Science & Religion: Beyond the Ham-Nye Rye Sandwich

Heller will help you get a grip.

Heller will help you get a grip.

Don’t let yourself be sandwiched between Ken Ham and Bill Nye. Their debate was a circus sideshow rather than a real debate about where the dialogue between science and religion stands.

Getting involved in the false dichotomies set up by these second rate minds is like being sandwiched between Hitler and Stalin: unenviable. It’s like being stuck in Poland during the 20th century, that is, inhabiting the worst piece of real estate around.

The debate was a symptom of the homonym problem which usually haunts most science versus religion debates. That’s why it wasn’t a real dialogue. Let me explain. These debates are mostly the doings of two fringe groups talking past each other using the same words (“science” and “religion”), but intending distinctly different meanings with these words.

It’s a lot like watching two infants with diarrhea throwing sloppy turds at each other. The debate, if there really is one, needs more definition and a lot more maturity.

What follows is a list of books and their publisher blurbs that answer a friend’s question about why there isn’t more creative scientific and philosophical work being done by religious people. The answer is, “There’s plenty, if you want to hit the books.”

Hopefully, my categories are self-explanatory: Cosmology, Evolution, Medicine, Epistemology, Cultural Ramifications, and Literature.

If this isn’t enough there are several books (by Larry ChappConor Cunningham, and Michael J. Buckley) in a previous Top 10 that ought to be on this list. I ran out of space and time and didn’t want to repeat myself.

If you want real dialogue, here’s something to snack on…

Two spirits preside over the book: Alberti, the Renaissance author on art and architecture, whose passionate interest in perspective and point of view offers a key to modernity; and Nicolaus Cusanus, the fifteenth-century cardinal, whose work shows that such interest cannot be divorced from speculations on the infinity of God. The title Infinity and Perspective connects the two to each other and to the shape of modernity.

Infinity and Perspective is one of the most impressive books I’ve read on the topic of cosmological developments and religion. It also discusses the relationship between science and the arts, so you get lots of pretty pictures as a bonus.

Cosmology:

Karsten Harries, Infinity and Perspective

“Much postmodern rhetoric, suggests Karsten Harries, can be understood as a symptom of our civilization’s discontent, born of regret that we are no longer able to experience our world as a cosmos that assigns us our place. But dissatisfaction with the modern world may also spring from a conviction that modernism has failed to confront the challenge of an inevitably open future. Such conviction has frequently led to a critique of modernity’s founding heroes. Challenging that critique, Harries insists that modernity is supported by nothing other than human freedom.But more important to Harries is to show how modernist self-assertion is shadowed by nihilism and what it might mean to step out of that shadow. Looking at a small number of medieval and Renaissance texts, as well as some paintings, he uncovers the threshold that separates the modern from the premodern world. At the same time, he illuminates that other, more questionable threshold, between the modern and the postmodern.Two spirits preside over the book: Alberti, the Renaissance author on art and architecture, whose passionate interest in perspective and point of view offers a key to modernity; and Nicolaus Cusanus, the fifteenth-century cardinal, whose work shows that such interest cannot be divorced from speculations on the infinity of God. The title Infinity and Perspective connects the two to each other and to the shape of modernity.”

George V. Coyne SJ, Wayfarers in the Cosmos

“With the embarrassing Galileo condemnation far, far behind them, the time is ripe for a book by Vatican officials about how the Official Church sees the staggering developments in modern astronomy. Coyne and Omizzolo take readers through the history of human understandings of heavens to arrive at a deep understanding of what many secular physicists are themselves saying about the cosmos: that a loving Creator stands behind it all.”

Fr. Michael Heller, Creative Tension: Essays on Science and Religion

“The voice of a renowned professor of philosophy in Poland, who is also a Roman Catholic priest, is introduced to the United States in this collection of his provocative essays on the interplay of science and religion. Michael Heller progressively outlines systematic steps that might lead to a peaceful coexistence of these traditionally separate fields of study. Some essays have their roots in the author’s work in physics and cosmology, while others present his theories on the language of God, creation, and transcendence, inspired by his work in the applications of so-called noncommutative geometry, an emerging field of study.”

