Monthly Archives: October 2016

RFRA – Religious Rights vs. Civil Rights

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” --- Amendment I to the U.S. Constitution The original intent of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) was to relieve religious groups from criminal prosecution for religious activities that break laws, like Native American groups who use illegal hallucinogenic drugs in their ceremonies. That seemed reasonable to most people, and the RFRA passed Congress with overwhelming Read more [...]

The Creator On Trial – Part 6

Summary and Conclusions “The Case for a Creator” is quite repetitive, and I have skipped several chapters to avoid boring the reader. Many of the contributors advance the same arguments. Here are the most common ones: Natural processes cannot get “something from nothing,” but God can. This is also called the First Cause argument. A corollary states that God is eternal and was not created from nothing, but the energy and matter in the Universe are not eternal and therefore must have Read more [...]

The Creator On Trial – Part 5

Chapter 10 begins with Rene Descartes’ famous quote, “cogito ergo sum” (I think, therefore I am.) The chapter ends with a quote by philosopher Stuart C. Hackett: “With modest apology to Descartes: Cogito, ergo Deus est! I think, therefore God is.”1 Both the author and Hackett should read Descartes’ entire quote. There are two prefacing words (when translated from the Latin) that significantly change the meaning, especially when applied to religious faith: “Dubito, ergo cogito, ergo Read more [...]

The Creator On Trial – Part 4

The Chapter 4 interviewee is Stephen Meyer, one of the founders of the Discovery Institute. Meyer states, “If it’s true that there’s a beginning to the universe…then this implies a cause that transcends the universe.” He continues, “To get life going in the first place would have required biological information; the implications point beyond the material realm to a prior intelligent cause.”  This is a slightly different twist on the First Cause argument that is often used by creationists.  Read more [...]

The Creator On Trial – Part 3

The interviews start in Chapter 3. Jonathan Wells, the interviewee for this chapter, is well-known for his attacks on evolution. Wells is a Moonie (member of the Unification Church) who says he was personally tasked by Rev. Moon to tear down the theory of evolution. He lists ten “Icons of Evolution,”1 that he claims are all false. The first “icon” that he attacks is the Miller-Urey experiment conducted in 1953 that simulated the early earth atmosphere in a flask and subjected it to continuous Read more [...]

The Creator On Trial – Part 2

The interviews in Strobel’s book, “The Case for a Creator,” are written in the form of Socratic dialogues, where Strobel takes on the role of skeptical questioner, as if he were still unconvinced of the Creator’s existence. His biography contradicts this, stating that he converted to Christianity in 1981. This book was published in 2004, so posing as a religious skeptic is disingenuous, merely a writer’s artifice to gain credibility for the arguments. His position as a Christian apologist Read more [...]

The Creator On Trial – Part 1

A Little History of Creationism in the US Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. --- Amendment I to the U.S. Constitution   Scopes Trial: Dayton, Tennessee, 1925 Sometimes called “The Scopes Monkey Trial,” John Scopes, a substitute science teacher, Read more [...]

Five Kinds of Guys

“All generalizations are dangerous, even this one.” ― Alexandre Dumas, fils From Wikipedia: Expressed in philosophical language, a hasty generalization is a fallacy of defective induction, a conclusion that has been made on the basis of weak premises. Unlike fallacies of relevance, in fallacies of defective induction, the premises are related to the conclusions yet only weakly buttress the conclusions. A faulty generalization is thus produced. In spite of the danger, I am going to Read more [...]