science and religion

The Sexual Revolution Turns Ugly

How many intellectuals have come to the revolutionary party via the path of moral indignation, only to connive ultimately at terror and autocracy? ∼ Raymond Aron The Sexual Revolution is now out of control. Initially promising freedom, like all revolutions, it has entered something like its Reign of Terror phase and is devouring its own children. As with [...]

Is Religion a Science-Stopper?

According to evolutionary scientist Jerry Coyne, religion is so hopelessly inimical to science that any attempt to reconcile them is futile. As Coyne explains, “accepting both science and conventional faith leaves you with a double standard [between rationality and irrationality].” And just so you’re clear on which conventional faith he has in mind, he adds, [...]

Is the Universe a Hologram? Well…

In a criticism of creation and intelligent design, Carl Sagan famously quipped, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” What bypassed the critical filters of the late science popularizer is that the extraordinary theories concocted by materialistic scientists not only lack extraordinary evidence, they lack any evidence, and in some cases, any possibility for evidence. Panspermia, parallel [...]

Is Religious Skepticism a Sign of Intelligence?

I have yet to meet an atheist (and I’ve met and had lengthy conversations with quite a few) who didn’t believe that really smart people (like him) don’t believe in God. It’s a sentiment seemingly supported by various polling data. According to a 2017 Pew survey, belief in God is lower among college-educated individuals than [...]

On the Relationship Between Catholicism and Science

At the end of a class in early March, one of my students raised his hand and asked if there was any homework in ethics class. I was somewhat confused by the inquiry, since the student was currently not taking ethics. When he saw the expression of confusion on my face, he responded, “You know, [...]

The Price of Relevance

Last month we examined the current state of the humanities in universities as an example of what happens when an institution attempts to “evolve” in order to maintain its place of prestige in the world. Too often, the disciplines of the humane letters have abandoned their own characteristic modes and methods of examining reality and [...]

On the Overweening Pride of the Professorial Class

In a recent essay in Partisan Magazine, Daniel Brown argues that the decline of the humane disciplines has come about through an envy of the physical sciences and, in particular, the impossible desire to replicate the kind of revolutionary insights that have given those sciences their prestige in the modern age. Brown accounts for this [...]

Making Dogma Out of Unsettled Science

In the Broadway redaction of Pygmalion, Professor Higgins regretted how proper English is considered freakish, and “in America, they haven’t used it for years.” The problem glares in the speech of television commentators, for whom coiffures are more important than diction: while grammar is banished from the social media, our urban landscape has become a jungle [...]

Bill Nye the Science Guy Kills His Brain to Promote a Lie

There really is something charming about Bill Nye the Science Guy. I’ve never been a fan by any measure: for one thing, I’m too old. But Nye’s screen persona has genuine appeal, and he really did help a generation of American kids develop an interest in science. So I was a bit upset when he [...]

Mixing Up the Sciences of Heaven and Earth

A museum curator here in New York recently showed me some extraordinary documents and I touched them with awe, albeit with cotton gloves.  There was Benjamin Franklin’s annotated copy of the Constitution, and a long letter by Washington refusing to run for a second presidential term, because all he had to commend himself was his character, which was [...]

Reason is Not the Sole Property of Skeptics

A few weeks ago Politico published an article by professional skeptic Michael Shermer—I think when you are the publisher of a magazine called Skeptic, you can be classified as a "professional skeptic," right?—called "Why Politicians Need Science," with the subtitle, "Remember: before the triumph of science, we burned witches at the stake and thought that kings [...]

How We Think Helps Explain the Culture Wars

Some say the world has gone mad, others that it is only now becoming sane. The disagreement shows that people disagree on what it is to be rational. It also reflects a widespread and very basic change in how people think. Joe Bissonnette notes that the change is visible in IQ test results. For decades [...]

Why Atheists Don’t Really Exist

Confirmation bias is the tendency to ascribe greater significance to information that supports our pre-existing theories and lesser significance to information that contradicts those theories. We often do this subconsciously. For example you get a new car, and now you notice that same type of car on the road with a much greater frequency than [...]

Challenging the Rehabilitation of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

As the sixtieth anniversary of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s death approaches this April, a renewed interest in his thought has found its way into the popular consciousness. A play praising the life of Teilhard, titled The De Chardin Project, ran from November 20 until December 14 in Toronto, Canada. Additionally, a two-hour biography on Teilhard’s [...]

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