 

Robert J. Spitzer, New Proofs for the Existence of God: Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy

“With the incredible popularity of recent books championing agnosticism or atheism, many people might never know that such books almost completely ignore the considerable evidence for theism uncovered in both physics and philosophy over the past four decades. New Proofs for the Existence of God responds to these glaring omissions. / From universal space-time asymmetry to cosmic coincidences to the intelligibility of reality, Robert Spitzer tackles a wealth of evidence. He considers string theory, quantum cosmology, mathematical thoughts on infinity, and much more. / This fascinating and stunning collection of evidence provides solid grounding for reasonable and responsible belief in a super-intelligent, transcendent, creative power standing at the origins of our universe.”

Arthur Peacocke & Philip Clayton (eds.), In Whom We Live and Move and Have Our Being: Panentheistic Reflections on God’s Presence in a Scientific World

“Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in the doctrine of panentheism – the belief that the world is contained within the Divine, although God is also more than the world. Here for the first time leading scientists and theologians meet to debate the merits of this compelling new understanding of the God-world relation. Atheist and theist, Eastern and Western, conservative and liberal, modern and postmodern, physicist and biologist, Orthodox and Protestant – the authors explore the tensions between traditional views of God and contemporary science and ask whether panentheism provides a more credible account of divine action for our age. Their responses, which vary from deeply appreciative to sharply critical, are preceded by an overview of the history and key tenets of panentheism and followed by a concluding evaluation and synthesis.”

Who's still afraid of Darwin? Not Abp. Zycinski.

Who’s still afraid of Darwin? Not Abp. Zycinski in his God and Evolution.

Evolution:

Jozef Zycinski, God and Evolution: Fundamental Questions of Christian Evolutionism

“Written by Archbishop Józef Zyciñski of Lublin, this book offers an important and insightful examination of the basic philosophical questions involved in the relation between evolutionary theory and the Christian religion. It is made more valuable by its serious study of Pope John Paul II’s message about evolution issued in 1996. The book begins with a discussion of the biological and metaphysical aspects of Darwin’s own conception of evolution. It goes on to reject two versions of “fundamentalism”–the Christian anti-evolutionism of authors such as Phillip Johnson and the anti-Christian scientism of authors such as Richard Dawkins–and to explore the possibility of a dialogue between evolution and Christian thought from the perspective of Pope John Paul II.”

Thomas Nagel, Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False

“The modern materialist approach to life has conspicuously failed to explain such central mind-related features of our world as consciousness, intentionality, meaning, and value. This failure to account for something so integral to nature as mind, argues philosopher Thomas Nagel, is a major problem, threatening to unravel the entire naturalistic world picture, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology. Since minds are features of biological systems that have developed through evolution, the standard materialist version of evolutionary biology is fundamentally incomplete. And the cosmological history that led to the origin of life and the coming into existence of the conditions for evolution cannot be a merely materialist history, either. An adequate conception of nature would have to explain the appearance in the universe of materially irreducible conscious minds, as such.”

Stewart Goetz and Charles Taliaferro: Naturalism

“This book groups the various terms of the naturalist philosophy into two general categories: strict naturalism and broad naturalism. According to the strict version, all that exists can be exhaustively described and explained by the natural sciences. As Goetz and Taliaferro explain it, broad naturalism allows that there may be some things beyond physics and the natural sciences, but insists that there can be no reality beyond nature – i.e., God – and explicitly rules out the possibility of souls. The authors argue that both categories face substantial objections in their failure to allow for consciousness, human free will, and values. They offer sustained replies to the naturalist critique of the soul and the existence of God and engage in critical evaluations of works by scholarly and popular advocates of naturalism – Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, Thomas Nagel, Jaegwon Kim, and others.”

Hans Jonas, The Phenomenon of Life

“A classic of phenomenology and existentialism, The Phenomenon of Life sets forth a systematic and comprehensive philosophy–an existential interpretation of biological facts laid out in support of his claim that the mind is prefigured throughout organic existence. Hans Jonas shows how life-forms present themselves on an ascending scale of perception and freedom of action, a scale reaching its apex in a human being’s capacity for thought and morally responsible behavior.”

