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Tag Archives: naturalism
Sebastian Seung is Professor of Computational Neuroscience and Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and in his new book, Connectome: How the Brain’s Wiring Makes Us Who We Are (Houghton Mifflin 2012), he defines a connectome in the following manner: … Continue reading
_____ You are home. _____ Image source: NASA (Suomi Satellite, January 4, 2012)
A great YouTube: . Here’s the list (in order) of those responding: 1. Lawrence Krauss, Physicist 2. Robert Coleman Richardson, Physicist, Nobel Laureate 3. Richard Feynman, Physicist, Nobel Laureate 4. Simon Blackburn, Cambridge Philosopher 5. Colin Blakemore, Oxford Professor … Continue reading
It’s sometimes asserted that atheism admits of no ultimate or absolute truths, but in the “D Girl” episode of the Sopranos (Season 2) is a rather nice exchange between Tony Soprano and his therapist, Dr. Jennifer Malfi, that suggests otherwise. The exchange concerns … Continue reading
In a recent blog post, evolutionary biologist, Jerry Coyne, doesn’t flinch at spelling out the implications of strict naturalism for the idea of free will: We simply don’t like to think that we’re molecular automatons, and so we adopt a definition … Continue reading
The theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, in Volume 1 of his The Nature and Destiny of Man (1964 edition, pg. 43), critiques Freudianism and, by extension, naturalism generally: The whole of Freudian psychology, not in what it declares but in what it … Continue reading
Biologist Anthony Cashmore thinks belief in free will is akin to belief in “magic” and we have “free will genes” actively deceiving us into believing that we have free will!
Yikes. An exceptionally clear discussion of biologist Anthony Cashmore’s ideas about free will is at physorg.com today. Here’s Cashmore’s basic thesis: In a recent study, Cashmore has argued that a belief in free will is akin to religious beliefs, since neither … Continue reading
The Hundredth Cricket Phenomenon?: Pregnant Crickets Forewarn Their Young Before Birth! An Opportunity for Natural and Supernatural Speculation?
And that would also mean that baby crickets have prebirth “memories” (either somatic or mental), doesn’t it? There must be a mechanism responsible for this, but what could it possibly be? This today in the New York Times: Researchers from the University … Continue reading
In asking, existentially, where we are, I think that there are two great facts and three great questions: It appears that we live within a paradox—a universe that made itself or has always existed. It also appears that the universe consists … Continue reading
Evolution v. Intelligent Design Watch: Historian David Gordon Calls Brian Leiter’s Treatment of Thomas Nagel “Deplorable”
In a review of philosopher Thomas Nagel’s new collection of essays (which was just released by Oxford University Press today), historian David Gordon weighs in on Thomas Nagel’s sympathy for Intelligent Design and the attacks that he has received from Brian Leiter: … Continue reading
Science is driven by naturalism. It’s a tool for discovering material causes for material events. You can’t use the tool for any other purpose. But here’s why science is not, therefore, a tool for atheism: Both the atheist scientist and … Continue reading
Atheist Universe? Is Naturalism a More Parsimonious (Simple) Assumption to Make about What We See Around Us than Supernaturalism?
As an agnostic, I’m not so sure that I can agree with atheists that the most parsimonious explanation (that is, the simplest explanation) for the universe is naturalism. I would suggest that getting to an objective definition, a priori, of what … Continue reading
In support of the claim that “fundamentalist atheist” has at least some descriptive value, it should be noted that Stephen Gould used a similar phrase in his early disputes with evolutionary psychologists who imagined a reductive Darwinian “just so” story accounting … Continue reading
Is a better term for atheist, naturalist? And is a better term for theist, supernaturalist? British philosopher Anthony Grayling thinks so, and in a Gaurdian essay from two years ago he suggests that shifting from the atheist-theist to the naturalist-supernaturalist designations … Continue reading
Naturalism starts with the assumption that there is only one world, not two. It’s one of the things that distinguishes atheists and agnostics from theists (who think that there is a “universe next door”, a supernatural world, too). So what could … Continue reading