Human beings are curious creatures, and most of us think about ‘big’ questions, such as “What is life all about?”, or “How did everything get here?” or “Could there be a God?”. How can a human being possibly answer these questions with any assurance? But how can we ignore these questions either? So what is […]
I sometimes get asked for the reasons why I believe. Sometimes it is curiosity, sometimes people are desperate to know why they should believe. Occasionally people ask what sort of reasons are good, with the implication that some reasons are somehow inappropriate. So here’s the results of many years of thought and reading …..
It is Chinese New Year, and last Saturday we visited the celebrations at Hurstville, the suburb where we both grew up and now home to a large Chinese community. We watched the parade and checked out the stalls, and found plenty to interest us.
Stereoscopic vision is a useful and subtle aspect of how we, and some animals, see. Because our two eyes both face the front (unlike some animals and insects whose eyes face more left and right), they both see similar but subtly different views. For example, if two objects are in line, one behind the other, […]
Over the years I’ve talked to a number of people who find themselves unable to commit to belief in God, but equally unable to reject belief. They say they would like to believe, for they cannot think atheism is true, but they find themselves unable to give assent to a particular religion or set of […]
When Martin Luther King said “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice”1, most of us like to believe he was expressing a deep truth. We want to see justice done, at least for causes we believe in. But do we live in a moral universe? What does that even […]
In Mark 3, it is recorded that when Jesus’ family heard how he was attracting a great following, they thought he was “out of his mind”. These days a similar charge is sometimes made – that Jesus exhibited behaviour that suggests he suffered from a mental disorder. I’ve come across it several times, most recently […]
Last post I looked at the differences between scientific thinking and religious thinking, at least as one social scientist sees it. But where does religious thinking come from? Religious belief has been an important component in virtually every culture in human history. Why is this so? Social scientists have studied this question extensively. Whether you […]
Science has been one of the success stories of the past few hundred years Through science we know more about the world. We can predict outcomes like weather, the paths of space rockets and the prognosis for cancers. And we can treat many sicknesses, travel all over the world, communicate to virtually anyone anywhere and […]
Is there a conflict between science and religion? Do religious people and scientists think in different ways? In the next few posts I’m going examine the perceived conflict between science and religion. First, a quick look at some statistics of who believes and who doesn’t.