Are We Racists? — Mitch Teemley

I am spending the afternoon reading, and this short article is worth reading. It isn’t timely. The events that prompted it are “old news”. But it is very timely as we think about the year past and the year to come. Maybe we can do better. It will take some intentionality….

Heal what you can Love who you can Start here Start now. I wrote the following after the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson last year, but in light of the shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, felt led to re-post it. This is not an opinion article, it’s a personal reflection: Of course we are. We’re […]

via Are We Racists? — Mitch Teemley

Universal Design Intuition & Darwin’s Blind Spot

Douglas Axe[i] recently published a book Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed[ii], in which he attempts to show how science, as well as our own experiences and observations, belie a world that is full of design and evidence of a designer. Though he is vilified by hard line Neo-Darwinists and others who cling to that tired model of life in spite of mounting evidence against it, others have recently acknowledged his contributions to science.[iii]

In the book and elsewhere, Axe highlights a phenomenon that he calls universal design intuition. According to Axe, pre-school age children on the whole look at the world and attribute it to a God-like designer.

He isn’t alone in this observation, and it isn’t just the advocates of intelligent design who confirm the phenomenon. This phenomenon has been recognized even by people who are not in favor of intelligent design.

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The Idealization of Science

It’s incredible that in the wake of financial crises and populist movements around the world anyone would wonder whether a glitzy awards gala and lavish prizes would help improve the public’s view of science, yet that is one proposal to boost the public’s opinion in the wake of floundering financial support. […]

via How to make science great again — SixDay Science

Sarah Salviander provides some much needed perspective on the state of science today and its relationship to the American populace. I encourage you to read it before or after my comments. She provides an insider’s perspective, looking out on the audience, wondering where science is going wrong.

As an outsider looking in, I applaud her, not just because she is looking out, but I think she is right.

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The Science of Avoiding God Who Persists

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Photo by Amanda Leutenberg

Speaking of a variation of the “singularity theorem”,[1] the scientific equivalent of the creation event, Heinz Pagels[2] observed:

This unthinkable void converts itself into the plenum of existence – a necessary consequence of physical laws. Where are these laws written into that void? Whattells’ the void that is pregnant with a possible universe? It would seem that even the void is subject to law, a logic that exists prior to space and time.[3](Emphasis added)

As with Einstein, and his theory of general relativity, and with various determinations leading up to and after the singularity theorem, the reaction of many scientists, including the vary scientists who discovered the theories, has often been to find a way around the conclusion that the universe had a beginning.

Heinz Pagels is no exception, but even in his eloquently stated question, he has trouble avoiding the implications. The primary implication of a universe with a beginning is that it had a Beginner, a First Cause.

The idea that anything can create itself wouldn’t get past the thoughtful consideration of a first grader. We see no evidence of anything creating itself in our experience. Why should we not trust that universal experience that is so elemental?

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Science & Religion: Taking Hold and Letting Go

People have likely fought ideological battles since people could communicate with each other. We have grown in intellect, our knowledge of the world and made significant technological advances (though men accomplished things millennia ago that we still can’t understand), but has our nature changed much?

Ideological battles seem to be the basic stuff of which culture and society are made. At the lowest level, it’s “us against them”, and “we” protect our turf like our lives depend on it. We pick our turf, and we defend it: new against old; right against left; science against faith; and on and on.

These ideological battles can be, but don’t necessarily have to be, the stuff of racism, bias and ignorance. We need reference points and bases from which to operate and categorize and contextualize the world, but dogmatic, rigid adherence to our reference points block progress, even if we are “progressive”. The inability or unwillingness to remain open-minded limits our opportunities for advancement.  Continue reading

Trump, Media Angst and the Test of Time

In the aftermath of the recent election season and presidential campaigning shenanigans, we have seen a lot of hand ringing and anguish over the media’s apparent lack of understanding of the American electorate and the obvious media biases that were at the forefront of the election (on both sides).  The news is the media.

“Main stream media” is code for the right’s complaint about the usual media sources that they claim lean left.  Fox News is the equivalent of journalistic heresy for left leaning consumers. In the fray are all of the myriad online “news” sources and their pundit leaders who have created a cottage industry of generating news of various shades of truths and fiction that are wrapped in ideological glitter.  We should have no illusions that “the game is on” by both sides of the political spectrum.

We might be heartened at the apparently genuine consideration within the mainstream media of ways to right the listing media ship that teeters dangerously in the waves between port and starboard.  Some real soul searching seems to be going on. Some intentional effort to get back to a standard of journalistic objectivity seems to be underway, though only time will tell whether this is mere lip service.   Continue reading