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Uncommon Descent articles by Vincent Torley, indexed by subject

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Academic freedom and Intelligent Design

America's Founding Fathers, Intelligent Design and the Separation of church and state

Animal minds and evidence for minds in plants

Aquinas and Intelligent Design

Artificial Intelligence

Atheism as an emerging new religion

Book reviews

Cambrian explosion

Catholic Church, Intelligent Design and evolution

Challenging a scientific consensus

Cosmological fine-tuning

Dover trial

Edge of evolution

Environmental issues

Epistemology (what we know and how we know it)

Evolution of the ear in whales

Evolution of the eye in vertebrates

Free will

God and the cosmos

God and the problem of evil

History of science and quotes from famous scientists on Intelligent Design and evolution

Human origins

Intelligent Design vs. unguided evolution

Irreducible complexity

Macroevolution

Materialism, dualism and the mind

Methodological naturalism

Miracles: their possibility and the evidence for them

Miscellaneous

Morality, evolutionary biology and God

Neutral theory of evolution

New Atheism

Opinion polls on Intelligent Design, creation and evolution, and religious belief and atheism

Origin of life and of proteins

Origin of the universe

Paley's design argument

Philosophical arguments for (and against) the existence of God

Philosophical and theological criticisms of Intelligent Design

Podcasts

Pro-life issues

Scientific evidence for (and against) the existence of God

Scopes trial

Social issues

Specified Complexity (FCSI)

Theology and religious doctrine


Academic freedom and Intelligent Design

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One year on, Larry Moran attacks UK ban on teaching of non-naturalistic theories of origins in State-funded science classes

The right to ridicule: what do readers think?

The death of freedom of inquiry in British publicly funded schools

A voice for free speech, from the other side

A question of bias

Professor Larry Moran supports the use of ID-compatible science textbooks in Texas classrooms

An open letter to BSU President Jo Ann Gora

Is this "religion"?

Larry Moran defends Paul Nelson!

The Big Easy Bans Intelligent Design, but the Big Story is Louisiana’s Good Science Grades

How FIRE can help in the fight for academic freedom on campus

Professor Jerry Coyne on why Intelligent Design should be taught in public schools


America's Founding Fathers, Intelligent Design and the Separation of church and state

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FFRF gets constitutional freedoms and the Founding Fathers wrong ... again

What the FFRF doesn't know about the Declaration of Independence and national anthem: Some thoughts on the Lebanon High School graduation ceremony controversy

Freedom From Religion Foundation takes silliness to a whole new level

The Freedom From Religion Foundation: Getting the Founding Fathers wrong

Beyond a joke

No Googling, please. Who wrote this?

We hold these truths to be self-evident...


Animal minds and evidence for minds in plants

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The immateriality of animal consciousness: why I’m agnostic

Guide dogs don't know that their owners are blind

The amazing feats of 007: something to crow about?

Are plants intelligent, and what can we learn from them?

The Myth of the Continuum of Creatures: A Reply to John Jeremiah Sullivan (Part One)

The Myth of the Continuum of Creatures: A Reply to John Jeremiah Sullivan (Part Two)

The Myth of the Continuum of Creatures: A Reply to John Jeremiah Sullivan (Part 3(a))

The Myth of the Continuum of Creatures: A Reply to John Jeremiah Sullivan (Part 3(b))

Are dolphins people too?

Do apes plan for the future? Why I'm skeptical

How clever is that cockatoo?

Craig and his critics: Why the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness is more propaganda than science

William Lane Craig and the problem of animal suffering: why it’s a poor argument for atheism, but an excellent argument against scientism

Are crows capable of reasoning about hidden causal agents? Five reasons for skepticism

But they don't feel anything, Professor Coyne


Aquinas and Intelligent Design

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Building a bridge between Scholastic philosophy and Intelligent Design

St. Thomas Aquinas and his Fifteen Smoking Guns (A five-part reply to Professor Tkacz)


Artificial Intelligence

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Why no 13-year-old boy talks like Eugene Goostman

Zombies, duplicates, human beasts and consciousness

Could the Internet ever be conscious? Definitely not before 2115, even if you're a materialist.

Minds, brains, computers and skunk butts


Atheism as an emerging new religion

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Atheism and the Church of Wonderful Nothingness


Book reviews

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The Broken Gift: Daniel Friedmann's attempt to marry science and Genesis

Evolution vs. God: A Review

Credit where credit's due: P. Z. Myers vs. Daniel Friedmann on Genesis


Cambrian explosion

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Darwin's Dilemma Remains Unresolved: What Lee's Paper Didn't Discuss

What Elizabeth Liddle doesn't understand about the Cambrian explosion


Catholic Church, Intelligent Design and evolution

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What kind of evolution does the Pope believe in?


