Atheism as a Stealth Religion

Evolution for Everyone

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I have been neglecting my personal blog lately because I have been working to create EVOLUTION: THIS VIEW OF LIFE, a new online magazine that reports “anything and everything from an evolutionary perspective”. Whether I maintain a personal blog remains to be seen, but for the moment I’d like to call the attention of my…

The Meaning of My Mugs

My wife Anne and I have accumulated an assortment of mugs that occupy a shelf of our kitchen cabinet. All of them perform the same function of holding hot liquid, but we seem to have developed a complex system for using them. Rather than grabbing any two for our morning coffee, I feel impelled to…

The Poverty of Affluence

In addition to this blog, I write a monthly column for Big Questions Online, which is sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation. My latest column, titled “Rich Man, Poor Man“, shows how poverty is not the root of all problems and how affluence can actually erode the capacity for cooperation. While you’re visiting my column,…

Imagine playing chess with someone who insists on continuing after his king has been taken. Or imagine a basketball game where the losing team insists on continuing after the final buzzer has sounded. These vignettes are so absurd that if they actually happened we would regard the protesters as insane. Yet something comparable happens all…

Inspiring Naturalism

Meet Connie Barlow and Michael Dowd, who deserve the “odd couple” award in the most charming possible way. Connie was a science writer in her earlier life whose books include Green Space, Green Time and The Ghosts of Evolution. Michael was a born again Christian in his earlier life who was born yet again to…

Wine connoisseurs on a budget often have a bottle of “the good stuff” that they reserve for special occasions. I feel like celebrating the conclusion of my Stealth series by breaking out the equivalent of a fine bottle of wine: a book that actually does use science to shed light on the nature of religion.…

Sacred texts such as the Bible say so many things that almost any position can be supported by selecting the right passages. So it is with scientific hypotheses. In Stealth III, I listed six plausible scientific hypotheses about the nature of religion. If we are allowed to pick and choose among them, we can support…

Those who are following my Stealth blogs have been on the edge of their seats, waiting to know the true nature of religion (see Stealth III for details). It is a superorganism? A form of exploitation? A disease? Like a moth to flame? Like obesity? A roll of the dice? And the answer is… ALL…

My previous two blogs (I and II) stressed that we must be skeptical about atheist beliefs, lest they go the way of stealth religions. Now let’s roll up our sleeves and see what this means for the study of overt religions. Here are four questions: Q1) Is there any scientific (i.e., empirically verifiable) evidence for…

My previous post attracted 250 comments, putting atheism right up there with Britney Spears as one of the most newsworthy issues of our day. Seriously, there are important issues at stake with the New Atheism movement, meriting a follow-up blog. One question on my mind concerns the quality of discourse that can be achieved with…