March 8th, 2013
Reblogged from The Atlantic.
More Christian parents are asking for mainstream science in their children’s curricula. Will religious textbook companies deliver?
For homeschooling parents who want to teach their children that the earth is only a few thousand years old, the theory of evolution is a lie, and dinosaurs coexisted with humans, there is no shortage of materials. Kids can start with the Answers in Genesis curriculum, which features books such as Dinosaurs of Eden, written by Creation Museum founder Ken Ham. As the publisher’s description states, “This exciting book for the entire family uses the Bible as a ‘time machine’ to journey through the events of the past and future.”
It’s no secret that the majority of homeschooled children in America belong to evangelical Christian families. What’s less known is that a growing number of their parents are dismayed by these textbooks.
Take Erinn Cameron Warton, an evangelical Christian who homeschools her children. Warton, a scientist, says she was horrified when she opened a homeschool science textbook and found a picture of Adam and Eve putting a saddle on a dinosaur. “I nearly choked,” says the mother of three. “When researching homeschooling curricula, I found that the majority of Christian homeschool textbooks are written from this ridiculous perspective. Once I saw this, I vowed never to use them.” Instead, Warton has pulled together a curriculum inspired partly by homeschool pioneer Susan Wise Bauer and partly by the Waldorf holistic educational movement.
Continue reading the original story from The Atlantic…
November 1st, 2012
There are many problems in philosophy such as the problem of evil, the problem of miracles, the problem of historical knowledge, the problem of what there is (Quine), the Gettier problem, and several others in various fields. However, I’ve noticed a problem with the ‘internet atheist’ community.
Before I continue I want to give a general indication for what I mean by an internet atheist, which can include several agnostics as well. An internet atheist will have certain giveaways such as: trolling, one who cites Richard Dawkins as a philosophical champion, appeals to the tactics of PZ Myers (anyone who reads PZ Myers and is quite aware of logic, fallacies, and social etiquette may suffer from face-palm syndrome–the problem of excessive disappointment resulting in the face resting on one’s palm followed by a deep sigh), being completely oblivious of opposing views, as well as the following properties…
Internet atheists have this habit of coming out of no where. What I mean by that is they have the habit of plowing their way into conversations. For instance, while writing this last sentence I received a tweet from some internet atheist about some tweet I made several days ago in which I said that the OT law didn’t treat women immorally and that the problem was a societal issue. (Edit: 3 Nov. 18.08: Tweet removed. The individual didn’t really fall into the category I’m describing here.) I could provide more tweets but I honestly have no desire to go back and read them.
EDIT: Here’s another great tweet in which I’m told to be a theological equivalent of a Nazi collaborator. I’m serious, I’m not that creative to make this stuff up.
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October 3rd, 2012
Kiplinger recently did a study on the ten worst college majors. Amongst the list included were anthropology, fine arts, film, studio arts, and sociology. Concerning philosophy and religious studies Kiplinger writes,
Unemployment rate: 7.2%
Unemployment rate for recent grads: 10.8%
Median salary: $42,000
Median salary for recent grads: $30,000
Projected job growth for this field, 2010-2020: not available
Likelihood of working retail: 2.0 times average
Philosophy might improve your mind, but it won’t do much for your pocketbook. In fact, the salary prospects for a philosophy major could be called ascetic. Recent grads make 19% less than young grads from the top 100 majors, and the gap narrows only slightly for experienced workers with degrees in philosophy and religious studies.
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September 20th, 2012
This photo provided by Kevin Miller XI Productions Inc. shows exorcist Bob Larson, left, at work in a scene from the film “Hellbound?”. The documentary, which premiered last week in Nashville and opens Friday in New York, digs deeper into the modern Christian theological debate over hell and whos going there. (AP Photo/Kevin Miller XI Productions Inc., via Huffington Post)
Here’s an excerpt from Travis Loller at the Huffington Post.
How can a loving God send people, even bad people, to a place of eternal torment? A new documentary struggles with questions of punishment and redemption and how culture affects and shapes Christian beliefs about God and the Bible.