Challenging a scientific consensus

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Scientific American journalist: Everyone has the right to challenge a scientific consensus

When not to trust an expert

The dangers (and odd consequences) of never questioning a scientific consensus – a reply to Chris Mooney


Cosmological fine-tuning

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Physicist Paul Davies’ killer argument against the multiverse

An excellent new paper by Robin Collins on fine-tuning

New cosmology paper by skeptical scientists lends support to the fine-tuning argument

Night Vision: A new version of the fine-tuning argument

Is this the Dumbest Ever “Refutation” of the Fine-Tuning Argument?

Is fine-tuning a fallacy?

Why the mathematical beauty we find in the cosmos is an objective "fact" which points to a Designer

What assumptions does the fine-tuning argument make about the Designer?

"The universe is too big, too old and too cruel": three silly objections to cosmological fine-tuning (Part One)

“The universe is too big, too old and too cruel”: three silly objections to cosmological fine-tuning (Part Two)

Why a multiverse would still need to be fine-tuned, in order to make baby universes

Beauty and the multiverse

So you think the multiverse refutes cosmological fine-tuning? Consider Arthur Rubinstein.

The death of fine-tuning?

Why a Multiverse proponent should be open to Young-Earth Creationism and skeptical of Man-made Global Warming


Dover trial

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The myth about the Dover trial that Miller continues to propagate


Edge of evolution

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Were woolly mammoths designed?

When I'm wrong

Some testable predictions entailed by Dr. Kozulic's model of Intelligent Design

The Edge of Evolution?

The Giraffe: A Model of Intelligent Design

Designed or not? You decide.


Environmental issues

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Evaluating the Pope’s encyclical, Part One: Each living creature is designed by God

Evaluating the Pope’s encyclical, Part Two: Do we have the right to eradicate species?

Evaluating the Pope’s encyclical, Part Three: Four internal contradictions in the Pope’s thinking

Straight talk about global warming: an open letter to the Catholic clergy

The Earth: Not our mother, not our sister, not a living thing, but our treasure trove, our observatory, our library, our spaceship and our home


Epistemology (what we know and how we know it)

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Faith vs. Fact: Jerry Coyne's flawed epistemology

Good and bad skepticism: Carl Sagan on extraordinary claims

What evidence is

Why science cannot be the only way of knowing: A reply to Jason Rosenhouse

Refuting Coyne's myth: Science progresses but theology doesn't

Jerry's challenge


Evolution of the ear in whales

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Darwinians concoct a whale of a tale about the evolution of the ear


Evolution of the eye in vertebrates

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Could the eye have evolved by natural selection in a geological blink?


Free will

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Mark Frank poses an interesting thought experiment on free will

Free Will: Why reports of its death are greatly exaggerated

Determinism: an idea that just won't fly

Is free will dead?

Professors Coyne and Miller clash on free will

Battle of the two Elizabeths: are free will and physical determinism compatible?

How is libertarian free will possible?


God and the cosmos

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On not using the wrong metaphor: Catholic writer Mark Shea attempts to channel Pope Francis

God and the Cosmos: Finding the Right Metaphor


God and the problem of evil

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Karl Giberson reviews atheist John Loftus' new book

My answer to Stephen Fry

A perfect world


History of science and quotes from famous scientists on Intelligent Design and evolution

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Faraday: man of faith, man of science

Darwin, Kingsley, evolution and racism

All at sea about science and theology: Jerry Coyne cites Andrew Dickson White on Galileo

Huxley on Evolutionary Ethics

Newton on Intelligent Design

You can't have them, atheists! (Albert Einstein, Mark Twain and Jean-Paul Sartre all believed in some sort of God.)


Human origins

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So, why are the human and chimpanzee/bonobo genomes so similar? A reply to Professor Larry Moran

In a pickle about Adam and Eve

Who was Adam and when did he live? Twelve theses and a caveat

Up from the apes – and pigs?

New research points to a 40 million-year-old split between the ancestors of humans and orangutans

Do you have to believe in Adam and Eve?

Philo and Origen are not your friends, Dr. Alexander: A short survey of what two Biblical allegorists taught about Adam and Eve

Adam, Eve and the Concept of Humanity: A Response to Professor Kemp (Part 1)

So you don’t believe in Adam and Eve? Ask an atheist for advice!

