E.O. Wilson – The Social Conquest of Earth

November 4th, 2012

The Social Conquest of Earth (2012) by preeminent entomologist Edward O. Wilson is a marvelous and deep work by a master scientist and storyteller that documents the evolution and advancement of humankind through the intertwined processes of individual and group selection.  However, for me the work is marred by a dogmatic anti-religious bias that belies Wilson’s own commitment to dispassionate inquiry.  Wilson moreover fails to acknowledge the hard limits to scientific knowledge and understanding – limits that can only be crossed by transcendent forms of understanding which empirical study cannot provide. (more…)

Explaining the Puzzles of Physics

May 9th, 2012

Explaining the Puzzles of Physics – a response to Michael Shermer (Scientific American, May 2012, p.86)

The field of Physics has been confounded for nearly a century with intractable puzzles.  It is also rife with contention between religious and atheist points of view, with both sides claiming proofs, or more precisely, un-proofs, for their points of view.   A recent example is Michael Shermer’s “Skeptic” column in the May 2012 Scientific American, titled “Much Ado about Nothing”.  Mr. Shermer borrows his title from Shakespeare’s romantic farce, a remarkably apt context for his article, but he is apparently oblivious to the irony. (more…)

The Science of Willpower – the Power of Religion?

February 15th, 2012

I have recently come across several pieces from scientists skeptical of religion suggesting that they are coming to see significant benefits to both individuals and society of religion. Religious people tend to have higher self control, they are more trusting, and they are happier, than people who are not religious. So, is this benefit the gift of a divine being, or is it an emergent property of a non-conscious evolutionary selection process? (more…)

How to Talk to an Atheist

November 11th, 2011

How to Talk to an Atheist

Kathy, in corresponding with me about ISAS, has shared some of her experiences in talking with atheists. She offers a succinct explanation of the causal argument for the existence of God, and I add some additional comments on the challenge of building a dialogue between those who believe in God and those who reject such beliefs. (more…)