Sunday, February 05, 2017

Imagine No Religion 7 (Toronto, June 2-4, 2017)


  1. Oh! I love those. They never allow me to present there though my theme involves criticizing religion... I'm not sure what's wrong with them. Larry, could we together present the critique of the present nonsense of religion? You will do the Darwinism and I will take care of creationism?

  2. How come you didn't get invited to this historic event Larry?

    Jerry Coyne is bragging that he did.

    If this is such a breakthrough event as some are publicizing it to be, shouldn't you have a 'piece of the pie of the history' that you are definitely a part of?

    BTW: It is not humanly possible to get rid of religion because it is a great part of human nature. If you try, there is going to be a world-wide revolt. Some countries have achieved that but at what cost?

    1. "It is not humanly possible to get rid of religion because it is a great part of human nature. If you try, there is going to be a world-wide revolt. Some countries have achieved that but at what cost?"

      Actually the Bible predicts the time when all false religion will be eliminated by God.


      False Religion—Its Dramatic End Foreseen

      "...the Bible foretells the end of the harlotlike organization called “Babylon the Great”—the world empire of false religion. (Revelation 16:19)

    2. Actually the Bible predicts the time when all false religion will be eliminated by God

      Oh really? That would make sense but what religion is going to be left? Darwinian?

    3. The only religion left will be the one that follows Jesus' identification mark of the true religion:

      JOHN 13:35

      "By this all will know that you are my disciples—if you have love among yourselves.”

  3. Meet our local legend, and good example for all, Reverend Dr. Edward Hitchcock:

    Born to poor parents, he attended newly founded Deerfield Academy, where he was later principal, from 1815 to 1818. In 1821 he was ordained as a Congregationalist pastor and served as pastor of the Congregational Church in Conway, Massachusetts, 1821-25. He left the ministry to become Professor of Chemistry and Natural History at Amherst College. He held that post from 1825 to 1845, serving as Professor of Natural Theology and Geology from 1845 until his death in 1864. In 1845, Hitchcock became President of the College, a post he held until 1854. As president, Hitchcock was responsible for Amherst's recovery from severe financial difficulties. He is also credited with developing the college's scientific resources and establishing its reputation for scientific teaching.

    In addition to his positions at Amherst, Hitchcock was a well-known early geologist. He ran the first geological survey of Massachusetts, and in 1830 was appointed state geologist of Massachusetts (he held the post until 1844). He also played a role in the geological surveys of New York and Vermont. His chief project, however, was natural theology, which attempted to unify and reconcile science and religion, focusing on geology. His major work in this area was The Religion of Geology and Its Connected Sciences (Boston, 1851). In this book, he sought out ways to re-interpret the Bible to agree with the latest geological theories. For example, knowing that the earth was at least hundreds of thousands of years old, vastly older than the 6,000 years posited by Biblical scholars, Hitchcock devised a way to read the original Hebrew so that a single letter in Genesis—a "v", meaning "afterwards"—implied the vast timespans during which the earth was formed. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1834.

    Hitchcock left his mark in paleontology. He published papers on fossilized tracks in the Connecticut Valley, including Eubrontes and Otozoum, that were later associated with dinosaurs, though he believed, with a certain prescience, that they were made by gigantic ancient birds (ironically, he was arguably technically correct in hindsight, as birds are generally regarded as dinosaurs nowadays). In the Hitchcock Ichnological Cabinet he established a remarkable collection of fossil footmarks. His son, Edward "Doc" Hitchcock, named one of the earliest dinosaurs discovered in North America and the United States, Megadactylus polyzelus. Later it was reclassified as the type specimen of Anchisaurus polyzelus (ACM 41109), a prosauropod. This botanist is denoted by the author abbreviation E.Hitchc. when citing a botanical name.

  4. "No teacher may be prohibited from helping students understand, analyze, critique, or review in an objective scientific manner the strengths and weaknesses of scientific information presented in courses being taught which are aligned with the content standards established pursuant to § 13-3-48."

    1. I agree strongly with the sentiment in that statement.

      What's the problem?

      The only possible problem is teachers who don't know how to help students with critical thinking about scientific issues. Those teachers should be fired for not doing their job. They aren't capable of obeying this law.

      If this law helps weed out teachers who don't understand science and don't know how to critique and review it in a scientific manner then that's a good thing.

    2. True enough. However, for some reason the creationists of the Discovery Institute thought that this law would help them wedge their ideology into school curricula. Unfortunately for them, the measure failed:

      South Dakota’s 2017 Creationism Bill — Dead

      You have to feel a bit sorry for them. They try watering down their religious ideology to the point that it consists of nothing more than platitudinous motherhood statements. And still they fail.

    3. "I agree strongly with the sentiment in that statement."

      Nobody should disagree with the wording. But I think the bill was proposed to enable counterarguments to dogmatic materialism being taught in the classroom.