to the god of liver transplant patients!
lots of talk around the internet about the discover of Gliese 581g, a rocky planet similar to Earth about 20 ly away. the talk has centered around comments suggesting that the planet may harbor life. but don't
get too excited just yet
though the CFI's Michael De Dora had disagreed with Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens' vocal stance against the pope, he's changed his mind and now says that honest and decent humans should oppose this pope
"there’s a form of accommodationism that, while attacking the
deficiencies of both science and faith, tries to combine them in a wooly-minded nexus.", says Jerry Coyne while exposing this "wooly-minded nexus"
for what it is.monkeys in the mirror
and the nature of science- an interesting piece by Carl Zimmer on research into monkeys recognizing themselves in the mirror.
thanks to Greg
for pointing me to the page of University of Colorado philosophy professor Michael Huemer
, complete with lecture notes and reading lists. great stuff if you're interested in philosophy! penguins haven't always worn tuxedos
, so says a 36 million year old penguin fossil. last week
i linked to a piece by the CFI's John Shook that went after the "new atheists", and linked, too, to reaction from several sources. this week John Shook clarified what he meant- Jerry Coyne put quotes around
Shook's idea of clarification, thinking it fell short. Shook's piece couldn't have come at a worse time given the release of the Pew Forum's survey results (see above), as was pointed out at The Teapot Atheist
. (though it seems Shook is without a sense of irony
) meanwhile, reaction to Shook's attack is still coming in- Larry Moran urges anyone
to produce their most sophisticated argument for theism and let's see how it stands up. Greg Fish has his say
. no one could leave Russell Blackford
out (thanks Jeff
!) and in response to the whole thing Jason Rosenhouse has set out
to blog his way through Christian apologist Richard Swinburne's The Existence of God
here's a simple atheist wish list for the real world
. this video
is bouncing around the internet right now- it shows several physicists being asked two questions: do you believe in god? and what's your favorite astronomical phenomenon? check out their reactions to the two questions. the god question is responded to with a sort of "of course not" tone and the second question is responded to like little kids, with wonder and awe. on treating statistics sensibly. PZ Myers pointed out
that Matt Taibbi has an excellent piece
in Rolling Stone about the Tea Party. it's equal parts funny and scary.
David Sloan Wilson posted this open letter to Richard Dawkins
asking him why he's still in denial about group selection. (thanks again Adriana
physicists may have observed Hawking radiation
for the first time. Andrew Moseman has more
every single Republican Senate hopeful is against climate change action
the "evidence" for Jesus' resurrection debunked in one page