Archive for ‘In The News’

October 28th, 2013

Top Ten Podcasts for the Christian Thinker

by Max Andrews

The following are a list of podcasts that I’ve been following and listening to that have been quite helpful in my philosophical, scientific, and theological studies.  The criteria for consideration are based on 1) quality of content, 2) accurate presentation of the material, 3) constructive and respectful criticism of opposing views, 4) frequency of podcast release, and 5) a broad range of topics/issues discussed.

Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 12.24.53 PM#1. Unbelievable? – Hosted by Justin Brierly with Premier Christian Radio.  Unbelievable? is a UK-based public radio program, which airs every Saturday afternoon with an occasional podcast posting mid-week.  Justin brings in several leading scholars in theological and philosophical matters and they debate and dialogue particular issues ranging from ethics, comparative religions, the existence of God, science, doctrinal differences, and current events.

September 8th, 2013

What Does it Mean to Live the “Good Life”?—Counterpoints with PZ Myers

by Max Andrews

Summa TheologicaAtheist biologist PZ Myers recently shared his thoughts on how an atheist is to live the good life. He constructed his opinions as counterpoints to many Christian disciplines and virtues. In the end, the happy atheist is the one who is free from religion, whose ethics are framed around societal responsibilities. Sure, helping and loving one another is good but Myers lacks a purpose or end goal for the good life.

Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas are the leading thinkers when it comes to answering the question, “What is the good life?”  Both Aristotle and Thomas agreed that the good life is fulfilling one’s purpose in life but Thomas was the one who grounded the good life in divine love and purpose.

One of the common misconceptions of Christianity is that the goal of human life is happiness.  The chief end of man is to love and know God—fulfilling God’s purposes for each individual. Man’s end is not happiness in this world, but the knowledge of God, which will ultimately bring humanity to it’s intended purpose and end.

September 8th, 2013

New Study Suggesting that Near Death Experiences are Electrical Surges in the Brain Doesn’t Explain Everything

by Max Andrews

Screen Shot 2013-09-08 at 1.33.32 AMThe recent paper “The Surge of Neurophysiological Coherence and Connectivity in the Dying Brain” published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences argued that Near Death Experiences (NDEs) are a result of heightened states of consciousness just before death.

The research doesn’t explain all the data and assumes naturalism in its hypothesis.

The authors reasoned “that if NDE stems from brain activity, neural correlates of consciousness should be identifiable in humans or animals after cessation of cerebral blood flow” (p. 1). This begs the questions in favor of naturalistic mechanisms involved in NDEs. What this hypothesis does demonstrate is the physical correlation between the experiences and the physical mechanisms involved.

August 23rd, 2013

Recent Study Arguing that Atheists are more Intelligent than Religious People is missing Several Key Factors

by Max Andrews

The recent paper “The Relation Between Intelligence and Religiosity” published in Personality and Social Psychology Review argued that atheists tend to be more intelligent than religious people. The research has frontloaded the study on faulty assumptions and is missing a key factor—a correspondence of worldview to truth.

First and foremost, the research and data gathering is commendable but the assumptions and hidden premises within the study are unsound.

The study associates atheism as non-conformity when stating, “more intelligent people are less likely to conform to religious orthodoxy” (p. 16). This is a category error. If atheism does not conform to the religious majority it still conforms to the non-conformist minority. When this is applied in majority atheist societies, a la Scandinavia, it’s more so dismissed nonchalantly though this criterion is still applied elsewhere in more religious countries (pp. 17, 22). Therefore, non-conformity should not be a measure of intelligence because some societies are religious and others are not; thus, atheism can be either conformist or non-conformist depending on the country, so it can’t be measured that way.

July 11th, 2013

Setting the Record Straight about Guillermo Gonzalez’s Denial of Tenure by Iowa State

by Max Andrews

Original post by John West

Astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez is in the news this week because of his hiring as a faculty member by Ball State University in Indiana. That has led to the recirculation of a lot of misinformation about why Gonzalez was denied tenure by Iowa State University (ISU) in 2007. As we amply documented at the time, the real reasons Gonzalez did not get tenure at ISU were simple: discrimination and intolerance. Despite an exemplary record as a scientist, Gonzalez was rejected by ISU because of his support for intelligent design.

