The evangelical atheists and Mormon anti-evolutionists have joined forces

My belief in God is not founded on evidence from the physical world. I believe because I am in a relationship with Him. I’ve gotten to know Him. I recognize his voice in others.

I want to argue that some of the suspicion that exists between certain Mormon Saints and science is grounded in not recognizing this relationship is the fundamental relation in knowing God. Oddly enough I see the fundamentalist atheists and LDS saints who fear evolution as arguing from the same flawed assumptions. Continue reading The evangelical atheists and Mormon anti-evolutionists have joined forces

Removing the lion-skin from the donkey

I am often amazed that Intelligent Design as gained such following among certain members of the church. Perhaps because it seems to have the ring of things we do believe. I mean we do believe that God is Intelligent after all, and we do believe that we are here by Design, so Intelligent Design must be right. Right? Wrong. Continue reading Removing the lion-skin from the donkey

Flying Monkeys Illustrate the Evolution of Religion (as I win a bike race against an invisible rider)

To get at the possibility of the evolution of spirituality let’s take a diversion into current attempts by evolutionary biologists to explain the evolution of religion. Pascal Boyer speculates that religion arose as part of evolving human cognitive abilities.

First, the mind evolved to the point it was able to imagine possibilities that do not exist in reality. We can consider counterfactuals. We can combine the stuff of thought in new ways that suggests possible worlds that really have no necessary tie to reality. Continue reading Flying Monkeys Illustrate the Evolution of Religion (as I win a bike race against an invisible rider)

Dueling Dualists: In which I use the word screwywompous

    “Ah, good, Data. At least you’re functioning.”
    “Fully, Captain.”
    “Data, intoxication is a human condition. Your brain is different, not the same as–”
    “We are more alike than unlike, my dear Captain. I have pores, humans have pores. I have fingerprints, humans have fingerprints. My chemical nutrients are like your blood. If you prick me, do I not .. leak?”
    1. Picard and Data in Star Trek the Next Generation “The Naked Now”

  • The easy answer is that Mormons believe that our spirit that gives us consciousness. Continue reading Dueling Dualists: In which I use the word screwywompous

    Running on our inner ape


    Homo erectus

    I do not think running meant anything until I had been in the Army for a couple of years. We went on two-mile runs on a regular basis, but I hated it. We ran in formation in long lines, singing songs led by a drill sergeant who would shout a line and we would return it or shout back given responses. I wish I could remember some of these, but they have all disappeared except for fragments like, “A yellow bird, (echo) with a yellow bill, (echo) was sitting on, (echo) my windowsill.” Where the (echo) was us echoing what the cadence caller had just shouted/sang. There was lots of swearing. Continue reading Running on our inner ape

    My Abstract for the Evolution: the Experince Conference

    Evolution: the Experience is an upcoming confrence held in Melbourne, Australia in February 2009: Here is a discription.

    Guest Blogging at By Common Consent

    If I’ve seemed slow on this site, it’s because I’m guest blogging over at By Common Consent. Plus, as everyone who knows me knows, I’m lazy.

    I’ve done four over there so far: The dead thing in my can of tuna, Some things too sacred to share, Should we teach our children that . . . → Read More: Guest Blogging at By Common Consent

    ‘Why my shoes are mad at me’ or ‘Can a person ever really get along with the number nine?’

    J. Robinson (Nature 454 p.1054)

    picture from: J. Robinson (Nature 454 p.1054)


    In a recent issue of Nature is a fascinating article about a tug-of-war between male derived genes and female derived genes, which may play out in cognitive disorders like autism. Evo-devo is a relatively new science that explores not only how evolution plays out in terms of our DNA expressing genes, but how genes interact in embryonic development, under environmental conditions, and in warring it out with each other for supremacy. Continue reading ‘Why my shoes are mad at me’ or ‘Can a person ever really get along with the number nine?’

    The Shrew in my Brain: Snakes and the Evolved Body—Part II

    Hopefully, you are now convinced by the evidence in Part I, that I am not afraid of snakes. The point being, not that I am fearless and brave, but this: I am jogging along the banks of the Danube, I turn into Danau Park with it’s green grasses, large old trees, strolling couples, and a smell and feel of wild things (even though it is quite tame). It’s a beautiful day, the sun is shining. I am tired. I am glad to be almost done with a long (for me) run. Suddenly, and without any premonition that this was about to happen, I find my knees at eyelevel. Continue reading The Shrew in my Brain: Snakes and the Evolved Body—Part II

    Some are born afraid of snakes, and others have snake-fear thrust upon them: Part I

    While spiders used to terrify me, I’ve never been afraid of snakes. Lots of things are. Especially mammals and birds. Especially mammals and birds eaten by snakes. And especially mammals and birds that snakes can bite with lethally poisonous fangs. Nothing sets a troop of monkeys howling like a snake slithering through their midst. Chimps despise the beasts and become agitated and upset when they find one hanging around the encampment and they will let everyone in the forest know that this dust-eating beast is not welcome. Apparently, even chimps raised without ever having seen a snake will become alarmed when one is introduced for the first time. I don’t know about elephants. Continue reading Some are born afraid of snakes, and others have snake-fear thrust upon them: Part I