Tag: Doubtful ideas

Jesus, modern historical scholarship, and sceptics

Evidence and conflict resolution It is no secret that believers and unbelievers argue a lot on the internet. But it is helpful to consider the nature of the disagreement. Experts on conflict resolution have identified a number of different sources of conflict, one of which is a “data conflict”, that is, a disagreement about the […]

Getting history right … or not

Science and history are both complex disciplines that require significant knowledge and skills to do well. A research scientist has to have a good theoretical background in their branch of science, keep up with others working in his or her field, probably have a good working understanding of mathematics and statistics and be able to […]

How to avoid ideas you don’t like without actually showing that they’re wrong

Guest post by Noel Reeson I’ve been hanging around the internet for about a decade now, often getting into discussion about religion. Some can get a little tiresome, and you can make it hard on yourself if you try to check out every reference and reply to every so-called fact. So I’ve worked out a few […]

Atheist slogans: one fewer god than you?

I came across it yesterday, not for the first time, but maybe the 21st. Quoted as if it was significant and telling. You have almost certainly seen it too. I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other […]

Sam Harris: “science must destroy religion”

It is commonly stated that science and religion are irreconcilably opposed. A recent article by atheist author Sam Harris cranks the argument up a notch by declaring Science Must Destroy Religion. To be fair, I think he means “science will inevitably destroy religion”, not the rather more alarming “science has a moral duty to destroy […]

Bart Ehrman and the evidence for Jesus

Bart Ehrman is a respected New Testament scholar and an “atheist-leaning agnostic”. As well as academic publications, he has written a number of popular-level books about Jesus and the New Testament. Many of the books present a more sceptical view of the New Testament than many christians accept, but one of his more recent books, […]

Shock! Horror! Turn off the Xmas lights! We shouldn’t be celebrating Christmas at all!
Eight ways to avoid evidence

We all like to think that we base our views on evidence, but sometimes evidence gets in the way of a good argument. Here are 8 good ways to avoid evidence (with examples).

Does religious belief make you more moral: a case study in misusing data?

Initial note This is unfortunately a sometimes negative post, and slightly longer than usual. I’m sorry about that. I have tried to be fair and positive, but I think it was important to address this issue. Both christians and non-believers seem to want to prove that their belief makes for a better society and the […]

2013 – that was the year that was ….. hot!

The Daily Telegraph in Sydney has been mounting an extensive disinformation campaign on climate change for years now. The tactic is simple, and apparently effective, if not truthful – latch onto any isolated “fact” that seems to show some evidence of a cool world, ignore all the facts, evidence and reports to the contrary, and […]