Christopher C. Knight, The God of Nature: Incarnation and Contemporary Science

“Although Christians have professed the God of Israel, they have often assumed a naturalistic theism that harks back to the Greeks. Doing so, says Christopher Knight, has masked the explanatory potential of a basic Christian affirmation: the incarnation. Knight here forges a third way of thinking about divine engagement with the world, beyond deism and theism. He sees God’s intimate involvement with creation and history as implied in the reality of the incarnation and essentially confirming divine purpose in a kind of sacramental character to all events as they unfold in the world. On this basis, he brings fresh insight to the questions of providence, miracles, personal prayer, the virgin birth, and the ascension of Jesus. Knight’s work promises not to displace science, nor to plead for special exceptions on special occasions, but to see God as always active in the very warp and woof of the universe and its laws.”

Men: Read The Anticipatory Corpse if you want sound philosophical and theological reasons for staying away from the doctor.

Men: Read The Anticipatory Corpse if you want sound philosophical and theological reasons for staying away from the doctor. What’s more, there’s no globe on this book cover.

Medicine:

Jeffrey Bishop, The Anticipatory Corpse: Medicine, Power, and the Care of the Dying

“With extraordinary philosophical sophistication as well as knowledge of modern medicine, Bishop argues that the body that shapes the work of modern medicine is a dead body. He defends this claim decisively with with urgency. I know of no book that is at once more challenging and informative as The Anticipatory Corpse. To say this book is the most important one written in the philosophy of medicine in the last twenty-five years would not do it justice. This book is destined to change the way we think and, hopefully, practice medicine.”

Andrzej Szczeklik, Kore: On Sickness, the Sick, and the Search for the Soul of Medicine

“It has become unfortunately rare for a scientist or doctor to find his grounding in a broad understanding of literature and the humanities. But in Kore, the author insists that only with a curiosity thoroughly at home in both worlds can one expect to discover what we should mean about sickness and about the soul. No tedious academic, Szczeklik writes with the grace of a poet and the ease of a fine storyteller. Anecdotes drawn from a personal immersion in art, music, and literature are woven with reports on experimental medicine and daily clinical experience. From DNA and the re-creation of the Spanish Flu virus, to contemporary research in genetics, cancer, neurology, and the AIDS virus, from ‘Symptoms and Shadows,’ to ‘Dying and Death,’ to ‘Enchantment of Love,’ every chapter of this book is alive and engaging. The result is a life-affirming work of science, philosophy, art, and spirituality.”

Stanley Hauerwas, God, Medicine, and Suffering

“Why does a good and all-powerful God allow us to experience pain and suffering? According to Stanley Hauerwas, asking this question is a theological mistake. Drawing heavily on stories of ill and dying children to illustrate and clarify his discussion of theological-philosophical issues, Hauerwas explores why we so fervently seek explanations for suffering and evil, and he shows how modern medicine has become a god to which we look (in vain) for deliverance from the evils of disease and mortality.”

Andrzej Szczeklik, Catharsis: On the Art of Medicine
[The author is such a master of prose on the topic of medicine and spirituality that he deserves two mentions.]

“The ancient Greeks used the term catharsis for the cleansing of both the body by medicine and the soul by art. In this inspiring book, internationally renowned cardiologist Andrzej Szczeklik draws deeply on our humanistic heritage to describe the artistry and the mystery of being a doctor. Moving between examples ancient and contemporary, mythological and scientific, Catharsis explores how medicine and art share common roots and pose common challenges. As Szczeklik explores such subjects as the mysteries of the heart rhythm, the secret history of pain relief, the enigmatic logic of epidemics, near-death or out-of-body experiences, and many more, he skillfully weaves together classical literature, the history of medicine, and moving anecdotes from his own clinical experiences. The result is a life-affirming book that will enrich the healing work of patients and doctors alike and make an invaluable contribution to our still-expanding vision of the art of medicine.”

