My Scientific Hero

It was in fifth grade that I decided to become a scientist. The inspiration came not because I actually new what a scientist did, but through a book. Before I had read this revelatory text, my impression of what scientists did came from the movies. They had four standard attributes that would allow anyone to recognize one at a glance: (1) a muffed and wild hair style, Continue reading My Scientific Hero

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

Tsetse flies: Why evolution and climate change matter

I thought I would give you a sense of my work in science to give a better context for what I do for a living. Plus since it involves both evolution and climate change it gives me a chance to promote two of my favorite topics and the focus of this blog!

So what do I do? I study tsetse flies. Here is a picture:

http://www.dkimages.com/discover/previews/887/20001636.JPG

http://www.dkimages.com/discover/previews/887/20001636.JPG

Continue reading Tsetse flies: Why evolution and climate change matter

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

Schenk Forest and Orchards

As I contemplate the New Year, I’ve been thinking about manmade semi-wild places and what they mean to me. I’m about to teach a class called Religion and the Environment. I’ve watched with interest the debates this year about protecting wild places. And while I love the wild places, lately I’ve been thinking about the sort-of wild places: parks, orchards, and places the canal on which I take my daily jog. Continue reading Schenk Forest and Orchards

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

    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

    Back to the Dark Ages

    Omar Nasiri author of Inside the Jihad is quoted in the New York Review of Books as saying:

      We are totally dependent on the West—for our dishwashers, our clothes, our cars, our education, everything. It is humiliating and every Muslim feels it . . . For centuries we ran far ahead of the West. We were the most sophisticated civilization in the world. Now we are backward. We can’t even fight our wars without our enemies’ weapons. New York Review of Books, quoted by Ahmed Rashid p. 22 June 12, 2008

    Continue reading Back to the Dark Ages