This article continues my survey of how atheism relates to other (commonly associated) concepts. Previously, I addressed skepticism and materialism. In this installment, we take on scientism. Over the years, the great naturalist E.O. Wilson has appeared to court deism. But deism is merely a footnote in his book Consilience. The beating heartbeat of that […]
Why does theology adapt to science but science doesn’t adapt to theology?
Friend of Science, Friend of Faith: A Review
Gregg Davidson, Friend of Science, Friend of Faith: Listening to God in His Works and Word. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2019. The year was 1988 when I brought my dog-eared copy of Paul Ackerman’s It’s a Young World After All to my high school science teacher: “Mr. Vogt, you need to read this! It will prove […]
Creating People and Universes: On reading premodern theologians in light of modern science
If conservative Christian theologians think it makes sense to cite premodern theologians on the scientific creation of the universe, they should also cite premodern theologians on the scientific creation of the human fetus. So you better revise your “life begins at conception” nonsense. Rather, the male body is ensouled forty days after conception, the female […]
Is Theistic Evolution a Contradiction in Terms? A response to J. Warner Wallace
J. Warner Wallace recently posted an article titled “Why I’m Not a Theistic Evolutionist.” He begins by assuming that Moses wrote Genesis. (I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised: Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch is to biblical studies as young earth creationism is to biology.) Right after that, Wallace really gets our attention by asserting that […]
Rethinking Origins: The Evolution of a Young Earth Creationist
In this article, I share a dialogue with David MacMillan, a former young earth creationist who has since come to a very different opinion. MacMillan currently lives in Washington DC with his wife and their children, where he works as a paralegal while studying for his J.D. at Columbus School of Law. He is featured […]
Is the lack of consensus among Christian theologians a problem?
What’s Wrong with Young Earth Creationism?
A few weeks I appeared on the Skeptics and Seekers Podcast to debate young earth creationism. In preparation for the debate, I was asked to provide a written statement in response to a statement by co-host David Johnson. I have decided to repost my statement here. I thank David for the invitation to discuss young […]
The success of science is paid for by a limitation of its ambitions
The title of this article is a quote from Dutch philosopher of science Willem Drees. It’s a great quote and it communicates a profound truth. Science offers a systematic and ordered investigation into the structure and processes that govern the natural world. And when it is liberated to pursue that ambition, it is a gloriously […]
Flat Earth, Young Earth?
In June, 2019, Answers in Genesis published an article on the irrational machinations of flat-earthers. A critic of young-earth creationism named Jay Johnson copied the article and did a global find/replace on the following word pairs: flat/young, shape/age, “a sphere”/old, “a globe”/old, and astronomy/geology. This produced an article which suddenly hits rather too-close-to-home for many […]
Young earth creationism destroys the faith of young people. Don’t let it.
It’s that time of year when students gear up for back to school and a new crop of high school grads prepare to ship off to university. It’s also the time when many of those first-year students from conservative Christian backgrounds will find their faith being shaken through the first semesters of university. In some […]
If you reject evolution, should you accept a flat earth?
Yesterday, I posted the following tweet: “I’ll agree that ‘evolution is only a theory’ if you’ll agree that it is the only theory which offers a viable account of biological diversity.” The tweet received the following response from (what I assume was) a young earth creationist: “Whether the earth is flat or not makes no […]
A famous atheist contrasts philosophy, science, and theology
At the beginning of his classic History of Western Philosophy, Bertrand Russell offers the following distinction between philosophy, theology, and science: “Like theology, it [philosophy] consists of speculations on matters as to which definite knowledge has, so far, been unascertainable; but like science, it appeals to human reason rather than to authority, whether that of tradition or […]
Are theological theories falsifiable?
There is a popular, but altogether mistaken idea that scientific theories differ from theological (or philosophical) ones in that the former can be falsified but the latter cannot. The popularity of this idea can perhaps be traced to the enduring influence of Antony Flew’s parable of the invisible gardener. But it’s flatly wrong. But the way […]