Carl Elliott, The Last Physician: Walker Percy and the Moral Life of Medicine

“Walker Percy brought to his novels the perspective of both a doctor and a patient. Trained as a doctor at Columbia University, he contracted tuberculosis during his internship as a pathologist at Bellevue Hospital and spent the next three years recovering, primarily in TB sanitoriums. This collection of essays explores not only Percy’s connections to medicine but also the underappreciated impact his art has had—and can have—on medicine itself.”

Peekaboo: We jabber on about "nature" as if we know where the word comes from and what it means. Hadot's Veil of Isis is the best medicine for ignorance on this front.

Peekaboo: We jabber on about “nature” as if we know where the word comes from and what it means. Hadot’s Veil of Isis is the best medicine for ignorance on this front.

Cultural Ramifications: 

Ronald L. Numbers (ed.), Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths About Science and Religion

“Until about the 1970s, the dominant narrative in the history of science had long been that of science triumphant, and science at war with religion. But a new generation of historians both of science and of the church began to examine episodes in the history of science and religion through the values and knowledge of the actors themselves. Now Ronald Numbers has recruited the leading scholars in this new history of science to ­puncture the myths, from Galileo’s incarceration to Darwin’s deathbed conversion to Einstein’s belief in a personal God who “didn’t play dice with the universe.” The picture of science and religion at each other’s throats persists in mainstream media and scholarly journals, but each chapter in Galileo Goes to Jail shows how much we have to gain by seeing beyond the myths.”

MIchel Henry, Barbarism

“Barbarism represents a critique, from the perspective of Michel Henry’s unique philosophy of life, of the increasing potential of science and technology to destroy the roots of culture and the value of the individual human being. For Henry, barbarism is the result of a devaluation of human life and culture that can be traced back to the spread of quantification, the scientific method and technology over all aspects of modern life. The book develops a compelling critique of capitalism, technology and education and provides a powerful insight into the political implications of Henry’s work.”

Pierre Hadot, The Veil of Isis: An Essay on the History of the Idea of Nature

“Nearly twenty-five hundred years ago the Greek thinker Heraclitus supposedly uttered the cryptic words ‘Phusis kruptesthai philei.’ How the aphorism, usually translated as ‘Nature loves to hide,’ has haunted Western culture ever since is the subject of this engaging study by Pierre Hadot. Taking the allegorical figure of the veiled goddess Isis as a guide, and drawing on the work of both the ancients and later thinkers such as Goethe, Rilke, Wittgenstein, and Heidegger, Hadot traces successive interpretations of Heraclitus’ words.”

Didier Franck, NIetzsche and the Shadow of God

“In Nietzsche and the Shadow of God (Nietzsche et l’ombre de Dieu), his study of Nietzsche’s integral philosophical corpus, Franck revisits the fundamental concepts of Nietzsche’s thought, from the death of God and the will to power, to the body as the seat of thinking and valuing, and finally to his conception of a post-Christian justice. The work engages Heidegger’s interpretation of Nietzsche’s destruction of the Platonic-Christian worldview, showing how Heidegger’s hermeneutic overlooked Nietzsche’s powerful confrontation with revelation and justice by working through the Christian body, as set forth in the Epistles of Saint Paul and reread both by Martin Luther and by German Idealism. Franck shows systematically how Nietzsche transvalued the metaphysical tenets of the Christian body of believers.”

Michael J. Buckley, At the Origins of Modern Atheism

“In this book, Michael J. Buckley investigates the rise of modern atheism, arguing convincingly that its roots reach back to the seventeenth century, when Catholic theologians began to call upon philosophy and science-rather than any intrinsically religious experience-to defend the existence of God. Buckley discusses in detail thinkers such as Lessius, Mersenne, Descartes, and Newton, who paved the way for the explicit atheism of Diderot and D’Holbach in the eighteenth century.”

The Disinherited Mind is brain candy for those who want to know how the West cracked up in its appropriation of scientific discoveries.