Human or not?


Intelligent Design vs. unguided evolution

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I'd like a straight yes or a straight no, Professor Moran

Bad math: Why Larry Moran's "I'm not a Darwinian" isn't a valid reply to Meyer's argument

This is what a reply to an Intelligent Design argument looks like

What Elizabeth Liddle doesn't understand about the Cambrian explosion

A succinct case for Intelligent Design

Is Intelligent Design dead?

The Evolution Catechism

Larry Moran demolishes an icon of evolution

On the poverty of scientific naturalism as an explanation: A reply to my critics

On the impossibility of replicating the cell: A problem for naturalism

Barriers to macroevolution: what the proteins say

Why Keith S's bomb is a damp squib

Why Keith Blanchard really doesn't understand evolution

RIKEN's 10-minute antidote to atheism: see for yourself

It's official: there are no ring species

Intelligent Design as a form of special agent intention

Professor Larry Moran poses five questions for the ID movement

Putting Humpty Dumpty back together again: why is this a bad argument for design?

The ferns that evolution forgot: virtually unchanged after 180 million years!

Does Professor Larry Moran (or anyone else) understand macroevolution?

A Darwinist responds to KF's challenge

Haldane's dilemma – what does science really say?

A hypothetical question for neo-Darwinists, on the age of the earth

Is the genetic code a real code?

Rewriting history: Can a Darwinist believe in the scala naturae? (Darwin did.)

Thomas Nagel vs. his critics: Has Neo-Darwinian evolution failed, and can teleological naturalism take its place?

Is Darwinism a better explanation of life than Intelligent Design?

Could the eye have evolved by natural selection in a geological blink?

Macroevolution, microevolution and chemistry: the devil is in the details

Seven Nobel Laureates in science who either supported Intelligent Design or attacked Darwinian evolution

Zack Kopplin, can you match my poker hand?

The Evolution of Evolution: Are Living Things Intelligently Designed to Evolve?

Game on! A bioinformatician confronts Intelligent Design.

At last, a Darwinist mathematician tells the truth about evolution

The four tiers of Intelligent Design – an ecumenical proposal

A short quiz on Intelligent Design for both advocates and opponents of ID

Three puzzles that are real – A response to a skeptic

Since you asked

Someone's wrong. Who is it?

The Giraffe: A Model of Intelligent Design

The video that proves Intelligent Design

Which one is different: gravity, continental drift or evolution?

The 10^(-120) challenge, or: The fairies at the bottom of the garden

How to take down NDE (Neo-Darwinian Evolution)

What a living thing is, what an artifact is, and why the first living thing would have been one (Part One of a Response to the Smithy)

Living things, Machines and Intelligent Design (Part Two of a Response to the Smithy)

Programs, cells and letting God be God (A concluding reply to the Smithy)


Irreducible complexity

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A reply to Professor Moran

Will this do, Professor Moran?


Macroevolution

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Does Professor Larry Moran (or anyone else) understand macroevolution?

Macroevolution, microevolution and chemistry: the devil is in the details

Professor James Tour accepts Nick Matzke's offer to explain macroevolution

A world-famous chemist tells the truth: there's no scientist alive today who understands macroevolution


Materialism, dualism and the mind

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Can intelligence be operationalized?

Remembering Rameses

Scientific evidence that consciousness may not require a functioning brain

Why a simulated brain is not conscious

Neuroscientist says human head transplants are now possible

Do split-brain cases disprove the existence of an immaterial soul? (Part One)

Do split-brain cases disprove the existence of an immaterial soul? (Part Two)

Is meaning located in the brain?

Twenty-one more famous Nobel Prize winners who rejected Darwinism as an account of consciousness

Why you can't be a Darwinist and a "human exceptionalist"

Why I think the interaction problem is real

Minds, brains, computers and skunk butts

Neuro-politico-nonsense


Methodological naturalism

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Naturalist science: no threat to faith in God?

"Science is done by ignoring God" – Professor Coyne's newfangled naturalism

Detecting the supernatural: Why science doesn't presuppose methodological naturalism, after all

Methodological naturalism: Science enabler or science stopper? A response to Dr. Elizabeth Liddle.

A very revealing post on naturalism, or: Good and bad extrapolations in science

Is "holding a belief" unscientific?


Miracles: their possibility and the evidence for them

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I get mail: Cavin and Colombetti redux

Is Larry Moran a conspiracy theorist?

No evidence for God's existence, you say? A response to Larry Moran

Cavin and Colombetti, miracle-debunkers, or: Can a Transcendent Designer manipulate the cosmos?

