Posted October 22nd, 2008 in Biology. Tags: Conversation, Intermediate-Science, No Equations, Physics, Pseudoscience, Religion.
This conversation began when I posted an inflammatory essay about creationism on Slashdot. I was pleasantly surprised with the sophistication of The Famous Brett Watson‘s arguments, and he later agreed to let me display this debate online (edited for clarity) to rescue it from being buried in the Slashdot archives. (more…)
Posted November 20th, 2008 in Philosophy. Tags: Advanced-Phil., Conversation, No Equations, Physics, Religion.
Let me ask a question to all you atheists out there: if some sort of God didn’t create the universe (or at least the laws behind it), then what did? How did our universe get here? And, by the way, the answer, “It’s always existed,” isn’t an answer at all. After all, that’s the same as saying, “God’s always existed,” and if a good atheist can’t believe that, then he shouldn’t believe “the universe’s always existed” anymore!
It wasn’t exactly aimed at me, but I love the sound of my own voice/keyboard so much that I couldn’t resist answering. (more…)
Posted March 28th, 2009 in Astronomy. Tags: Conversation, Intermediate-Science, No Equations, Physics, Pseudoscience, Religion.
Marble and I have previously discussed creationism and evolution, but our conversation later centered on a non-standard cosmology known as plasma cosmology (popularized as the “Electric Universe”). (more…)
Posted November 12th, 2008 in Philosophy. Tags: Conversation, Intermediate-Phil., No Equations, Physics, Religion.
I once noticed a (presumed) atheist make the following statement during an unrelated discussion about Buckminster Fuller:
Fuller did contribute some interesting stuff but some of his ideas were unworkable. That’s pretty common for most contributors/geniuses. Look at Einstein: some cool research, but he was highly disruptive in other areas (eg. quantum mechanics or putting religious beliefs before science).
Einstein was one of my childhood heroes so I wasn’t about to let that go unchallenged: (more…)
Posted November 29th, 2008 in Philosophy. Tags: Introductory-Phil., No Equations, Pseudoscience, Quickie, Religion.
When I was a college freshman, a fiery preacher named Tom Short would stand in a courtyard, evangelizing and arguing with any pedestrian who challenged him. More often than I’d care to admit, I found myself in that courtyard listening to him. It was like watching a car accident– horrible but so fascinating that I couldn’t look away. He spent a lot of time talking about Hell. He casually dismissed accusations that his homophobic rhetoric was indirectly responsible for a recent tragedy– the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard— by suggesting that Matthew was actually killed by other homosexuals. Other frequent topics included the pack of atheistic lies called “evolution,” and the argument that the Earth was only a few thousand years old.
Then one day, I heard him say: “Brontosaurus never existed.” Someone immediately responded: “That’s ridiculous! Of course (more…)
Posted April 25th, 2009 in Politics. Tags: No Equations, Religion.
Many issues in American politics confuse me, but the widespread opposition to gay marriage truly boggles my mind. In a bizarre turn of events, California banned same-sex marriage, then Iowa struck down a similar ban. Until just recently, the U.S. was one of the few western nations that refused to decriminalize homosexuality. Miss California became a GOP star last week because of her opinion on this issue. My personal reaction, on the other hand, was similar to Jon Stewart’s: (more…)
Posted November 26th, 2008 in Philosophy. Tags: Intermediate-Phil., No Equations, Pedagogy, Religion.
I don’t believe in anything with absolute certainty; I always allow room for doubt. How much doubt, though, depends on the type of statement:
Level 1 – Least doubtful
In my opinion, Descartes uttered the least doubtful statement ever: “I think, therefore I am.” I’d have no sense of self without making this assumption, so I definitely couldn’t inquire about anything else. (more…)
Posted November 28th, 2008 in Philosophy. Tags: Intermediate-Phil., No Equations, Religion.
I grew up in the southern United States, a region famous for religious fundamentalism. My parents are Roman Catholics, and nearly all of my extended family identifies as Christian. I went to a Catholic primary school and later attended a Catholic high school.
Given that history, you might be surprised to learn that I’d always found the concept of God confusing. I was 10 years old the first time I recall thinking about this subject. These thoughts usually took place at the top of an oak tree (more…)