A few days ago at the National Catholic Register, a blog post was put up about the Yuletide star that I have been so interested in. The author of the piece, Jimmy Akin, wrote up about how the text of the Gospel of Matthew does not necessarily talk about a Star that moves around in such a way that it can only be supernatural. Akin, who besides having a cool red beard, is a Catholic apologist, and he categorizes his efforts here about the Star under apologetics (as seen on the blogs tag). I read the blog entry after I saw it come up in a search on Twitter, and the first thing I noted was that he said that the text does not support the supernatural reading, but he never actually cited the Greek text!
Category Science and religion
So now it is time to return to the idea of homosexuality and Christianity about which I posted the other day.
Having looked at biblical issues concerning the position of deeming h/s morally wrong, let us now look at what makes people h/s and whether it is fair for an all-loving god to judge them.
I would like to give a good synopsis of the current tate of biology and sexual orientation. First of all, it is interesting to note that the drivers for male and female h/s are understood to be often very different. It is not one rule fits all. Furthermore, there are also a whole host of reasons that can lead to h/s – biological, genetic (and epigenetic), and environmental and social.
Let us look firstly at the biological causes and theories.
OK, so most people of neutral, skeptical or commonsensical persuasion understand that the global flood claims of Genesis are nonsense. Yet the meme still persists amongst literalists and fundamentalists. I love GearHeadEd’s comment over on DC. It shows that that much water is truly a ridiculous concept. I wrote extensively once on why people believe such silly things. Here is Ed’s comment:
William Lane Craig is ubiquitous in conversations about theistic and Christian apologetics. Being the foremost modern philosopher/theologian still operating, he is often called upon or used as a source for theistic and Christian arguments, winning many debates in the process (on technique and rhetoric, in the main). I have part critiqued his Reasonable Faith book here.
The end is Nye!
Sorry, made that joke last time, but now it seems better suited.
So last night was the much-trafficked debate between Bill Nye, the Science Guy, and AiG founder Ken Ham. Now, I am obviously biased towards the scientific consensus; evidence tends to do that. However, I have to say that I was pessimistic about how the debate would go. I didn’t figure either side would really win, but rather it seemed there would be a lot of talking past each other. And while that happened to an extend, overall I think Nye handled things rather well.
Well, without having yet finished, it seems open and closed. Don’t get me wrong, both were assured and neither will shift the other’s position, obviously. But you simply can’t argue against such robust and predictive science.
The year 2013 is nearly over, and it has been quite a good one for me. I’ve finished the research and been awarded my PhD in physics, I’m in the prospects for a new job to continue my research in physics education, and I published my first book on the Star of Bethlehem. And that last point I have seen get around in the news, thanks to the holiday interests of many media outlets.
OK, it might take you a while to stop laughing. Now, these days, I don’t really get involved in evolution arguments with people who flatly deny evolution on such blatantly anti-intellectual terms. I see it as self-delusion, and having written before that such people are impervious to reason and evidence, and that showing such actually entrenches their views, I try not to be bothered by such positions. But often fail.
Bill Nye the Science Guy plans to visit Kentucky next month for a creation-vs.-evolution debate with Creation Museum founder Ken Ham.
Ham wrote on his blog that the museum will host Nye, the star of a long-running science show for kids, on Feb. 4.
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_who_became_creationists_after_studying_the_evidence Brilliant H/T John Loftus at DC.
Author Gregg Caruso, who has written some really useful academic books on free will has a new project ont he go which looks fascinating. Check it out. Here is the email he sent me:
As you will know from a couple of previous posts, I have edited a book by Aaron Adair about the…
This is a disgrace. This is what our schools are coming to given the government’s insistence that anyone can set up schools (Free Schools). This is just an excuse for ideological indoctrination. Here is an email the British Humanist Association sent me:
[Just to remind readers that the book I have recently edited, written by contributor Aaron Adair, called The Star of Bethlehem: A Skeptical View. is out now in all formats from a variety of sellers. It is a great book, and one which Richard Carrier has said is “awesome”. Please support our work by buying it! It’ll make an awesome Christmas present! Over to Aaron’s launch piece for those who missed it – JP]
Nearly two millennia ago, a story was told of a wondrous star in the heavens, beaming forth to proclaim the birth of an infant, destined to rule. Coaxing priests from an eastern kingdom to travel in search of this infant, the object led them to their destination and allow for the worship of the savior of the world.
Or so the story goes. But did it really happen, and if so, what was this magnificent star? A comet? An exploding star? An astrological portent? Something more bizarre?
Religious conservatives on the Texas state textbook review panel have targeted for elimination high school biology textbooks that don’t include robust refutations of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection.
The panel, which includes several creationists, is urging the State Board of Education to reject any textbook that does not issue what it calls “disclaimers” on key concepts in evolutionary theory.
I have not watched this series, but this clip makes me want to. H/T Ian Taylor. Good stuff to get…
Yonatan Fishman, PhD, Department of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, wrote a really interesting paper contesting the idea that science and the supernatural do not overlap, and that there is no way to test the supernatural. The paper can be found here and is well worth a read. I hope to give it a greater commentary in the near, not-so-mentally busy future!
This is one of my old posts from when I wrote more often at DC:
We have had a resurgence in discussing evolution recently, thanks in no small part to the Creationist mental contortions of Creationbabble over on this thread. what this seems to show, to me at any rate, is that Creationists, and any shade of person who disbelieves the theory of evolution, simply does not understand the philosophy behind it.