The Disinherited Mind is brain candy for those who want to know how the West cracked up in its appropriation of scientific discoveries.

Epistemology:

Garrett Green, Imagining God: Theology and the Religious Imagination

“This is a new kind of theological book-one that respects and affirms how important the secular study of religion is to Christian theology.In Imagining God Garrett Green presents an original interpretation of the nature of imagination that resolves the longstanding dichotomy between religious and scientific truth by conceiving imagination as the “point of contact” between divine revelation and human experience.Through a critical examination of the historical relationship between theology and religious imagination, Green outlines a constructive theology that views imagination as a means of making contemporary sense of God and Scripture without violating traditional Christian doctrine.”

Bruno Latour, An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns

“Though scientific knowledge corresponds to only one of the many possible modes of existence Latour describes, an unrealistic vision of science has become the arbiter of reality and truth, seducing us into judging all values by a single standard. Latour implores us to recover other modes of existence in order to do justice to the plurality of truth conditions that Moderns have discovered throughout their history. This systematic effort of building a new philosophical anthropology presents a completely different view of what Moderns have been, and provides a new basis for opening diplomatic encounters with other societies at a time when all societies are coping with ecological crisis.”

Erich Heller, The Disinherited Mind

“Heller examines the sense of values embodied in the works of key German writers and thinkers from Goethe to Kafka, particularly the consciousness of life’s depreciation.”

Remi Brague, The Wisdom of the World: The Human Experience of the Universe in Western Thought

“When the ancient Greeks looked up into the heavens, they saw not just sun and moon, stars and planets, but a complete, coherent universe, a model of the Good that could serve as a guide to a better life. How this view of the world came to be, and how we lost it (or turned away from it) on the way to becoming modern, make for a fascinating story, told in a highly accessible manner by Rémi Brague in this wide-ranging cultural history.”

David Bentley Hart, The Consciousness of God: Being, Consciousness, and Bliss

“Despite the recent ferocious public debate about belief, the concept most central to the discussion—God—frequently remains vaguely and obscurely described. Are those engaged in these arguments even talking about the same thing? In a wide-ranging response to this confusion, esteemed scholar David Bentley Hart pursues a clarification of how the word “God” functions in the world’s great theistic faiths.”

BOOM! A Canticle for Liebowitz is the book that inspired the opening scenario in MacIntyre's After Virtue. It's a damn fine book.

BOOM! A Canticle for Liebowitz furnished the staging for the opening of MacIntyre’s After Virtue. It’s also a damn fine book.

Literary:

Walter M. Miller, Jr., A Canticle for Liebowitz\

“In a nightmarish ruined world slowly awakening to the light after sleeping in darkness, the infant rediscoveries of science are secretly nourished by cloistered monks dedicated to the study and preservation of the relics and writings of the blessed Saint Isaac Leibowitz. From here the story spans centuries of ignorance, violence, and barbarism, viewing through a sharp, satirical eye the relentless progression of a human race damned by its inherent humanness to recelebrate its grand foibles and repeat its grievous mistakes. Seriously funny, stunning, and tragic, eternally fresh, imaginative, and altogether remarkable, A Canticle for Leibowitz retains its ability to enthrall and amaze. It is now, as it always has been, a masterpiece.”

Walker Percy, Lost in the Cosmos

“The late Walker Percy’s mordant contribution to the self-help book craze of the 1980s deals with the heavy abstraction of the Western scientific mind and speculates about why writers may be the most abstracted and least grounded of all. (Before taking up novel writing, Percy was a medical doctor who became a patient in the very institution where he had worked.) The book disappeared for a time. Now it’s back in print. Take the quizzes in it, then take a walk–you need to be back in the world before you write another word.”

Czeslaw Milosz, The Land of Ulro

“This major prose work, originally published in English in 1985, is both a moving spiritual self-portrait and an unflinching inquiry into the genesis of our modern afflictions. A man who was raised a Catholic in rural Lithuania, lived through the Nazi occupation of Poland, and emerged, first in Europe and then in America, as one of our most important men of letters, speaks here of the inherited dilemmas of our civilization in a voice recognizable for its honesty and passion.”

