Sticky Posts: Old Ones Resurrected

Biblical scholar James G. Crossley interviewed – fascinating!

James G. Crossley is a biblical scholar who has written a good few books. He stands out in the biblical studies community as being secular – a rarity in a field which spends so much time analysing the Bible. Crossley rose to a little more fame than the standard when he debated William Lane Craig. Crossley also has an unusual position of adhering to a particularly early dating for Mark.

Bob Doyle’s ‘two-stage’ model of free will

The Information Philosopher, Bob Doyle, who has also written a book called The Scandal of Free Will has proposed a two-stage model of free will based on the thinking of William James. I bring this up because previous and infamous ATP commenter, JohnM (John Muze) has been commenting on the Unbelievable forum on facebook about it. It is his knight in shining armour which supposedly gives him the free will for which he argued so vociferously and badly when he commented here.

It’s wrong to kill lions! (Or is it?)

Everyone knows about it. I needn’t really explain the story, but I will.

Dentist from Minnesota pays loads of money to go shoot a lion with a bow in Zimbabwe, after it is lured illegally outside of the national park with bait. Lion gets hit, wonders around in pain, life ebbing, for 40 hours until dentist finds it again, and shoots it in the head with a gun. Lion dies. Man thinks it’s all legal, apparently. The lion was left skinned and beheaded after the hunters trying to destroy the tagged collar Cecil the lion had. Man also faced prison in 2008 after lying to a federal agent about killing a bear.

Fox News Is Brainwashing Viewers And Hurting The Republican Party

Ploiticsusa has released this article which reinforces what I have said before (in the thread).

A new study has found that Fox News is hurting the Republican Party by brainwashing millions of angry conservatives with misinformation.

In a new study of the Fox News effect by Bruce Bartlett, research was collected that demonstrated the negative impact of Fox News on media and politics.

Dawkins, Islam and feminism

Dawkins has just been trashed by a feminist guest contributor to The Friendly Atheist. TFA is usually well on the money, but this recent article had me annoyed. A lot.

It all started with this seemingly innocuous tweet:

Evolution and morality

I was recently having a private conversation about humanity and whether we are uniquely different from all other creatures in such a way that naturalistic evolution could not explain the step change from primates to us. As a naturalist who has read a fair bit on evolution and evolutionary psychology, I obviously disagree with such a claim.

House of Lords discuss persecution of humanists

Peers in the House of Lords have discussed the persecution of humanists around the world in a debate on freedom of religion and belief.

Lord Alton’s motion had asked that the Lords take note of Article 18 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights – which stipulates that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion – and called upon the Government to make upholding freedom of religion and belief a greater priority.

Evolution, language and the unconcsious: yup, free will again!

John D. Bargh is a psychologist with an interest in matters concerning free will. He edited a superb book on psychology and free will which I would advise anyone to get called Are We Free? From it, this excerpt was interesting, especially given recent conversations defending naturalism with a fellow Tippling Philosopher by email who thinks that human minds are too far removed from the rest of the animal kingdom to be explicable by naturalistic evolution (pp. 145-146):

Some notes on free will, evolution and evolutionary psychology, part 1

This will definitely be TL;DR (Too long; didn’t read), but…

In discussing some thing on a private thread with a fellow Tippling Philosopher, I have written quite a bit on free will, evolution and evolutionary psychology which I would hat to go to waste and would love to keep for reference and posterity. None is ground-breaking or anything you wouldn’t know, but there are some good links to refer to in future conversations.

Did the Universe Begin, and How? (Interview)

I recently had the pleasure of having an interview/conversation on the subject of Big Bang Cosmology and the implications for the universe having an absolute beginning. The question is also wrapped up with theistic claims that a god is a necessary precursor to the universe (or not). Also, some will argue that the Big Bang is just the scientists’ way of avoiding the conclusion that God made everything.

Do the Bible and Qu’ran need commentaries?

Over on a recent thread about the challenges I have met in my claims of Islam, a Catholic commentator asked this question:

I agree with you that Islam has problems. I have a quick question: do you read commentaries and theology books written by Muslims to offset your bias?

To which I said:

On Islam and answering my critics

I have had many discussions concerning Islam and my views pertaining to it. I would like to flesh out here some of the criticisms I have had and answer them properly, also offering this as a post that I can point people to when this undoubtedly pops up again.