Would modern science have developed without the monotheistic tradition?

Introduction

There is one fundamental sense in which science can be seen to be partners with religion: the “idea of progress.” Robert Nisbet defines the idea of progress as the notion that mankind has advanced in the past, from barbarism and ignorance, is now advancing, and will continue to advance through the foreseeable future [Nisbet1980,

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Is religion a pernicious delusion in world history?

In his book The God Delusion Dawkins proposes that a belief in God is an accidental by-product of evolution, a “mis-firing of something useful” [Dawkins2006, pg. 188]. Elsewhere he has written that a belief in God is somehow a “virus of the mind.”

Peter Turchin in the role of religion in world history

Yet other

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How likely is it that scientists are engaged in a conspiracy?

Frauds in scientific research

From time to time, the scientific community is rocked by cases of scientific fraud. Needless to say, such incidents do not help instill confidence in the public mind that is already predisposed to be skeptical of inconvenient scientific findings. Some notable cases include: (a) a series of papers in nanoelectronics by

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Is science based on secular humanism?

Introduction

In their criticisms of the creationism and intelligent design movements, particularly in legal cases, scientists and others are quick to point out (correctly!) that these movements are inherently religious. For example, in the 2005 legal case “Kitzmiller vs. Dover Area School District,” where parents challenged the Dover Area School District’s decision to require intelligent

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Does probability refute the theory of evolution?

Introduction

Both traditional creationists and intelligent design scholars have invoked probability arguments in criticisms of biological evolution. They argue that certain features of biology are so fantastically improbable that they could never have been produced by a purely natural, “random” process, even assuming the billions of years of history asserted by geologists and astronomers. They

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Is God a Great Deceiver? Creationism’s ultimate folly

Introduction

A central tenet of creationism is that the earth (or even the entire universe) was created over a very short period of time, either six literal days or at most 6000 years, and that this creation was completed about 4000 BCE (see Creationism). Needless to say, this worldview is in utter disagreement with the

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Young-earth creationism and the forest fallacy

Redwood Regional Park, near Oakland, California

Introduction

How old is the earth and its fossil layers? According to geologists, the earth is 4.56 billion years old, and the fossil layers, which document the proliferation of living species through the eons, are millions of years old.

Yet a 2014 Gallup poll found that 42%

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How certain are scientists that the earth is many millions of years old?

Introduction

In a 2012 interview, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, a U.S. presidential candidate for 2016, was asked “How old do you think the Earth is?” He responded, somewhat coyly: “Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that.” Keep in mind

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Are there “missing links” in the human family tree?

Introduction

Creationist and and intelligent design writers frequently emphasize “gaps” in the fossil record, and, in particular, claim that there are “missing links” in the human family tree between “apes” and humans. So what are the facts here? Is there indeed an unbridgeable “gap” between apes and humans?

Hardly. To appreciate how far the

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Desperately seeking ET: Fermi’s paradox turns 65 (Part II)

Introduction

Why is it so hard to find ET? After 50 years of searching, the SETI project has so far found nothing. In the latest development, on April 14, 2015 Penn State researchers announced that after searching through satellite data on 100,000 galaxies, they saw no evidence, such as infrared signatures, indicative of advanced technological

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