Tag Archives: history

Atheism’s Real Problem Going Forward: Universal Humanism vs. Johann Gottfried Herder, Niccolo Machiavelli, and Friedrich Nietzsche

The fact that we evolved from social primates, and not, say, loner sharks, is sufficient to account for human moral impulses. Aristotle famously defined us as the political (or social) animal. But being a tribal species in which demonized out-groups are … Continue reading

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Was Jesus the Only One to Rise from the Dead on Easter Weekend?

Not if you believe Matthew 27:51-53. Have you ever noticed what it says? Immediately after Jesus’s death, Matthew has this very, very strange Night of the Living Dead story that he includes in his gospel. Matthew says that there was, immediately … Continue reading

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Worldview Wars (and Who’s Winning)

I think that what evangelical Albert Mohler wrote recently at his blog is true: The future shape of the world appears to be a worldview competition between Christianity, Islam, and Western Secularism. And I think it’s quite obvious which one … Continue reading

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Biotech and Robotics: The Two Great Technology Waves That Are Coming

A pretty powerful quote from the BigThink website: [Managing Director of Excel Venture Management, Juan] Enriquez stresses that “life code” (the famous A, G, T, C of DNA) will have the same importance for the next generation as digital code (1’s … Continue reading

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Cheer Up?

A bit of optimism for a Sunday:

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Adam and Eve and White Racism

When white Evangelicals and fundamentalists show picture books to their children depicting Adam and Eve and all the early humans (such as Noah) as white, it is no different from Afrocentrists teaching their kids that all great Egyptians were black, and … Continue reading

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Something to keep life in perspective

Old film footage of Santa Monica Pier, 1954. No sound. Like the moments in this footage, we too are fast becoming the ghosts of time.

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Three Pretty Good Reasons to Doubt the Resurrection of Jesus

Below are three pretty good reasons to doubt the resurrection of Jesus: First, no agnostic or atheist needs to prove a negative. Burdens of proof fall upon those making a spectacular claim. If someone claims, for example, that an intelligent … Continue reading

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The first synthetic cell

Craig Venter crosses a threshold. This today in the New York Times: Dr. Venter described the converted cell as “the first self-replicating species we’ve had on the planet whose parent is a computer.” “This is an important step, we think, … Continue reading

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Charles Darwin and the Looming 21st Century Eugenics Debate

By Victorian standards, and even by our own, Charles Darwin was a sensitive and liberal person—someone who clearly loved animals and human beings, and opposed slavery. And, like a theologian justifying God’s ways to man, I think that Darwin did … Continue reading

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Yes we can, John Boehner

And we did. John Boehner added to the classic Will.i.am song: The above reminds me of the Beatles song where Paul McCartney sings sunnily “It’s getting better all the time” accompanied by John Lennon singing “It can’t get much worse!”

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Health Care Reform: What this means for President Obama’s place in the history books

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      . More than a few thoughtful political observers think Barack Obama’s health care reform success secures the place of his presidency in history. Here are three: Matthew Yglesias: Now that it’s done, Barack Obama will go down in history as … Continue reading

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Health Care Reform: Republicans are losing it, aren’t they?

Slip sliding away. Republicans, watching undecideds break for Obamacare, are starting to name call, a sure sign that their year-long campaign to upend Barack Obama’s presidency and agenda is about to fail in a most pleasing-to-behold and spectacular fashion. The … Continue reading

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In Texas, Thomas Jefferson and the Enlightenment lose to Thomas Aquinas!

Last week the Texas Freedom Network live blogged the Texas State Board of Education and bore witness to Thomas Jefferson and the Enlightenment going right down Orwell’s memory hole: 9:27 – The board is taking up remaining amendments on the high … Continue reading

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Contingency vs. Conspiracy

A recent set of studies reminds us that we use telos and conspiracy theories to control our anxiety over what really seems to rule the world: contingency. This at Miller-McCune: A research team led by social psychologist Daniel Sullivan of the … Continue reading

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David Aaronovich on the Growing Skeptics’ Movement

In a Salon interview, David Aaronovich, the author of a new book that historically contextualizes and debunks conspiracy theories, praises the post-9-11 growing skeptics’ movement in the United States and Britain: Maybe I’m a false optimist, but I think we have a … Continue reading

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I Like This Howard Zinn Quote

From “The Optimism of Uncertainty,” The Nation, 2004: The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous … Continue reading

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The Other 1950s

Hieroglyphs at Karnak (Thebes), circa 1950 BCE:

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Caelius Secundus Curio and Laelius Socinus: Two Heroic 16th Century Resisters of John Calvin

The following appears on page 478 of Will Durant’s wonderful history of the Reformation (which you can find at Amazon here): Calvin faced on the left a group of radicals recently arrived in Switzerland from Counter Reformation Italy. Caelius Secundus Curio, … Continue reading

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At Monticello, Thomas Jefferson Possessed a Copy of the Koran

Did you know that? I noticed a mention of this fact in Barack Obama’s Cairo speech: I know, too, that Islam has always been a part of America’s story. The first nation to recognize my country was Morocco. In signing … Continue reading

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