Michel Houellbecq, The Elementary Particles

“Bruno and Michel are half-brothers abandoned by their mother, an unabashed devotee of the drugged-out free-love world of the sixties. Bruno, the older, has become a raucously promiscuous hedonist himself, while Michel is an emotionally dead molecular biologist wholly immersed in the solitude of his work. Each is ultimately offered a final chance at genuine love, and what unfolds is a brilliantly caustic and unpredictable tale.”

[Don't miss the other Cosmos TOP ten lists, ranging from recent theology books to literature, and everything in between, right here.]

As you can see there are plenty of writers hitting with power to all parts of these fields like this guy:

 

 

 

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  • Justin

    Definitely won’t be able to get that “diarrhetic infants throwing turds at each other” image out of my head…

  • Justin

    By the way, AWESOME list. This will keep me busy for years.

    • http://cosmosinthelost.com cosmostheinlost

      No going back now.

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  • Eugen

    I think this list needs more actual science writing – meaning, philosophy of science, or from scientists who are also theologians / priests. Like Stanley Jaki –
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Jaki

    And things about Pierre Duhem.

    • http://cosmosinthelost.com cosmostheinlost

      More than half the people are scientists. Without looking at the list, which I wrote a while ago and am revising today, there’s Heller, Coyne, Knight, Peacocke, Szczeklik.

  • Eugen

    I know. But more.

    Look into the Stanley Jaki’s work, if you will.

    • http://cosmosinthelost.com cosmostheinlost

      I should also note how the two dudes you named are Continentals. Checkmate.

  • Eugen

    Let me put it this way – the works listed are more on the (continental) philosophy side, rather than on the philosophy of science / science side. And I think the latter are most needed, within the confines of the discussion.

    • http://cosmosinthelost.com cosmostheinlost

      I can’t do it all!

  • C Holmes

    “Don’t let yourself be sandwiched between Ken Ham and Bill Nye. Their debate was a circus sideshow rather than a real debate about where the dialogue between science and religion stands.”

    Really? a “dialogue between where science and religion stands.”

    There is no dialogue. Science does not include- by defintion- the supernatural.

    This is laughable. Are these the views of a 10 year old? Again:

    “It’s a lot like watching two infants with diarrhea throwing sloppy turds at each other. The debate, if there really is one, needs more definition and a lot more maturity.”

    That is so ironic I can taste it, and might need to be checked by a doctor. *Meaning if I can taste Iron, or metal I might have a problem- some readers might not pick up on that.

    “It has become unfortunately rare for a scientist or doctor to find his grounding in a broad understanding of literature and the humanities. But in Kore, the author insists that only with a curiosity thoroughly at home in both worlds can one expect to discover what we should mean about sickness and about the soul. ”

    The soul? Please tell me what plausible neurologists are using MRIs to find the soul. There is no soul- that’s not a scientific term- it’s either philosophical or religious, and has no place in this debate.

    “In this book, Michael J. Buckley investigates the rise of modern atheism, arguing convincingly that its roots reach back to the seventeenth century”

    That’s just insane. Everyone is BORN an atheist- You are indoctrinated into religion- not the adverse. There’s no “rise” in atheism, just a decline in belief. Perhaps people are still confused by that- in 2014- you *won’t be burned at the stake* for heresy, and bowing down to the queen- so they conform to it- but no-one is born with belief.

    This feels like a still life of 18th century philosophy- terrible, but curious.

    • http://cosmosinthelost.com cosmostheinlost

      The things you said up there are junk that’s willfully ignorant of historical facts. You definitely need to read Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and Religion before you reach into your diapers again.

      Such random rants don’t deserve a reply, but they deserve to be put on display here as a warning.

