Sunday, February 28, 2016

Finally, Connor gets something right

Connor Wood has finally posted something on his Science on Religion blog that actually matches reality. Wood's "No space for God of the gaps" is pretty good. He starts to go a bit wish-washy in a few places but generally reigns himself back in. He makes a few statements like:
"Religion and science aren’t non-overlapping magisteria. They’re distinct, sometimes clashing modes for grappling with the weirdness of the universe – but they do actually deal with the same universe, which is the only one there is."
Given his propensity for inserting opinions I find it ironic that he doesn't notice that you could easily argue that religion could be said to not deal with reality at all. As for there being only one universe, that may or may not be true. We don't actually know that for certain. I still feel the need to give him credit for a reasonably well thought out piece. I was pleasantly surprised by it given his track record for confusing all sorts of theistic nonsense for science.

Sunday, February 21, 2016


"If god doesn't like the way I live, Let him tell me, not you."
from a button


Ehrman has been steadily destroying his own credibility for the past handful of years. His latest book which is due out anytime seems to be yet another nail in coffin of his once substantial track record of legitimate research. A sample of Jesus Before the Gospels can be found here. Right from the start he writes about assumptions and speculations as if they are factual. This is both sad and pathetic to any one familiar with his earlier work. Many of the "eyewitness" accounts claimed by various apologists to be sound evidence Ehrman had previously revealed to be no such thing. Yet, now on the very first page of his newest book he states: "I am deeply interested in how Jesus was being 'remembered' and 'misremembered' by those who were telling such stories, both those who actually knew him and those who heard stories from others...." Who are these individuals who "actually knew him"? No first hand accounts have ever surfaced let alone any credible ones. From what I read of the sample he never comes back to these supposed eyewitnesses. Ehrman has slowly and tragically morphed into an apologist. He no longer seems capable of separated opinions and personal beliefs from historical evidence. This is incredibly depressing and disheartening.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Elections are Civic not Religious

A couple of recent posts on Patheos does a pretty good job summarizing and exemplifying a number of all too common ignorance laced misconceptions. The two major assumptions that pervade both "The Perfect Religious President" and "7 Ways to Prepare Spiritually to Vote" are:
1. Mixing religion and politics is a good thing;
2. Religion and Spirituality mean the same thing to every one.

Both are horribly misguided. The good that religion may or may not represent is highly debatable. Mixing religion into politics is less debatable but still tends to provoke arguments. There is far more to support the position that mixing religion into politics is a terrible idea. There is absolutely no legitimate debate that religion and spirituality are as amorphous as they are subjective. No one agrees on even a basic definition let alone a specific set of traits or characteristics.

By its very nature religion is divisive and riddled with all sorts of problems that tend to only unnecessarily complicate everything it touches. We are all best served when religion is kept away from public policy and governance. Religion should only be tolerated when it is kept to be a personal matter. Individuals should vote their conscience but I also hope that they examine their motivations before casting their vote. Everyone should ask themselves why they are voting and what they are voting for. I have yet to get the impression that "religious voters" ever do any such thing.