Coming in the wake of controversy over Rob Bell’s 2011 hell-questioning book “Love Wins,” which put hell on the cover of Time magazine, and treading some of the same ground, filmmaker Kevin Miller believes the debate about the nature of hell is not academic.
In an interview after a Nashville screening of “Hellbound?” Miller said he believes our ideas about hell have a real-world effect on the way we live our lives and the way we relate to others.
Perhaps popular theologian Brian McLaren best expresses that thought in the movie when he says, “If I believe that a small percentage of human beings were created to enjoy bliss eternally and another group of beings were created to experience eternal conscious torment, then I look at human beings differently than if I say, `Every human being was made in the image of God. Every human being is beloved by God. God is at work to save every human being.’”
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July 8th, 2012
Reblogged from Chuck Norris.
[F]or too many years I was in rebellion to God. Now I’m a rebel with a cause for God and for grass-roots America.
I no longer fit the mold. I’m not a liberal actor from Hollywood. I’m not politically correct, in my opinions or my practice. And though I’m concerned with what people think, I will not compromise the truth in any form to cater to others, even with religion and politics.
Those who would merely brand me on ”the right” are oversimplifying and running from the real issue. I’m not the issue! None of us are. Jesus is, especially during Christmas.
And the question He asked the people of His day still needs to be answered by those in ours: ”Who do people say that I am?”
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July 4th, 2012
Reblogged from Andy Andrews.
This morning, I am looking at a “letter to the editor” that I cut from our local newspaper. It’s been professionally framed and I’m deciding where in my office it should hang. As I sit at my desk, looking for the perfect spot, I am thinking about our upcoming holiday…
When I was growing up, the 4th of July wasn’t just an excuse for a long weekend. Do you remember? The 4th of July was one of the “big four” holidays and uniquely celebrated. Thanksgivings held lavish feasts. Christmas was for hot chocolate and a manger and we actually got to put a tree inside the house. Easter meant new shoes for church. New shoes that mama liked and I didn’t. But Independence Day was totally different. Firecrackers and homemade ice cream. Ribs on the grill. We spent long summer evenings at the lake or a swimming pool or even in our own backyard.
I noticed then that everything about “the Fourth” was more relaxed. Daddy cooked. Mama laughed with her friends, who walked around in baggy Bermuda shorts drinking lemonade out of that special pitcher that was “just for the adults” while we caught fireflies or hit sweet gum balls over the fence with a wiffle bat. Mae Mae and Granddaddy were always there. So were my other grandparents, Nana and Daddy Mac.
June 25th, 2012
The film Twelve Angry Men is abundant in fallacious reasoning, which the jurors use to arrive to their conclusion and to purpose or refute different propositions. Most of the informal fallacies could only substantiate a certain degree of probability when the jurors proposing the propositions thought it was definite.
Juror Eight proposed the first fallacy in the film. After the initial vote to determine each juror’s opinion, juror Three stated that he [Eight] was in court and heard the same testimonies and Eight’s response was that he [the defendant] was eighteen years old. The implication Eight makes is that because the defendant is young that he is either too young to have committed the crime or that it would decrease the probability that he would have committed the crime. This is a red herring; the defendant’s age has nothing to do with his capability to commit murder.
Following Eight’s red herring, he then has an appeal to pity. He related to the defendant and sympathized with him and though he did not claim that he was guilty or not guilty (Eight said he did not know), his reason for doing so was not based on insufficient or conflicting evidence; it was based on pity, which is fallacious.
An ad hominem fallacy was presented when juror Nine told juror Ten that only ignorant men could believe that all people who live in the slums are born liars. Nine’s implication is that Ten is ignorant for believing such a thing. Ten’s claim was doubly fallacious as well. Just because a resident of the slums was born into that type of culture does not mean that he is a liar, which is the genetic fallacy, trying to discredit by where the truth or testimony may have derived from. The second fallacy presented in that statement is where Nine begs the question and assumes that the defendant was a liar.
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