      I would like to amuse you by reversing your rant about religion being learned and atheism being innate. Here’s a fun story Conor Cunningham tells in Darwin’s Pious Idea:

      “People such as Dawkins argue that religion is dependent on, even reducible to, the culture or background in which it is found: you are a Christian because you were brought up one. The silliness of this is almost too evident to bother pointing out, but here we go. Today in the developed, English-speaking West, it is seemingly de rigueur to be brought up in a secular manner (probably because it turns us into more efficient consumers, but that’s by the by), just as it was compulsory to be brought up an atheist in the Soviet Union. So it is merely a case that all the sheep once went to church and now all the sheep do not? Someone once criticized the Archbishop of Canterbury Frederick Temple by saying, ‘you believe what you believe because of the way you were brought up.’ Temple replied, ‘That is as it maybe. But the fact remains that you believe that I believe what I believe because of the way I was brought up, because of the way you were brought up.’”

      Will talk to you after you put some effort into educating yourself out of fundamentalism. Blessings.

      • Arthur

        It must be a coincidence of monstrous proportions, then, that, in general, Catholics seem to breed Catholics, Muslims seem to breed Muslims, Buddhists seem to breed Buddhists, Sikhs seem to breed Sikhs.

        There are some people that cross the border from one to another, but I’d say they’re in a minority compared to those that remain under the roof in which they were born.

        This, however, is merely an observation I’ve made and would need large sample sizes and peer review to confirm.

        • http://cosmosinthelost.com cosmostheinlost

          Atheists breed atheists. I don’t see what the big deal is.

      • C Holmes

        Your reply is a mess on all levels. No one is born with a belief in any god. No one. If it weren’t that way you’d have undiscovered indigenous tribes being found that were Christians or Muslims. That’s impossible, and has never happened. If you can name a single undiscovered tribe that when approached- believed in Jesus, or Muhammed, you would turn a lot of heads. But that hasn’t happened because it’s just a fantastical construct- Reality doesn’t give a s**t what you believe- it’s just not true no matter how hard you pray.

        I have to ask- why are you so against reality? Is that the fundamentalism I should educate myself on? No thanks- I’ve seen it, and it results in opinions like yours.

        • http://cosmosinthelost.com cosmostheinlost

          Of course none of them have, because those are religions based upon historical revelations. Come on. You’re not even trying. Is this what they call New Atheism? Give me Nietzsche or Feuerbach at least.

          By the way, you won’t find science among them either, because, you know what?, it’s also obviously historically conditioned. Thank you, come again later.

          • Alsee

            “those are religions based upon historical revelations.”

            Christian historical revelations. Muslim historical revelations. Native American historical revelations. Buddhist historical revelations. Scientology historical revelations.

            Walking talking snakes. Taking peyote to see Animal spirit guides. Reincarnation. Galactic Overlord Xenu brainwashing and nukliking 178 billion people who’s spirits now infect us as some sort of mind-control-parasites. Zeus tossing lightning bolts and getting women pregnant. (It’s funny how several religions go with that one, trying to blame awkward pregnancies on some god.)

            “Historical revelation” is just a phrase meaning “silly stuff made up by someone who’s dead now”.

          • http://cosmosinthelost.com cosmostheinlost

            By Jeeves, you’ve settled the debate with the most hackneyed of atheist commonplaces. Remarkable!

            Now you can go and be an obedient consumer.

          • C Holmes

            Wow, you want me to bring up philosophy? When was the last time Nietzsche was relevant in a scientific discussion? You are so entrenched in your inane academia that you’ve lost sight of the meaning. I’m not even sure who’s side you’re on.

            Science is historically conditioned? That is honestly one of the dumbest things I have ever heard. Tell that to Newton, Einstein, or even David Hahn.

            I am still trying to wrap my head around the idea that people are born religious? I think that’s what you said? Your answer is unintelligible.

            “The silliness of this is almost too evident to bother pointing out, but here we go”

            - Conor Cunningham?

            Thought experiment: Grab a baby born to Muslim parents from a newborn ward, raise him with no religion, and see if he somehow gravitates toward Islam.

            I almost feel like you are either trolling, or just a terrible writer.

          • http://cosmosinthelost.com cosmostheinlost

            I’m guessing you didn’t do very well on the reading comprehension part of the SAT. But if you want to demolish caricatures of me, then go ahead. But please tone down the anger. By the way, both Newton and Einstein were religious bloakes!

