Category Archives: popular culture

A new book on Woke Academia by two of the “grievance studies” authors

A guide to the problems of wokism

Why Evolution Is True

Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay are two of the three “grievance studies” hoaxers (Peter Boghossian was the other); all have devoted considerable time and valuable effort to debunking the postmodernistic debasement of woke academia. Now Pluckrose and Lindsay have collaborated on an upcoming book, called to my attention by Paul Topping. It goes on sale June 16, and is only $20 for a 348-page hardback. The Amazon summary is below, along with a cover image (click screenshot to go to Amazon page) and three endorsements.

Have you heard that language is violence and that science is sexist? Have you read that you shouldn’t practice yoga or cook Chinese food? Are you confused by these ideas and wonder how they have managed to challenge so quickly the very logic of Western society? In this probing and intrepid volume, Helen Pluckrose and James A. Lindsay document the evolution of this…

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In 2005 a small town in Pennsylvania became the centre of the religious controversy over evolution. This time it was over Intelligent Design , which is neither one nor the other!!

The hearings went for a long time with many witnesses, some of whom I knew. I was disappointed with one friend who would not commit himself on whether the earth was billions or thousands of years old.

By accident we drove through on holiday (vacation if you don’t speak the Queen’s English) and we went past the school at the centre of the controversy in 2011

Here are Paul Braterman’s comments on the trial and its implications for science. I may not always agree with Paul but I always respect what he says and his strictures are very sound.

I consider ID to be a mistake and a complete misunderstanding of science and Chrsitianity

 

 

via Intelligent Design or intricate deception? What I told students during the Kitzmiller trial

Killing off the Conflict Narrative (of Science and Religion)

Another good blog on the whole issue of the supposed conflict of science and religion.

This should have been a dead duck decades ago , but it is still used as a rod to beat Christians with , comes out in science teaching at schools and in popular culture.

Faith and Wisdom in Science

It’s been a long and tiring century or more of fake news, but I nurture a precious hope (how can one live otherwise?) that the voices of evidence, reason and truth will ultimately prevail.

One of the more persistent myths that have invaded our conversion, media and (very sadly) education, is the late Victorian invention that religious faith and science are necessarily in conflict. So prevalent and normalised is this assumption, that recent surveys in UK high schools find up to 70% of 15 year olds think it (but without being able to say why). I say ‘late Victorian’ for before the publication of two books, now forgotten and unread but best-sellers in their time, there is no great ‘conflict narrative’. The books were: History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom (1896), by Andrew Dickson White, and History of the Conflict between Religion and Science

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Behe demolishes Darwin (yet again!)

Michael Behe hasn’t changed his tune (mostly wrong notes!) since he publish Darwin’s Black Box in 1996. his is a god of the Gaps argument and can be summed up as godofthegapswrappedupinaminoacids.

Intelligent Design has been a failure and has offered nothing except as a featherbed for a falling young earth creationist.

There are many better alternatives for a Christian  and other theists which don’t involved mucking up the science

 

Primate's Progress

Michael Behe has a new book coming out, Darwin Devolves, which according to the mendaciously mislabelled Evolution News “Topples Foundational Claim of Evolutionary Theory.” I am unlikely to be sent a review copy, so I am relying on the Evolution News summary.

In brief, Behe continues to assert the existence of irreducible complexity in animal organs, while maintaining that

Darwinian evolution proceeds mainly by damaging or breaking genes, which, counter-intuitively, sometimes helps survival. In other words, the mechanism is powerfully de-volutionary. It promotes the rapid loss of genetic information.

and encapsulates this conclusion in what he calls the First Rule of Adaptive Evolution:

Break or blunt any gene whose loss would increase the number of offspring.

I reviewed Behe’s earlier statement of this Rule some years ago, in PandasThumb, and friends have suggested that I repost it. So here it is. (I am proud to say that…

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Who really wrote the Qur’an?

Neither the Bible nor the Qu’ran was dictated from heaven but both have a human source.

Christians, bar some fundamentalists, emphasise the human source but many muslims say Allah dictated the Qu’ran.

This article rightly questions it

A good book to read is Tom Holland In the Shadow of the Sword

Source: Who really wrote the Qur’an?

Fixing Easter Day; God’s April fool

Pinched from a Kiwi posting tomorrow already.

 

It is theologically very subtle!!!

 

After many years, an agreement has finally been reached to fix the date of Easter to April 1, whatever day of the week that is. Churches can decide to celebrate Easter Day on the Sunday nearest to April 1 if that is what they prefer.

Source: Fixing Easter Day

Dan Brown TheOrigin – a book for the wistfully educated sceptic

 

Dan Brown, The Origin

This is one of the best-selling novel  at present and follows the usual Dan Brown formula; easily written, a bit far-fetched, and chimes in with the upper end of pop culture. It’s a very easy read and you feel sucked into it. Yet here, as in the Da Vinci Code, Brown brings out his subtle and not so subtle misrepresentations of Christianity. In The Origin refers to the supposed conflict of science religion with various misunderstandings of Galileo and Darwin. This appeals to much of pop culture.

After all, it is God or science! Nobody ever told Galileo or Darwin.
Yet despite his rejection of Christianity and other religions he has some religious feeling but looks elsewhere than main churches encouraging odd spiritualities!!
There is more that we could write on the corruption and failures of the church. And so the book races on for 450 pages and culminates with a murderous encounter in the gaudy Gaudi Sagrada Familia in Barcelona!

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Brown throws out so many half-digested ideas and despite his rejection of the corrupt old religions such as Christianity, he gives the impression there is something more than materialism and an anti-spiritual life. He never defines what that is, but seems to accept there is “something more”.
It ends with a climax and an anti-climax.

The climax is the way Artificial Intelligence is taking over, but that is presented in hyped-up manner. In other words, science has cruelly defeated religion.
The anti-climax is that all religions cannot cope with all these new ideas of science. That is simply nonsense as most scientists do not see the problem! But somehow Brown seems to imply there needs to be an unspecified spiritual dimension. But then he leaves his readers in the air, maybe to convince themselves that they are spiritual! But he leaves us with the thought

“The dark religions must depart, so sweet science can reign.”

It is clear that Christianity to Brown is a dark religion so we have his racy rejection, wrapped up in his pseudo-intellectual view that religion is opposed to science. The popularity of Brown’s books show how these ideas have pervaded our culture and result in a scepticism of the Christian Faith.
We need to ask WHAT a spiritual dimension could be and one which doesn’t just give us a cosy feeling, but actually helps us to live our lives in all its complexities, joys and sadness.
Here some ancient carpenter is far better a guide than a pot-boiling novelist. He never wrote a book, but said and did some good things.

Or was he a builder?