Browsed by
Category: Reviews

Education Under Fire: Bahá’ís Banned from Higher Education

Education Under Fire: Bahá’ís Banned from Higher Education

Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu and President José Ramos-Horta of East Timor recently wrote an open letter to the international academic community regarding the systematic denial of higher education to the Bahá’ís of Iran, the largest non-Muslim religious minority of that country. A denial which has resulted in the creation of the BIHE (Bahá’í Institute of Higher Education) a completely voluntary organization of academics in Iran and abroad dedicated to providing quality higher education for disenfranchised Bahá’í students. Here are links…

Read More Read More

Science, Religion and Mythology #1: Is There a War Goin’ On?

Science, Religion and Mythology #1: Is There a War Goin’ On?

Stephen recently recommended a book to me that dealt with the myths that have grown up around the relationship between science and religion. Entitled GALILEO GOES TO JAIL:  and Other Myths About Science and Religion (Harvard University Press), the book is a collection of essays edited by Dr. Ronald Numbers and written by a diverse array of authors that included atheists, agnostics and believers from several traditions. Dr. Numbers—who is a professor of the History of Science and Medicine at…

Read More Read More

Grand Design Part 4: Doing Away with God

Grand Design Part 4: Doing Away with God

This is the fourth in a series of commentaries on Hawking and Mlodinow’s The Grand Design by Common Ground contributor Ian Kluge. ============================== Doing Away with God Hawking and Mlodinow propose to do away with God as a necessary part of explaining the existence of the universe. They believe that the three “why? questions” (171) can be answered “purely within the realm of science, and without invoking any divine beings” (172). These questions are (1) “Why is there something rather…

Read More Read More

Grand Design Part 3: Model-Dependent Realism

Grand Design Part 3: Model-Dependent Realism

In this third part of my review of The Grand Design (Stephen Hawking & Leonard Mlodinow), I’d like to take a closer look at their theory of “model-dependent realism”(42). This is one of Hawking’s and Mlodinow’s main contributions in The Grand Design. According to this theory: a physical theory or world-picture is a model (generally of a mathematical nature) and a set of rules that connect the elements of the model to observations. This provides a framework with which to…

Read More Read More

Grand Design Part 2: Multiverses

Grand Design Part 2: Multiverses

This is the second in a series of discussions of Hawking and Mlodinow’s The Grand Design. Today:  The Logic of Multiverses Multiverses are another source of logical difficulties for Hawking and Mlodinow. The Grand Design claims that the existence of multiverses can explain why the universe we inhabit is fine-tuned for life without resorting to God as an explanation. In an infinite array of possible universes, one that contains life is likely or even inevitably bound to appear. Saying that…

Read More Read More

Grand Design Part 1: God, Creation and Miracles

Grand Design Part 1: God, Creation and Miracles

Ian Kluge reviews The Grand Design Stephen Hawking’s and Leonard Mlodinow’s The Grand Design begins with a grand or perhaps, grandiose, claim that “philosophy is dead” and goes on from there. The book proceeds to tell us that an infinite stack of multiverses – instead of turtles – explains our allegedly ‘fine-tuned’ existence on earth. For good measure, the authors throw in what they think is a new philosophy of science, model-dependent realism, and, thus, demolish free will. They also…

Read More Read More

Ian Kluge reviews Sam Harris’ “The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values”

Ian Kluge reviews Sam Harris’ “The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values”

Teaser: In The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values, Sam Harris endeavors to demonstrate that science is sufficient to build a system of ethics and values both for individuals and societies. His ultimate goal is actually two-fold. He wants to establish science as the only rational and self-sufficient basis of ethics and he wants to eliminate religion and ‘supernaturalism’ from all ethical discourse. In doing so, he takes six radical steps: He rejects the distinction between facts and…

Read More Read More

Sidebar: THE NEW ATHEISM – Examination of VICTOR STENGER’S Works

Sidebar: THE NEW ATHEISM – Examination of VICTOR STENGER’S Works

This week I’m taking a side-step into an examination of some arguments in Victor Stenger’s “God, The Failed Hypothesis” and “The New Atheism.” Self-Organization and Cellular Automata The new atheists explain the organization of the phenomenal world as a case of “self-organization,”  i.e. the apparent ability of matter to form patterns by nothing but natural processes. Stenger provides examples, such as the Fibonacci sequence of numbers that we find in sunflower seeds and 80% of plant species with double spiral…

Read More Read More