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Is modern science Biblical or Greek?
Science, Etc.
Written by laika   
Monday, 24 October 2011 16:03

At Asia Times Online:

The "founders of modern science", writes David Curzon in Jewish Ideas Daily [1] of October 18, "were all believers in the truths of the opening chapter in the Hebrew Bible. The belief implicit in Genesis, that nature was created by a law-giving God and so must be governed by "laws of nature," played a necessary role in the emergence of modern science in 17th-century Europe. Equally necessary was the belief that human beings are made in the image of God and, as a consequence, can understand these "laws of nature."

Curzon argues that the modern idea of "laws of nature" stems from the Bible rather than classical Greece, for "ancient Greeks certainly believed that nature was intelligible and that its regularities could be made explicit. But Greek gods such as Zeus were not understood to have created the processes of nature; therefore, they could not have given the laws governing these processes."

How do Mormons answer ‘not Christian’ claims?
Written by Mitt Huntsman   
Saturday, 15 October 2011 19:20

At The Washington Post:
Mormons do not pretend that their understanding of Christ is identical to that of Christian orthodoxy. We embrace the New Testament and much of what the modern Christian world teaches about the Savior of the world, but we do not stop there. We have a lot more to add about the Son of God, and it is that additional revelation that causes the real rub with some orthodox Christians. To us, however, refusing to accept further enlightenment on the mission of Jesus Christ is like a math teacher telling his or her students they must stop at multiplication tables. No algebra or calculus allowed.
Why the Antichrist Matters in Politics
Written by laika   
Thursday, 29 September 2011 12:09

Opinion, from The New York Times:
THE end is near — or so it seems to a segment of Christians aligned with the religious right. The global economic meltdown, numerous natural disasters and the threat of radical Islam have fueled a conviction among some evangelicals that these are the last days. While such beliefs might be dismissed as the rantings of a small but vocal minority, apocalyptic fears helped drive the anti-government movements of the 1930s and ’40s and could help define the 2012 presidential campaign as well.
Last Updated on Thursday, 29 September 2011 12:28
Pet Revival 101: Pentecostal minister teaches kids how to raise the dead
Missions & Evangelism
Written by laika   
Saturday, 24 September 2011 10:57

Seen at
Pentecostal minister Becky Fischer teaches kids how to raise the dead. At the six minute mark she explains that kids can successfully pray their dead pets back to life. Good luck, kids!
A Grassroots Canon?
Written by Liriope Jones   
Sunday, 17 July 2011 19:25

AtThe Huffington Post:
Proposing that the composition of the New Testament was a long process of recognizing an emerging grassroots and congregational consensus certainly isn't as dramatic as either the religious myths or political and ecclesial conspiracy theories often ventured. Nevertheless, there is something both sensible and comforting in imagining that over time Christians would esteem most highly those writings that most ably encouraged them on their path as disciples of Jesus. After all, what better benchmark to employ than giving authority to those writings -- even writings as varied as those found in the Bible -- that had the capacity to create and nurture faith?
Austrian driver's religious headgear strains credulity
News, Culture, Society
Written by laika   
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 22:58


An Austrian atheist has won the right to be shown on his driving-licence photo wearing a pasta strainer as "religious headgear".

Niko Alm first applied for the licence three years ago after reading that headgear was allowed in official pictures only for confessional reasons.

Mr Alm said the sieve was a requirement of his religion, pastafarianism.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 July 2011 23:07
Why You Don't Understand the Bible
Written by laika   
Tuesday, 21 June 2011 18:23

At Huffington Post:
Two thousand two hundred years ago, Ptolemy, King of Egypt, forced 70 rabbis (at knife point) to translate the text of the Torah into Greek, creating a document that would come to be known as the Septuagint. This work would eventually comprise the "Old" section of the Bible with which we are all familiar. While he succeeded in the extraction of a highly diluted version of the most sacred text of the Jews, he did not manage to procure the methodology that is required to make any sense of it, thus dooming countless translations and many generations to an inherently erroneous, faulty and dermal level of comprehension.
Where does good come from?
Science, Etc.
Written by laika   
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 21:10

The puzzle of altruism is more than just a technical curiosity for evolutionary theorists. It amounts to a high-stakes inquiry into the nature of good. By identifying the mechanisms through which altruism and other advanced social behaviors have evolved in all kinds of living creatures — like ants, wasps, termites, and mole rats — we stand to gain a better understanding of the human race, and the evolutionary processes that helped us develop the capacity for collaboration, loyalty, and even morality. Figure out where altruism comes from, you might say, and you’ve figured out the magic ingredient that makes human civilization the wondrous, complex thing that it is. And perhaps this is the reason that the debate between [E. O.] Wilson and his critics, actually somewhat esoteric in substance, has become so heated.
Study: Cheaters in the hands of an angry God
Surveys & Statistics
Written by laika   
Sunday, 01 May 2011 10:17

At LA Times:

A new study on the link between one's view of God and willingness to cheat on a test is the latest example of social scientists wading into the highly charged field of religion and morality.

The study, titled "Mean Gods Make Good People: Different Views of God Predict Cheating Behavior" was peer reviewed and published earlier this month in the International Journal for the Psychology of Religion.

In line with many previous studies, it found no difference between the ethical behavior of believers and nonbelievers. But those who believed in a loving, compassionate God were more likely to cheat than those who believed in an angry, punitive God.

The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science
Cerebral Stuff
Written by laika   
Thursday, 21 April 2011 20:02

At Mother Jones:
Consider a person who has heard about a scientific discovery that deeply challenges her belief in divine creation—a new hominid, say, that confirms our evolutionary origins. What happens next, explains political scientist Charles Taber of Stony Brook University, is a subconscious negative response to the new information—and that response, in turn, guides the type of memories and associations formed in the conscious mind. "They retrieve thoughts that are consistent with their previous beliefs," says Taber, "and that will lead them to build an argument and challenge what they're hearing."

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