Spelling out Scientism, A to Z

by John Shook Friends of religion or spirituality are heard to cry “Scientism!” on occasion. Cultural opponents to scientific or technological strides have used “Scientism!” as a clarion call for resistance as well. Quieter voices have been asking, “Is scientism what I think it is?” The label of scientism may be irretrievably lost to rhetoric … Continue reading Spelling out Scientism, A to Z

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Identifying the conflict between religion and science — Part III

by David Kyle Johnson Santa Claus and the Origin of Belief  Religious persons will also engage in unscientific thinking in defense of their belief. Consider a child confronting the evidence presented by their older sibling about the non-existence of Santa Claus: the fact that Santa can’t do it all in one night, the fact that … Continue reading Identifying the conflict between religion and science — Part III

Identifying the conflict between religion and science — Part II

by David Kyle Johnson Phlogiston and the Soul  Many scientists used to think that heat was the product of a material called phlogiston. It flowed into objects to make them hot and out to make them cold. But when they tested for this material, they could find nothing — objects weighed the same both hot … Continue reading Identifying the conflict between religion and science — Part II

Identifying the conflict between religion and science — Part I

by David Kyle Johnson Many, both theists and atheists, acknowledge the conflict between religion and science. This includes New Atheists like Richard Dawkins [1] and also academic philosophers such as John Worall, who argue that one cannot be both purely scientifically minded and religious [2]. Others disagree. Stephen Jay Gould, an agnostic, famously defended the … Continue reading Identifying the conflict between religion and science — Part I

The history of garbage is scholarship

by Massimo Pigliucci “Philosophy is garbage, but the history of garbage is scholarship,” said Harvard philosopher Burton Dreben, as quoted by Dan Dennett in chapter 76 of his often delightful and sometimes irritating Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking [1]. One could reasonably wonder why a famous philosopher approvingly quotes another famous philosopher who … Continue reading The history of garbage is scholarship

New clothes for Shakespeare and Sondheim: on the arrogance of ignorance

by Steven Paul Leiva “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.” 
-Charles Darwin I was once driving around with a colleague, an actor of sorts who I will call Harry Hotdoggen, when the subject of William Shakespeare came up. “Shakespeare is the Emperor’s New Clothes,” Harry said in a statement so definitive that I … Continue reading New clothes for Shakespeare and Sondheim: on the arrogance of ignorance