Jerry Coyne and Stephen Fry's fishy tale about St. Thomas Aquinas

Whose side are you on, Professor Coyne? What Anatole France really said about miracles


Miscellaneous

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Two quotes for the day

Amazing machine animations

Dr. Martin Luther King on creation, evolution and Intelligent Design

George Orwell on "What is Science?"

Is this a photo? Is this a slur? Is this an argument?

Media conspiracy: now it's official

ID in Japan?


Morality, evolutionary biology and God

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Louise Antony's three fallacies about God and goodness

Why you can't have have morality – or marriage – without natural law

A surprising admission on altruism by Professor Jerry Coyne

What Jerry Coyne doesn't get about goodness

Evolutionary biology rewrites the American Declaration of Independence

Jerry Coyne's ethical theory unravels

Huxley on Evolutionary Ethics

God: Lawgiver or Hypocrite? Loftus attacks divine command theories of ethics

Theism, atheism and morality

Can a Darwinist consistently condemn a con man who couldn't have done otherwise?

For the record – a comment on Dan Savage’s latest talk

Machine 1 and Machine 2: A Challenge to the Ethics of the New Atheists

Why morality cannot be 100% natural: A Response to Professor Coyne

I, Robot

Death of a grande dame: can we build morality on the foundation of natural goodness?

Thomas Aquinas, patron saint of evolutionary psychology? I think not!

Christopher's Challenge


Neutral theory of evolution

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The much-disputed neutral theory of evolution and the book that Professor Moran refuses to review: Larry Moran responds to my questions

Will the real Neutral Theory please stand up?

When I'm wrong

Branko Kozulic responds to Professor Moran

A short post on fixation

Can the neutral theory of evolution explain what makes us human?

Fixation: the neutral theory's Achilles' heel?


New Atheism

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What really scares the new atheists

Why atheists can't show that Ken Ham is wrong

Phil Zuckerman on growing up godless

"No war in the name of atheism": Spot the fallacy

Is something rotten in the state of Denmark?

The New Atheists: A House Divided

Atheism of the gaps

Religion as an obstacle to vaccination: New Atheists continue to propagate a myth

Atheists vs. atheists

Sweden's Big Government 'Utopia': Not so tolerant after all


Opinion polls on Intelligent Design, creation and evolution, and religious belief and atheism

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Can we trust opinion polls on evolution?

Atheism and religious belief in America: interesting trends


Origin of life and of proteins

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Experts pan quantum mechanical replication of Miller-Urey experiment

Do viruses help explain the origin of life?

The dirty dozen: Twelve fallacies evolutionists make when arguing about the origin of life

What About the Origins of Life Itself?

RNA, the origin of life and the gullibility of the science media

PZ Myers: "Abiogenesis is not evolution" is a cop-out

It's time for scientists to come clean with the public about evolution and the origin of life

Hoyle's fallacy? I think not.

New study: Oxygenic photosynthesis goes back three billion years

It came from outer space: Have British scientists found proof of alien life?

Build me a protein – no guidance allowed! A response to Allan Miller and to Dryden, Thomson and White

How evolutionists explained the origin of life, 101 years ago

The Big Picture: 56 minutes that may change your life

To dream the impossible dream: the quest for the 50-bit life form


Origin of the universe

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Physicist Paul Davies’ killer argument against the multiverse

Vilenkin’s verdict: “All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.”

Bad science by Dr. Victor Stenger, arguing in the cause of atheism


Paley's design argument

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Was Paley a classical theist, and does his design argument lead us to a false God?

Was Paley a mechanist?

Paley's argument from design: Did Hume refute it, and is it an argument from analogy?


Philosophical arguments for (and against) the existence of God

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On not putting all your theological eggs into one basket

An Aristotelian Proof of the Existence of God?

Jerry Coyne's critique of the cosmological argument ... and the reply he wouldn't publish

Does scientific knowledge presuppose God? A reply to Carroll, Coyne, Dawkins and Loftus

Fixing Feser's Fifth: Why his up-to-date version of Aquinas' Fifth Way fails as a proof, and how to make it work

William Lane Craig and the problem of animal suffering: why it’s a poor argument for atheism, but an excellent argument against scientism

Silly arguments against God, by very clever writers

Swallowing camels

Is the notion of God logically contradictory?

Why the moon isn't made of green cheese (Part One of a reply to Professor Keith Parsons)

Why this universe? Good question. (Part Two of a reply to Professor Keith Parsons)

Professor Raymond Tallis on good and bad arguments for atheism


Philosophical and theological criticisms of Intelligent Design

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Do we need a context to identify a message as the product of an intelligent being?