    • Arthur

      I agree wholeheartedly with your comments, and no amount of quoting Conor Cunningham’s opinions will sway mine.

      Just because some scientists admit to seeing room for god in “the as-yet-unknown” parts of the universe in no way increases the likelihood of it actually being the case. God of the gaps is it? God exists wherever he hasn’t yet been proven not to exist. Twaddle.

      Maybe, after all, it’s the flying spaghetti monster standing at the origins of our universe. Colinders for all!

      • http://cosmosinthelost.com cosmostheinlost

        God in the universe? Talk about a category mistake. Nice try.

        • Arthur

          If you can’t argue the point, argue semantics. Classy. I would have thought someone that seems to appreciate writing would be above such laziness, especially if they wrote something quite as succinctly correct as the following:

          “Writing really is a process of discovery, a form of thinking. You don’t know what you’ll end up writing until you actually sit down and write it.”

          Argue the point, or don’t bother arguing at all. On your own blog no less.

          • http://cosmosinthelost.com cosmostheinlost

            I argued my point legitimately then you turned to ad hoc. Have a nice day. :)

  • Mike

    The world is what the world is and no amount of human belief will change that. It is incumbent upon us to try to learn what we can about the world, using the limited senses and all to fallable brain provided us by evolution.

    As our knowledge has progressed we have overcome our limited senses with devices of great sensitiviy that “see” and “hear” for us. Sadly, the limitations of our evolved minds are harder to compensate for. People see the face of Jesus in water stains because we are predisposed to see faces and a “second class mind” will say that since there is a face, it must have been a deliberate act of creation on the part of someone.

    That faulty conclusion, so often leapt to, is really fascinating. I certainly have no idea what evolutionary bug created it but it’s existence is all to clear. The personification of natural forces to explain observed cause and effect is a pretty good guess, I think. In any case, this error has been considered with tremendous intellectual effort producing volume after volume discussing this unseen cause, it’s nature and the ramifications of it. What all these theological maunderings fail to answer is why should be believe in the unseen cause. No theologian or philosopher has ever succeeded. Until one does, all the rest of this speculation is meaningless.

    By the way, it is very rude to imply that those who don’t agree with you have second rate minds, especially when you write the things you do.

    • http://cosmosinthelost.com cosmostheinlost

      The market on rudeness hasn’t been cornered by atheists.

      Evolution proves the world is not what it is now, because it is constantly transforming itself into what it will be. Plus, what it was it is no longer now.

  • Mike

    I know this won’t get posted but you are a coward. You know that at the core of your beliefs lies the fault you can’t address: There is no reason to believe in the existence of the deity you go on and on about. You fear that truth and hide from it so much that you won’t let it show up on your little blog.

    Just thought you ought to know.

    • http://cosmosinthelost.com cosmostheinlost

      Thanks. The objections are as irrelevant as the Nye-Ham debate. You’re missing the point.

  • http://gravitonring.blogspot.com Anthony Chipoletti

    What if God is not a person? If God were the awareness of everything, then being aware of everything would be the experience of God.

    • C Holmes

      Then why call it god?

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  • Brett Powers

    I may go insane. I am not sure that I can consume your writings and recommendations quickly enough. Please keep up your work!!

    • http://cosmosinthelost.com cosmostheinlost

      I’m doing my best to keep you on your toes!

  • Adam Crowl

    Cicero’s “On the Nature of the Gods” is a good introduction to the arguments for the divine that were current in the days of St Paul. Plato also provided many of the arguments that tortured the Greco-Roman theological imagination. Christianity offered something different – a god who was vulnerable and took a personal interest in our humanity. That was a conceptual game-changer… but unsatisfying for intellectuals ever since, thus all the ‘new’ arguments for the existence (or otherwise) of God. Perhaps the problem is that God never offers an explanation and we fill His silence with speculations of our own.

  • http://cosmosinthelost.com cosmostheinlost

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Neither is anyone born atheist.Come on, grow up, that was the point of the Cunningham quote!

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