Experiments in Political Theology and Dialogical Blogging

The first clause in the title of this post is the subtitle of Simon Critchley's newest book, The Faith of the Faithless (2012). Critchley is a deep ethical thinker who had until a week ago managed to fly under my radar. This isn't all that surprising, since the admittedly still diffuse research methodology of my [...]

Disambiguating Spirit and Matter (reflections on scientific materialism)

For several years now, I have from time to time engaged in philosophical debate with commenters over at Pharyngula (the atheist and biologist PZ Myers' well-traffic blog). It is often impossible to maintain a civil discussion or sympathetic reflection about the topic at hand (usually having to do with the ontology of life, the meaning of consciousness, [...]

Science, Art, Religion: The Role of Speculative Philosophy in the Adventure of Rationality

I've just completed Isabelle Stengers' formidable but rewarding text, Thinking With Whitehead: A Free and Wild Creation of Concepts (2011). The final chapters concern the viability of Whitehead's theology, specifically his articulation of the relationship between God and the World. Stengers' asks the reader to go slowly while considering why a divine function became necessary [...]

Purpose in Biology

I couldn't resist giving my two cents again over at Pharyngula. PZ Myers criticized the biologist and intelligent design theorist Michael Behe's understanding of purpose in living systems. I'm not at all on board with Behe's overall project (as you'll see below), but I do think he is focusing on the right shortcomings in the [...]

Aristotle and the historical myopia of science

Another response to PZ Myers' blog. I'm responding to this fellow in particular:   Aristotle decided observation was irrelevant? Are you joking? If we are going to base physics on how nature is actually experienced, then Galileo is the one ignoring observation. Galilean physics are based on ideal geometrical models, not actual observation, where friction [...]

Natural Science and Spiritual Science

My recent comments on Pharyngula Excerpts from my comments: I should have written "all-loving" instead of "all-powerful" twice. Just a typo, nothing esoteric. The "etc." was a placeholder for all the other typical attributes (infinite, eternal...). I wouldn't say these attributions are necessarily incorrect, they are just inadequate descriptors. Cataphatic theology must be balanced by [...]

PZ Myers’ will never believe in God

PZ Myers' blog post: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/10/eight_reasons_you_wont_persuad.php Some excerpts from my comments (beginning around #403): The sort of god PZ has decreed impossible to believe in has little in common with Augustine's, or Plotinus', or Aquinas', or with any other great theologian's God. Natural science is epistemically closed to theological issues, not because they are unreal, but [...]

Consciousness of Science, post at PZ Myers’ blog Pharyngula

Link to Pharyngula ...To believe self-consciousness can be accounted for in purely neurochemical terms is simply a category mistake. Empirical science presupposes self-consciousness, otherwise scientific reasoning would not be possible. Science cannot explain self-consciousness mechanistically without calling into question its own privileged epistemic status. Natural science attempting to explain consciousness in terms of brain mechanisms [...]

Response to PZ Myers on Science and Philosophy

A link to PZ Myers' post that I'm responding to: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/02/criticism_deferred_but_buildin.php A link to my first comment (also pasted below): http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/02/criticism_deferred_but_buildin.php#comment-2256674 You'll have to refer to the link above if you want to see the other comments I am responding to below, though I do repeat them in brief in my own responses. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------# 168: [...]

Response to PZ Myers on the Philosophy of Science

The following was posted on PZ's blog, Pharyngula, in response to this entry: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/10/nicholas_wade_flails_at_the_ph.php Evolution. Theory, fact, or both? I don't think answering these questions is as simple as PZ or Wade make it seem. It involves more than science and philosophy, and forces us to deconstruct notions of a pure science uncontaminated by politics, culture, [...]

Avoiding the Religion of Scientism

Several weeks ago, I posted a blog about my entry to Discover Magazine's "Evolution in Two Minutes" contest. Developmental biologist and outspoken atheist PZ Myers is judging the entries (still no word on the winner), and out of curiousity, I decided to visit his blog Pharyngula. Though it is supposedly a science blog, Myers posts [...]

Ongoing discussion on PZ Myers’ blog

Anyone interested in following the thread I've been participating in over on Myers' blog, here's the link: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/07/i_was_wondering_about_that.phpA little taste of what's been going on there (one of my posts): @ 201 John Morales writes: “those assumptions (of science) are that there is an external reality, and that it is consistent, and that only the [...]

Noospheric Evolution: Science and Religion

A few weeks ago, a contest put on by Discover Magazine was brought to my attention. The publication asked for short video submissions explaining evolution (by which they meant specifically Darwin's theory) in a lucid enough way that even the most dim-witted of creationists would be able to grasp it. From Discovery’s submission page: “Think [...]