June 21st, 2013

William Lane Craig’s Analysis of Dawkins and Krauss’ ‘Unbelievers’ Film in The Blaze

by Max Andrews

New Atheist Documentary by Dawkins and Krauss Won’t Make an ‘Unbeliever’ Out of Anyone

Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss are two of the most important figures in the New Atheist movement. So one would naturally have high expectations that their new documentary, The Unbelievers, would present a vigorous, powerful attack upon the rationality of religious belief, featuring interviews with impressive scientists laying out the case against God.  Instead, the film turns out to be merely a travelogue of Dawkins and Krauss’ “magical mystery tour” of speaking engagements before their enthusiastic fans. Rather than thought provoking, the film is shallow, boring, and narcissistic.

Keep reading at The Blaze…

May 8th, 2013

Meaning In Tragedy–Tim Lambesis’ Arrest

by Max Andrews

UPDATE: http://www.nbcsandiego.com/on-air/as-seen-on/LambesisCharges_San-Diego.html

UPDATE 2: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/May/09/lambesis-murder-for-hire-san-diego-arraignment/?#article-copy

UPDATE 3: http://lambgoat.com/news/20388/Tim-Lambesis-victim-of-setup-says-lawyer

UPDATE 4: http://lambgoat.com/news/20444/Tim-Lambesis-bail-lowered;-steroids-blamed

UPDATE 5: http://www.upi.com/Entertainment_News/Music/2013/05/19/Lawyer-Tim-Lambesis-took-steroids-before-alleged-murder-for-hire-plan/UPI-39071368980516/

As-I-Lay-Dying-Tim-Lambesis-Hitman-Murder-604x604It’s in the middle of the night and I can’t sleep. I’m absolutely heartbroken over the news of Tim Lambesis’ (lead singer for As I Lay Dying) arrest for allegedly attempting to hire someone to murder his wife. AILD is my favorite band. I feel especially close and drawn to this band for many reasons. Outside of their amazing, heavy sound, their lyrics are unique and insightful.

It’s been several hours since I first read the news and I feel physically sick over this. Allow me to be completely honest and open for a moment. This isn’t something I’d normally share but my heart yearns to share [a part of] this. For about two years now I have had an existential battle. A few months ago, on a Sunday, I woke up and went to church with my wife and a couple friends. I was desolate all morning. I

February 11th, 2013

“Evolution Will Come to Seem Laughable in a Generation or Two”

by Max Andrews

Screen Shot 2013-02-11 at 12.18.13 AMThe following originally appeared in The New York Times by Jennifer Schuessler.

__________

In 1974 Thomas Nagel published “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?,” a short essay arguing that the subjective experience of consciousness — what philosophers call the “qualia” — could not be fully reduced to the physical aspects of the brain.

That essay framed a landmark challenge to the materialist view of the mind that was then prevailing and helped cement Mr. Nagel’s reputation as one of the most incisive and imaginative of contemporary philosophers.

But since the late October release of his latest book, “Mind and Cosmos,” reviewers have given Mr. Nagel ample cause to ponder another question: What is it like to be an eminent (and avowedly atheist) philosopher accused of giving aid and comfort to creationist enemies of science?

Advocates of intelligent design have certainly been enthusiastic, with the Discovery Institute crowing about Mr. Nagel’s supposed “deconversion” from Darwinism. The book, subtitled “Why the Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False,” has also drawn appreciative notice from conservative publications that might normally disdainMr. Nagel’s liberal writings in moral and political philosophy.

The response from scientists and most of his fellow philosophers, however, has ranged from deeply skeptical to scorching.

July 11th, 2012

The Standard Model of Particle Physics Written Out

by Max Andrews

With the recent discovery of a new boson, which is likely to be the elusive Higgs boson, the standard model for particle physics would not be complete.  Keep in mind that this only confirms the model that has been used for a long time now.  This explains the early moments after the big bang where there was the electroweak force which separated and became the electromagnetic and weak nuclear forces (there’s also the strong nuclear force).  This doesn’t unify the theory of gravity. Physicists must still develop a theory of quantum gravity.

July 8th, 2012

An Update on the ALMA Observatory’s Search for Cosmic Origins

by Max Andrews

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is a revolutionary instrument in its scientific concept, its engineering design, and its organization as a global scientific endeavor…

Currently under construction in the thin, dry air of northern Chile’s Atacama desert at an altitude of 5,000 meters above sea level, ALMA will initially be composed of 66 high-precision antennas working together at millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths, with a possible extension in the future.

Thanks to its high resolution and sensitivity, ALMA will open an entirely new “window” on the Universe, allowing scientists to unravel longstanding and important astronomical mysteries, in search of our Cosmic Origins.

Some people say that the sun never sets on ALMA. Indeed, ALMA is a wonderful example of a worldwide collaboration , involving partners from four continents. By working together, scientists and engineers from around the world tackle unprecedented challenges and will seek to expand the frontiers of knowledge.