Sunday, December 19, 2010
4 in 10 Americans are still Young Earth Creationists/Evolution Deniers; No Change in Attitude in 30 Years.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
One of the most important areas of research in evolutionary psychology now is the possibility that evolutionary circumstances actually selected for a propensity towards certain false beliefs. That is, more and more research is presenting us with evidence that natural selection built us to have some false beliefs. It turns out that in the right sorts of circumstances, some false beliefs may have provided early hominids with survival advantages.
The difference between what we do at a typical accredited liberal arts university and what they do at Bible colleges where they are cranking out so many bogus Ph.D's in bible studies is that we study and discuss the works without any prior presumption that they are correct. My students are reading Plantinga and Craig right along with Martin, Flew, and Hume, and we critically analyze all of their arguments. The irony is that since we are reading so many atheist works, I end up playing devil's advocate, as it were, and arguing the position of the Christian or theist. Here, by contrast, is the mission statement from the Talbot Theology school at Biola:
Friday, December 3, 2010
Here's an interesting lecture given by Daniel Dennett about the way that religious ideas take hold of our minds. As with many things he says, I think he's right on the money with much of this:
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Developments in epistemology over the last 100 years have shifted the ground under the feet of philosophers of religion, including many fighting the good fight for atheism. In particular, the a priori aint what it used to be. Once upon a time, philosophers thought that a priori reasoning provided us with the strongest, and most compelling forms of arguments in natural theology and atheology. But after Godel, Carnap, Quine, and many others, a priori knowledge has taken on a decidedly conventionalist flavor.
I've been reading an article by Penelope Maddy called Naturalism and the A Priori that is very interesting. While her topic is not proofs or disproofs of God, much of what she has to say about naturalism and the epistemological foundations is directly relevant. A couple of choice paragraphs: