Monthly Archives: September 2016
A few events coinciding set ones mind on interesting tracks.
Bible scholar Michael Heiser specialises in slightly more esoteric aspects of the Bible, such as what is taught about supernatural beings in it (often passed over in a mixture of monotheistic embarrassment and academic naturalism). He is also interested in astronomical questions, and is a champion of Ernest L. Martin’s detailed theorising about what the Magi saw that took them in search of the child Jesus, and when it occurred.
It doesn’t show much now, but when I was a kid I was quite a science fiction buff. I was eleven when Doctor Who first screened in 1963, and I remember sharing knowledgeably with my friends about what good sci-fi it was compared to most of what had been on TV. That was certainly true: it took a stroke of genius to portray the TARDIS as having a broken camouflage circuit so it turned up incongrously as a London police telephone box amongst Daleks or Mongolian hordes. And likewise it was genius that it did not roar like a rocket, nor whirr like your average flying saucer or time machine, … Continue reading
There’s a very nice podcast here by Australian cosmologist Luke Barnes answering the common objections to Cosmic Fine Tuning. And very amusingly, too. His blog is good value as well. It majors on CFT too, and is notable in critiquing even-handedly (if not without scorn when deserved!) arguments not only from physicists, but from atheist apologists like Richard Carrier and Christian apologists like philosopher William Lane Craig and OEC astrophysicist Hugh Ross. I should add that it comes across clearly, but not crudely, that Barnes himself is a Christian theist.
Joshua Swamidass, in dispute with staunch ID apologist “Deliberateresult” (Joe Palcsak) over at BioLogos, denies (like a surprising number of TEs) that DNA is anything more than “analogically” a code, or a language, in the wider context of his being uncomfortable with considering people as biological machines: Honestly it sounds like you are seeing people as machines, even in this quote. Of course we make analogies between living systems and machines, language, technology, etc. That is how humans work. We reason about often this way. You, however, seem to think the there is not analogy, that this is actually describing the reality. You say, DNA is actually a language, no … Continue reading
Tom Gilson runs the excellent Thinking Christian blog, but has also made a useful contribution to the recent debate over methodological naturalism. In 2011 he did a multi-part series here on why science neither needs, nor benefits from, MN, and came to the positive point with his alternative here. In the main, he favours a change of nomenclature rather than of practice, because of the ease with which MN, originally coined by a Christian (and not many decades ago, at that) to distinguish it from metaphysical naturalism, has actually become a potent means of endorsing the mythical link between science and atheism.
Spending a sweltering summer bank-holiday Monday on an overcrowded Lyme Regis beach with my grand-daughter and her mother last week was a duty rather than a joy. The book on Lyme I’d brought along to read between building sandcastles and queuing for fish and chips told me that the town’s resident population of 3,000 expands to 15,000 on a hot summer’s day, and I could well believe it as they had all apparently encamped on the same small area of sand as us.
According to Open Theist Thomas Jay Oord in a BioLogos comment to our Eddie Robinson, Calvinists and Thomists are much less easy to persuade to change their views on the fundamental nature of God “from reason, Scripture and experience” than Arminians, Pentecostals, Anabaptists and others. Maybe that explains why I’m fated not to be impressed, though it does raise provocative questions about the reasons this might be so.