Hyper-skepticism and "My way or the highway": Feser's extraordinary post

Why Greta Christina’s critique of God-guided evolution misses the mark

On the nature and detection of intelligence: A reply to RDFish

On not doing one’s homework: A reply to Professor Edward Feser

Is Intelligent Design bad theology? A reply to David Bentley Hart

Is the Intelligent Designer an interventionist? A reply to Felsenstein and Liddle

Did John Maynard Keynes spot the flaw in Intelligent Design?

Four Metaphors for the Cosmos: A Story about a Watch, a Lute, a Recipe and a Symphony

Intelligent Design and mechanism: laying a myth to rest

Building a bridge between Scholastic philosophy and Intelligent Design

What makes a thing a thing? Why reality has to be built from the bottom up as well as from the top down

It's all about information, Professor

Snails for Dr. Baggini

Misreading St. Augustine

A perfect world

A reasonable man

An argument about ships, oaks, corn and teleology – will Professor Feser finally concede that it is possible for a living thing to be the product of design?

Count the mistakes

Of Pegasus and Pangloss: Two Recurring Fallacies of Skeptics

More Catholic than the Pope?

A better kind of beauty, or: Why some people mistakenly reject Intelligent Design as unaesthetic

Do Intelligent Design proponents worship two Gods?

Fuller vs. Ruse: Some thoughts on the controversy

In praise of subtlety

A response to Professor Feser


Podcasts

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Our own Vince Torley on podcast! (Casey Luskin interviews Vincent Torley for "ID the Future")


Pro-life issues

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Memo to Myers and Marcotte: Embryologists agree that an individual human life begins at conception

P. Z. Myers channels Judith Jarvis Thomson on abortion; Dawkins disagrees

P. Z. Myers rebukes Richard Dawkins for his tweet on Down syndrome

Science illiteracy on the liberal left: PZ Myers and Amanda Marcotte can't face the facts of life

New way of producing pluripotent stem cells stuns biologists

The fetus is a parasite, abortion is like plucking out a hair: how much does Jerry Coyne really know about biology?

Libby Anne (part 3): A reply to her article, "How I lost faith in the pro-life movement"

An anti-ID biology professor who doesn't even know the facts of life, let alone evolution

Embryo and Einstein – Why They're Equal

Newborn babies: not persons, and not fully human – P. Z. Myers


Scientific evidence for (and against) the existence of God

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Is Larry Moran a conspiracy theorist?

No evidence for God's existence, you say? A response to Larry Moran

Professor Krauss Objects

In defense of Eric Metaxas: Is God a scientific hypothesis?

Selective hyperskepticism: A response to Professor Moran

Is God a good theory? A response to Sean Carroll (Part One)

Is God a good theory? A response to Sean Carroll (Part Two)

Is God a good theory? A response to Sean Carroll (Part Three)

Does scientific knowledge presuppose God? A reply to Carroll, Coyne, Dawkins and Loftus

No evidence, you say? A reply to Eric MacDonald.

Two pretty good arguments for atheism (courtesy of Dave Mullenix)

My faith is falsifiable, Professor Coyne. Is yours?


Scopes trial

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Six bombshells relating to H. L. Mencken and the Scopes trial

Mencken's Mendacity at the Scopes Trial

H. L. Mencken: The nail in the coffin


Social issues

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Gay marriage and the loss of civility

Why you can't have have morality – or marriage – without natural law

Taking Manhattan out of the Apple?


Specified Complexity (FCSI)

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Keith S in a muddle over meaning, macroevolution and specified complexity

Can we all agree on specified complexity?

Order vs. Complexity: A follow-up post

Order is not the same thing as complexity: A response to Harry McCall

CSI Revisited

A test-case for CSI?

Of little green men and CSI-lite

Why there’s no such thing as a CSI Scanner, or: Reasonable and Unreasonable Demands Relating to Complex Specified Information


Theology and religious doctrine

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Do Christians Worship the same God?

The Broken Gift: Daniel Friedmann's attempt to marry science and Genesis

Now Jerry Coyne doubts the historical existence of Jesus Christ

On worshiping the right God: Jerry Coyne asks a sensible question

On not putting all your theological eggs into one basket

An Aristotelian Proof of the Existence of God?

You lose, Reverend: a minister blunders while attacking the inerrancy of his own holy book

No good theology, you say? Oh yes, there is!



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